Living With Uncle Sam
On a cold September night, I left home. Everything I ever owned was shrunk to a 30lb weight limit of baggage claim. Everyone I ever knew was replaced by almost alien-like foreigners. My circumstances forced me to leave my life of calm and familiarity in Bangladesh and threw me into the smack of a hyper consumerist, capitalist first world; infamously known as the United States of America.
As I make an attempt to adapt to this bizarre new environment, I have grown a habit of concealing my numerous self inflicted, illogical and useless mental perils. They have been my constant companion since the day I left. Oscillating between bad and worse, their presence is felt everyday.
I do not fully understand it and I do not know how to process this feeling. I do not feel the urge to want to feel better or find a way out of it. Rather, I often find myself pondering on why I am even living.
I have become comfortable in avoiding calls/messages/comments from friends, relatives and even; enemies. It has yet to lead me to guilt. I do not think I am capable of feeling guilt. I don’t remember things. I don’t want to. Reading, thinking, learning has all taken their sly exit in the midst of this. Innumerable images, photos and videos have found their solace in a corner of the laptop. Some of them do make it to my head as an image but fail in front of the will to get up and create.
However, the truth of reality is such that the world will not stop because of my poor mental health. At the end of the day, just like everyone else, I too need a shelter above my head and food inside my stomach. The only reason to get up from bed and out the door. Very rarely but surely, a glimpse of priceless motivation finds me, and I take pictures of things around me. Pictures of things that feel alien, of places where I do not belong and a sky too blue to call home.
If you look closely at these pixels, you may just happen to find statements on immigrant displacement and their depression, the criticism of a capitalist-consumerist society and the means of a displaced human being’s survival through the act of mismatched and incoherent image-making.