Photography by christian.plochacki
I like to think that there aren’t many things that depress me. But a particular event in my past nags me.
A while ago, an old friend wanted to take his significant other on a date. Going downtown, exploring the night life seemed like a good idea at the time.
So we went, the group of us, and carpooled to the city lights.
We got off and walked on the streets. What we saw was the typical Friday night in downtown San Diego. With venues open late past midnight, music blaring in all directions, people huddled and arrayed in various ways, this city was awake.
But as our group sauntered on, I saw it.
The girl whom everyone she meets feel like they are the most important person in the world.
The boys who go everywhere and do anything for that girl.
The lady who gives up her dreams to remain pure, undefiled from the world.
The man who caves in to every carnal desire to relive a golden past.
The woman who wants to run away from it all, her purity stained, her vision lost.
A broken and lonely stranger, sleeping in the streets, seeking second chances.
I never felt as sick in my stomach as I did that night. In the midst of delirium and delight in darkness, the city goes on with its vanities. We walked from venue to venue, only to see the same charade played and replayed in different angles.
A woman can dive in, to drink away one’s sorrows and to fill one’s cup with liquid levities but only find that there is no light at the end of the tunnel. There is only vanity.
A man’s conquest in this night stand will not fill the void within. At the finish of his one night revelry, as she walks away from his life, there is emptiness. There is only vanity.
As our group walked away from the streets and in our car, we drove away, silent, sober and somber. One of us joked that the trip only proved how “bad” we are at this. Laughters filled the air; we were glad to have left the scene, with our bodies and conscience intact. But it subsided and gravity filled the car ride back home.
I crept as quietly as I could in my bed, but as I closed my eyes, regretful recollections of a haze-filled past filled my mind as I reflected on that night.
Tears streamed my eyes as I silently sobbed. “Turn your scars into stars!” according to some preacher, but these scars are not just for display. Some, they never fully heal but remain as thorns embedded within flesh.
Sharp reminders indeed to help one remember his sorry state.
“Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher,
vanity of vanities! All is vanity.” [Ecclesiastes 1:2]
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” [Matthew 11:28]
“But by the grace of God I am what I am,..” [1 Corinthians 15:10]
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. [2 Corinthians 12:9]