Sex

Life is…

Sometimes I wonder: what am I?
I look at the stars and feel very small;
just a tiny consciousness.
But if I were as tall as a planet,
I would still be short in comparison to the universe.

I see a person twice my size
and I feel weak and fragile.
But if I were strong and powerful,
I would still not be invincible.

I see a painting by the hand of a genius,
and I feel inexperienced and ignorant.
But if I were the greatest artist alive,
it would not make me love what I do any more or less.

I see blood, running from the wound of another,
and I feel a chilling fear from deep within.
But if I walked this earth with bravery,
it would not make things less dangerous.

I see a baby, innocent and naive,
and I feel cynical and jaded.
But if I saw through untainted eyes all my life,
it would not make the world a better place.

I see a raindrop, tear of the sky,
and I feel ugly and unsightly.
But if I were as beautiful as rain,
it would not make me crystal clear inside.

There are children with cancer,
mothers who lose their babies,
people who are worse off than dead.

I wonder if I am just lucky or if the world was cruel.
But even if the world was kind or if I were dying, too,
there would still be suffering.

I weep all night, I get nightmares,
I lose myself thinking of such things.
But even if I could right every wrong,
if I could run faster
or jump higher
or be stronger,
it would not make me better or happier.

With what I have, I’ll do what I like
and like what I do.
Life is good.

Life

-Mkalyan

“What’s Happiness?”

“What’s Happiness?”

It’s not here, that’s what it is.

Standing on top of the highest building overshadowing the city,

I glance beneath on the thousands of feet under

As I bit my lip,

I do not see this supposed happiness, anywhere.

Someone hammered this quote into my head:

“Airports see more sincere kisses than wedding halls.

The walls of hospitals have heard more prayers than the walls of churches.”

Now this stinging headache tells me that this planet is all it’s cracked up to be

That a bogus smile is plastered all over this planet.

And we should never let this pseudo merriment falter, or else.

Riddling whispers want to drag me back in to the concept that

True feelings and integrity is nothing but a myth, a sham, a con, a joke.

Those who believe otherwise in that missing ray of hope,

Shall be crushed and eaten by the foolish thought of it.

That fake smile is our line of defense.

Which is why I’m barely standing here in desperation

Searching for pure gaiety, maskless faces, untainted souls.

Instead all I see is conditioned bliss, beautiful facades, crooked smiles.

People everywhere held their broken hearts close,

Petrified for it to be shattered, disintegrated.

Seems strenuous to maintain a strong pulse.

That lonely girl at school, she could have been a rock star,

If not being poured of Law homework that discontinued her dream.

That geeky nerd could have enjoyed being outgoing,

If not for the constant bullying that zipped up his personality.

That old aged janitor could have spent the last of his years smiling,

If random acts of kindness like a simple “Hello” didn’t cease to exist,

But it’s too late now since he retired to the afterlife.

The ignored, belittled, discriminated could have tasted happiness,

If not for the gnawing looks from people who are “proper” and “normal”;

If the LGBTQIA aren’t treated as a bunch of diseased and confused pricks demanding for attention;

If the delicate souls with serious mental illnesses weren’t called crazy retarded twats;

If the different and gifted weren’t demeaned as weird queers and lunatics for expressing individuality.

Basically the “proper and normal” hold up their noses high while the “abnormal” hide in their shadows, in tears

Tired, no, afraid of being themselves.

What about the high nosed privileged category?

They don’t seem very content at their lives too.

Stress, expectation and work leech on them, sucking them dry.

They need to be studious for college scholarships,

They need to be diligent for their plate of potatoes,

They need to graft for their children’s shelter,

They need to endure for their parents’ sake,

They need to put on masks and choose the right emote

Hold their breathings and grit their teeth because they’re underlings

Yelling and puffing out steam at petty details because they’re superiors

A normal life is not a walk in the park it seems.

Nope, it’s not here.

I couldn’t find it.

Happiness turned into fairy tales leaving everybody sobbing in the dark.

I ache for people.

That leaves me wondering what if…

Just what if I slipped?

From this rooftop with this newfound courage to end it all?

Plenty of reasons feed this dangerous thought,

What’s life if living is all it’s cracked up to be?

Why can’t we know what happiness is without knowing what sadness is?

Why should we continue to coo ourselves with further lies?

When one step from this building edge could lead us to…

I stepped back and sighed.

I guess I’ll just keep on searching.

Day at Sonagachi

Sonagachi, the largest red-light district in Asia. The whole group came, along with our trip advisor and one of her friends who knew the way. Its about 15 minutes from my hotel, a 1 minute walk from the metro station . I didn’t expect to enjoy it necessarily, but I thought it would be interesting to see. It turns out…..its pretty awful. Really awful. Go figure.

There are somewhere around 10,000 prostitutes in the district, which has hundreds of multi-story brothels. We went through a few alleys around 8am, which is before business starts. There were old women and children around, so I assumed that things would clear out before business started. We saw a few buildings and alleys which were pretty clearly brothels, but it wasn’t obvious. They don’t have the money to make things look nice. Its just a run-down residential area…with a different function at night. By the time we went through our third alley, it was around 9am, and suddenly business had started. Women lined up down the street, each one looking at me at I passed. Our guide told us that if one of us guys was there by ourselves, every one of them would be badgering us, negotiating a price. He said, “I wouldn’t dare go down this alley alone.”

Here’s the thing about the red light district: in your head, you might have pictures of what its like. You might be able to imagine your prototypical prostitute. But when you’re there, looking at these women in the eyes, you realize how incredibly real and human each one of them is. I saw humanity in each of their faces. In many eyes I saw fear, in many others I saw a clear look of self-degradation. None looked happy, or excited. Thousands of women in Sonagachi are held there against their will; I couldn’t help wondering which women face that horror as I passed them. Many of the girls were….just that. Girls. To see a 14 or 15 year old girl standing out there on the street….is tough. Especially for the girls in our group. The women don’t have the money for lingerie or anything like that; the majority of the girls were just wearing jeans and the smallest t-shirt they own. Its a clear example of how poor the women are; indeed, poverty is the reason they are all here in the first place.

I saw a mother walking down the street in front of us with her son. The boy was about 8 or 9; the mother was wearing a skimpy glittery yellow dress and high heels, holding her son’s hand. That’s when I started to realize how real it all really is. How human these women are. And how sad it is that, for whatever reason, they’ve been driven into this. And the reality is, I still can’t understand it at all. There are so many alleys, so many women, and a personal story attached to each one. I just saw a handful of women, tried to avoid looking them in the eye, and never said a word to them. The full reality is beyond what I could possibly fathom. Maybe beyond what anyone could fathom.

I learned that the small group of girls from our group have been saved from trafficking. I don’t know whether this means that their parents were trafficked and the children were saved, or whether they themselves were trafficked for the sex-trade and got saved. Probably both. Either way, these girls must be under 12.They are beautiful girls. If I saw one of them on the street, I think I’d cry. I think they might too.

And the worst part about it is that this exists in every country in the world.