Naught: A Vacant Void

I have seen men cry.

I have felt nothing.

I have knelt to the wetness of my family’s tears. I still felt nothing.

I have seen individuals of no importance or kinship weep next to me; I felt something.

I have observed the murky cobwebs at the top of the dusty windowsill that overlooks my mother’s dying orchids and my beige — now crimson — carpeted studio — the kind of window that resembles expanded, turgid spiderwebs cut in half; the kind I had seen described in Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, both in the movies and in the novels.

I do not care about those decaying orchids. They do not live. They have not stagnated - perhaps I have.

I do not care.

I have seen my mother’s impenetrable cloak of resilience shatter more than her contrived smiles can conceal.

Yet, I have not seen death.

Yet, I have not seen slaughtered cows, goats, sheep, lambs, or camels.

Yet, I have not seen the camel’s dear humps gush out water once its hills have been sliced. I did not see the blood suspend down below. I did not observe.

Yet, I have not seen happiness in a lasting form. Why does it not sustain?

I have seen prosperity grin down upon me, whenever I have needed it.

I have witnessed a privileged upbringing from head to toe, from first spank to last breadth, as well as a carefree childhood — I have lived it.

All of it.

I have seen the world blurred and empty, with nonsensical holes blanketing solid streetlights.

I have seen this very world wash itself anew, bearing unbelievably sharp lines, detailed figures, and epic, crisp imagery — my visuals had been challenged, and betrayed before.

Who ever knew the streetlights were never meant to look like squashed smudges and that tree leaves were not, in fact, elongated olives? Glory be to spectacles.

Glory be to glasses.

I could see leaves where they were not there before. I could see expressions — crow’s feet and all — with vivid clarity. Immense visuals.

I have misinterpreted meanings and misunderstood caveats.

I have disobeyed.

I have given up. Yet, I have never persisted. So, does it matter? Did it ever?

And yet, I have never quit -

immediately.

Yet, I have not borne my confusing pearly whites to the public.

Yet, I have not giggled without first shielding my mouth with a sturdy, massive and astoundingly tan, hairy and overwhelmingly masculine hand. Hyper-pigmentation. Microdermabrasion is required.

Yet, I have to learn.

To be brave — from insects, arachnids, and all things that move.

To be strong — for locomotion, for human and inhuman predators (emotions, compulsions, obsessions).

I have seen nothing. There is much I’d like to see but a lot I’d rather not experience. Not firsthand. Not up-close and personal.

Yet.

I have yet to learn. To ignore nothing. And accept nothing — if need be.

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A taciturn, though trustworthy, Texas-born teenager with old-fashioned tastes, Aliza is a versatile current sophomore majoring in Economics in the College of Letters and Science at the University of California Berkeley, looking forward to all that life and HerCampus has to offer. She has studied in several different schools in over six diverse countries since birth, and has thus suffered several informal 'lawsuits' over fabricating a new response to every "Where are you from?" question every single time it is inquired; the answer differs, depending on the current location and, occasionally, the asker. She is highly interested in expanding her reach through diverse opportunities for personal and professional growth and making an impact in every opportunity offered. She holds extensive experience in writing and blogging, from college articles to research papers, and has traveled widely, to over four high schools throughout her high school career alone. Determined, self-motivated, and willing to learn new skills eagerly, Aliza has always enjoyed writing, particularly about romance genres and fictional topics in both poetry and prose, and has published a limerick in the fifth grade in a British Library anthology book, Young Writers'​ Sagas. Aliza, perhaps the only Millennial who loves broccoli and cauliflower (and lacks a desperately-needed driving license), enjoys watching romance movies (repeatedly), sleeping - but only during the daytime - with three different layers of clothing on (even in July), and laughing her socks off while binging on some good quality Bollywood comedy shows. Yes, it is also true that while writing poetry in her leisure time, Aliza also watches countless soap operas on her (often) dusty MacBook while dreaming of working in the Middle East upon graduation. Harboring an undeniable affinity for airports and travel, she also loves all things walnuts (except brownies).

If you have any business, finance or leadership opportunities, or simply wish to say hi, please feel free to connect with her via LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alizasiddiqui/