The Malice of Introspection

Imagine a theatre room, those bleak hospital ones that smell like bleach and pain meds, in the centre of this theatre room is a operation table with a body on it covered by a white sheet, sounds sinister doesn’t it. Anyway, Nyasha walks in, he’s wearing an oversized lab coat that covers his hands so he looks like a toddler wearing his dads suit jacket. His round, wire-rimmed glasses constantly threaten to fall off the cliff of his nose and he clearly forgot to comb his hair. He doesn’t care though, he looks happy, child-like really and that’s because he’s a special one this Nyasha. Rumour has it he spent too much time in the Nazi section of the history part of the library now he thinks he’s a German doctor examining a patient, lets see how this goes.

He walks up to the operation table and removes the sheet, lying there is Nyasha, the normal Nyasha (well relatively speaking), ‘Dr’ Nyasha adjusts his glasses as he takes out a clipboard and begins his examination.

Dr Nyasha in a horrid German accent: Gud Afternun, the time is sixty-five minutes past thirteen. The patients name is Nyasha. Ethnicity, [stares at the patient’s dark skin and nappy hair, wrinkles his nose then writes on his clipboard] definitely-not-Aryan. Height, [looks at him critically once more] not enough to play in any self-respecting basketball team. Gender, male.

[He puts the clipboard away and stares at the imaginary crowd of eager students in front of him as he begins his lecture]

Dr Nyasha: What seems to be wrong with this one is not physical, but mental.

He has lost his fire.

[Dramatic pause while he contemplates a cigarette]


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Bear with me now.

 Try to think of the human mental space as a cosmos, an infinite dark plane with stars, planets and continuous combustion, and in the middle of that cosmos is a flame, a big one, a gigantic cauldron of fire that always burns. It draws in everything around it and sets the cosmos alight with its heat and intensity. This fire has been known as many things but today we shall refer to it as passion, rage, the burning desire.

[He points at the body, looking slightly silly as his finger cannot escape the baggy lab coat sleeve]

Ever since this patients physical surgery, that fire has become stagnant. He no longer has that driving passion, that quiet force inside that told him to do something, told him to get up, told him to move even when he was tired.

[A flash of intrigue crosses the doctor’s glasses as he speaks]

It is co-related, as this fire slowly faded, his drive to do more, his want to see the future in his own right and to mould it as such became bleaker and bleaker, his physical eyes were never too good but the eyes of imagination, remarkable they were. Now he cannot see past the next few weeks, he cannot see past the assignments and lectures, his imagination is virtually blind. His only goal is to stay afloat, to manage the wave, to merely exist.

[He walks up to the body, sighs, and puts a hand onto its shoulder. When he speaks now his voice is low, quiet in a grave manner but with a slight churn of hope]

But it is still there, this fire has not completely died out. It is small yes, barely a shadow of its former self but it still burns stubbornly. It can be revived, spurred back to its former light and he may yet see again, he may yet find his drive again instead of just being.

Unfortunately, how he will stoke this fire I do not know, mere words of wisdom, motivational videos or self help books will simply not do it. He must find the reason, no matter how simple or how profound it is, he must find the reason to set that fire ablaze again. A reason he can only find himself, internally or externally I do not know.

All I know is that it must be done in haste.

The Doctor takes of his glasses, puts them on a nearby table, picks up the part of his lab coat flailing on the ground and walks out of the room, the stomp of his heavy boots echoing as he walks. He switches off the light and in the darkness, right were Nyasha’s body is, a little fire glows. It is small and innocent with no malice or intent, but it burns strangely. It burns with a brightness too lively for its size, it wants to grow, it wants to get bigger.

It wants to burn.

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