What about Ġorġ? - Glen Galea

March 28th, 2005

Introductory Excerpt

Talk about life being shitty. Rosman was having another of those deeply emotional days experiencing nothing more but what his friend Gorg called “fuckdom”.

Yes unfortunately this isn’t one of those uplifting stories for when one feels down, depressed and in serious distress; much like the protagonist’s emotional state right here. Additionally it might also be good for you to know upfront, that there’s no happy ending either, nonetheless stay tuned for the unexpected twist at the end.

“…Rosman…” he would think to himself, even the sound of his name seemed to emphasise and enforce his loser-ish self-image. Rosman Rapier, the full name. Some say much goes in names. Yet again words rarely did much; neither work nor effort seemed to produce fruitful results in Rosman’s universe, let alone words.

That said he still deemed his fate as closely intertwined with the name he was given. His tackily romantic mother opted to give him an original name, something novel yet meaningful she had thought.

Mandy was his mother’s name, and she was called so after her dying great-grandfather who was called Manni short for Emanuel. Mandy became her name and in turn became the second part of Rosman’s, hence the “man” in Rosman. The “ros” part came from his father who was called Rosario; the origin of his name had something to do with a vow of rosary recitation to the Virgin of the Rosary in turn for the gift of childbirth. Rosman – not a real name but mum was proud. Yeah, you should probably read that whole last bit again.

Many a time he attempted to get a nickname or alias going around, but all failed since none was so catchy and yet so useful to use as a mocking name as the title “Rosman”. With a certain soft sounding intonation it denoted “mommy’s boy”, and gave it a tinge that made it remind one of a girl’s name.

He hated the fact that his parents called him so, much like other couples did to name their houses. Having tacky names for a house wouldn’t have been the end of the world but unlike, a first name to bear for a lifetime goes unignored.

In Rosman’s case the first line in his address was “Garden of Hope”. Yes, it reeks of superficial insight but the choice seemed suitable since after all their uncared for front garden, the subject in the title, looked as dead as the Maltese garigue landscapes in the summer after a freak shower of rain in mid-August. Shrubby, wooden and yet green with new grasses at the bottom, so ironically hope was something that this garden would have invoked, in a twisted sarcastic way.

“Rosman in Fuckdom…!” sounded very much like a perverse fairytale for erm.. people like Rosman…with needs and interests like his. Gorg his friend a very outgoing and happy feller but as mentioned earlier he coined the word “fuckdom”. Gorg many a time tried to pull Rosman out of his fuckdom, with his witty humour, or rather what he deemed wit.

Anywho, we are mostly concerned with Rosman, Gorg is just secondary here - best- supporting-character-nomination potential but not our protagonist. So Rosman. Rosman is sad and is depressed, a rather fashionable state of being these days, or maybe not just these days.

Sadness seems to permeate through everyone or at least many people from the “everyone” group. Rosman’s reason for depression is the ultimately-my-life-is-going-nowhere type and to combat this Rosman does what he usually does and attempts to understand his condition. As a kid one thing he would do was look up something he wished to know more about in the encyclopaedia that his parents had furnished the top shelf of the mahogany cabinet with. The bright red of the cover complimented somewhat the furniture and it was thought of as a good investment for the boy’s education.

The encyclopaedia was truly an amazing thing, Rosman thought; it seemed that if the right term was looked up it could inform one quite well on a variety of subjects and topics. Rosman always felt that there were parts that he had never even leafed through, somewhere in there.

As a young adult he would only occasionally exercise this habit with the old encyclopaedia. On this occasion using the index book from the volume he looked up the word “suffering” – for the obvious reasons – and after a few reads he landed on the subject of Buddhism which suddenly felt more satisfying a find than the other ones in the index list.

“Life is suffering” was the first noble truth that Siddartha Gautama the Buddha had prescribed to his disciples. A rather bleak first noble truth for a religion Rosman thought.

1. Life is Suffering

Rosman runs past a window, he looks inside and there is Jackie, his British friend he met whilst on a short holiday in Scotland. She weeps.

Recap; running along a street, glimpse of Jackie through window, Jackie sheds tears. Who knows why?

Rosman goes in, apparently the window isn’t there any more, and hugs Jackie. Jackie sobs, something is definitely bothering her to bits as she boohoos on Rosman’s shoulder. However Rosman is only thinking of hugging her tighter to feel her jugs pressing against his chest.

Three beeps stop. Three beeps stop. A sudden thought crosses Rosman’s head and that is that this Jackie business might be less real than it feels.

Three beeps stop. Three beeps stop. Three beeps stop. There it is again, the sound most dreamland happy campers loathe. The sound that means only one thing… Bye-bye sweet dreams, and hello world of spite!

Rosman unwillingly releases the pillow from his tight hug, unsheathes himself out of the warm quilt covers and heads this unlimber body of his towards the sink.

Out of the bedroom, take a right to the end of the corridor another right to the first door, jab foot in the door by mistake make the first meaningful sound that morning, wake old-timers up most probably, get in the fucking room, find that sink, lift tap and …SPLASH.

Primal ritual of the day is now complete. Sensory system in better working order.

Rosman takes a good look in the mirror of course this is rather a typical thing to do every morning but nothing kicks you as good in the balls and wake you up as a deep look in the eyes of the illusionary self in the mirror.

As he looks in the mirror he moves closer to the glass and focuses his eyes on his cheek then he looks closer to the minute visible pores and tiny imperfections on the skin. It seems like nothing can relieve him from having at least a somewhat happy or neutral train of thought in the morning. The first thing he has to think about is how he ultimately boils down to nothing and is made up of tiny cells that arguably have an existence of their own, the skin pores he can visibly see remind him that he is ultimately hollow inside.

He leaves the bathroom and heads down the stairs, thinking in terms of his microscopic nature and how futile his existence is after all.

“All I am is patterns and configurations, how sad it is that nothing basic like a soul exists!” he says to himself as he heads for the kitchen.

“What if all I was was a character in a film or a book…” he stops suddenly as he hears sounds coming from the kitchen. Luckily he was whispering to himself. He enters the kitchen, his father is there sipping at a cup of coffee and eating some biscuits.

“Talking to yourself again Rosman?” inquired Rosario, clad in nothing but his panties which were better known as “bloomers” around the household.

“Nah, I was praying” replied the son to his overly religious father. Truth of the matter was Rosman ceased to believe, practice and support, in that order, his family’s and country’s religion. Displaying any signs of practice to his family was something he carried out frequently. He didn’t really like his family that much, but understood that he would have nowhere else to turn had he to upset the stern rulers of the household.

Following a simple but worthless exchange of words from father to son, Rosman poured himself a cup of the previously prepared coffee and vacated the kitchen with coffee in hand.

Passing by the clock in the entrance hall of the house he glanced at the hands and numbers set-up and understood he had under a quarter of an hour to get himself dressed and ready for work. All the clocks in the house were set to a ten minute late buffer, a scheme devised by his mother so as to ploy the time readers in thinking they are in a ten minute virtual future, this results in a gain of time. Even so, Rosman got himself ready to go in about five minutes. Trailing off to work, the job which very much like all the other jobs he had he despised.

He lived a few blocks away from the hotel he worked in, in St. Paul’s Bay. Walking there he returned to the bleaker thoughts of the early minutes of his day. He thought back to the pores of hollow space and the emptiness he continuously felt inside. He thought of how dark this universe really is and how the vast emptiness of space was hailed for being dotted with insignificant blotches of light and matter. He proceeded to venture on how insignificant all of this is as he crossed the street and walked into the hotel’s back entrance reserved for the employees. As he helloed the security guard and punched his number into the palm-print identification puncher and placed his hand he thought of how cruel and unrewarding this whole black vastness and sparse white dot formation and composition treated him. He was after all the most important thing in this whole existence deal, at least that’s what he could logically conclude out of it. I mean he had self perception, seemingly all the other fellow dumbfucks had that too but he felt that he could only be sure of his. The cruel universe had only granted him a pattern of life based on entering the backside of a small cheap hotel building and were he was asked to mark his entrance by the fondling of a device in the wall. He spent his time sitting down at the entrance of the restaurant hall punching in numbers in the cash register and greeting guests. As he progressed up the stairs to his working place at the entrance of the Seafood Buffet restaurant he mentally inquired if his fate was ever to change. He hadn’t worked as a cashier for a very long time but he longed for his life to change, he always imagined that he would have a rags-to-riches sort of life, or rather a middle class to upper-middle class one, he always hoped that around the corner awaited all the magic that would transform his life’s plot-so-far, into one that resembled the storyline of a Hollywood blockbuster. As he turned round the corner into the restaurant these thoughts lingered on.

He entered the place were money was rewarded to him for the cyclic effort and acceptance towards subordination he subdued, and where he would switch from his usual dismal and unhappy self to the fixed smile greeter he was trained so well to be. Upon entering he saw that some of his fellow co-workers and boss were in a too serious mood. As he approached and came closer to them he realised something unusual had happened, something sad and unusual. He put on a face of concern and approached the three waiters and head-waiter. Unusual happenings were a rarity to the clockwork alienating workplace, so in a certain sense this bad news was definitely an important and entertaining thing to experience.

“Hey why the sad faces?” said Rosman in a happy go lucky out of character tone, “who died?” furthered Rosman.

The rest of the crowd looked at him with a look that made him understand immediately that his comments were thoroughly inappropriate for the situation. The fat waitress, who repeatedly showed interest in him, seemingly in more ways than one, turned to him and told him about how one of the managers was involved in a dreadful car accident and at the moment is in an extremely awful state, with a terrible spine injury, broken bones etc. He also remained fully conscious throughout most of accident and there’s a big chance he might never walk again.

The funny thing in all of this was that Rosman couldn’t help but notice how much worse the whole news was recounted from a mouth with such a bad teeth structure. The fat waitress girl, probably called Claire, but Rosman wasn’t too sure either, had possibly never undergone any dentist appointments in her life. While Rosman couldn’t care much for the half dead manager because he wasn’t sure he ever even met him, he put a face of pity but it truly emerged from the sorrow and sympathy he started feeling, right there on his feet, for fat-Claire’s bad jaws. Since he had such a surprisingly sick mind at times, he also imagined how totally unfortunate it would be for anyone having Claire performing fellatio to him and then right in the midst of the monstrous circumstances a pubic hair finds itself being sucked up Claire’s nostril and would cause her to sneeze. With that morbid yet slapstick thought he could hardly not show signs of sick pleasure upon his face, however he suppressed these due to the very sober situation and his prior inapt enquiry.

2. Metaphysical discontinuance

“After five hours of continuous smiling two things can happen to you, one you either end the night feeling so fake, unreal and such a hypocrite cheer-whore or else you become the cheer-slut where you end up in a bubbly mood and speak to everyone starting the sentences with ‘Hey!’, ‘Yo!’ and the like”, pondered Rosman to himself.

Today it was a different situation, for Rosman felt both of these at the same time, he first started with the cheer-slut proneness and later the hypocritical surges of guilt started to afloat.

As he fondled the palm-print anus of the hotel, as if to request permission to be excreted out he realised from looking at the glass door that this was a morning shift he had worked and not a night shift as he was usually used to. The restaurant having no outside orifices letting light in misled him. This meant that he had the rest of the day for himself and that probably he should not subscribe these dire reflections in such early hours of the daylight. He humoured himself with how there still was time for the life revolutionising opportunities he desired earlier that morning.

He walked home thinking of what a despicable situation that manager had found himself in. Life was truly suffering Rosman thought, especially if you break your bones like that. He recalled some things he had read the night before about Buddhism. Of how the release from all this suffering is to be found in Nirvana, as explained by the Buddhists, which differently to what he had thought it was earlier, was no happy paradise-reward but un-being itself…the self was not true apparently so this made its demise false since it was never there in the first place. And Nirvana, the Buddhists believe is the achievement of the cessation of continuity and becoming, so the encyclopaedia entailed.

On arriving home he felt a sudden rush of slumber crawling upon his body. Directly, he walked up to his room and threw himself on the bed hoping for a good summer afternoon’s siesta.

In between the states of wakefulness and sleep the heavy thoughts regarding his own existence trailed on.

“All I know is this self!” he was thinking half scared. “What is there to be so sure and happy about…?”. ’I think therefore I am.’ becomes a very scary notion once you consider that you can’t do otherwise than not think. These thoughts loitered in his head till he finally snapped out of it. It happened suddenly, but he didn’t snap into regular thought, nor into sleep and nor wakefulness…

He burst out into a place he had never been before.

Apparently his warped and intense preoccupations about his own existence plunged him into a condition of self clarity.

He could ultimately see his own true self. His entire being existed as a series of electric spikes running through complex circuits.

The patterns translated into English words.

The words, conjured up through a button system were being punched in by another guy, drowsy, overweight and in his early twenties, late at night, at his computer.

His whole self, Rosman realised, was a toyed about alter ego, of some sort, that the fat fuck typed in his computer.

His fate determined through the inventive brain firings or misfirings this godlike being preferred.

Simultaneously he could also perceive his existence in the creative and imaginative neurone patterns in the heads of both his creator and also the decoding reader that patiently built himself his own little Rosman in his head.

With these revelations a sensation of smile came upon: Rosman in his new state; upon his author writing from his keyboard; and the reader reading off his screen.

The end

If you didn’t smile at the end, you’re one spoil sport motherfucker!

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