Tuesday, February 4

Struggle for Life (Or Life of Struggle, Or Both...What Is It?)

So this is what it looks like, then  the so-called struggle. I was meant to go to my cousin’s house and, as luck would have it, i started during the peak evening hours, just when most of the offices close down for the day. The rush had to be seen! At one of the Underground stations, where i had temporarily broken my journey in order to meet with my cousin — he was coming straight from his office, and then we were going to travel together for the rest of the journey — things got so out of hand, in fact, that i even began to fear an accident (thankfully, the only “casualty” was a broken door panel) ... And to think that people go through this every day — and not just this: for this is but a trailer. The struggle is constant. It is manifold. And it is all in the name of staying alive and of putting bread on the table. It must be a pretty big table, indeed! the bread really expensive! ... Or maybe the struggle is its own justification, there being a certain virtue to staying put, much like a soldier never quitting his post out of fear — only the weak and cowards do that, whereas the strong and courageous stick around and fight the fight. They are also the ones to come out victorious ... the first among men! A sort of nature’s winnowing-machine, so to say, for separating the chaff from the grain, the victor from the loser — what absurdity! As though there could ever be any virtue to leading the life of a slave, which is what it is, the struggle is: slaves, not men, competing for the prize of god knows what (for, it isn’t just bread; or, for that matter, anything else that is worthwhile.) And the victorious: not over men but only over slaves ... the best among slaves!

Even at that hour when the grey sky of St. Petersburg is shrouded in total darkness and all its race of officials have dined and sated the...