Wednesday, January 16, 2008


When I was young, I did not care for Losers. I had not then realised that these were my brethren, that I was one of them, that in their pain, in the emptiness and misery of their existence I would find kinship, that sense of belonging, that feeling of understanding and being understood. The Losers, I now realise, are my people. And Loss is my intimate companion.

I came across this marvellous loser earlier this week:

How wonderfully and ridiculously tragic our fellow loser is! His song is miserable and self-pitying enough. He says some people's fate is wine, for others it's thirst. We know which one he is. He is singing about his loss, because having lost everything he cared for, the loss itself is all he has now.

But to return to the action on scene. It is clear that not only is our loser tragic and sad, he is also literally blind. Thus he does not see his lost beloved walk through the door. She hears his every word, our loser oblivious to her presence in the room (though not of her presence in the world). At the end of his song, she walks up to him. And slaps him! She accuses him of having seen her earlier, thus inadvertently revealing to us that he has lost his sight since their parting, she tells him she hates him, and storms out the door.

Our loser is left standing, hurt, lost, alone, and also despised. We sigh in pleasure at the exquisiteness of his pain, as it connects to the solitary pain of our own hearts. We can rejoice that our own suffering is so unworthy compared to his. Truly, this man is a badshah among losers, and to him we raise our literal glass of wine, because metaphorically of course ours are all empty as well.