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People

I hate you all.

I hate you in your callousness, how you shove others out of your way in the struggle to leave a crowded train, how you flinch away from friendly hands when the bus jerks. I hate how you’d rather stumble to your knees than have your skin sullied by the steadying touch of another. A heavily pregnant woman (a mother, surely you can understand that word) enters the carriage and every person sitting down immediately falls asleep. The rest alternate between glaring at them and checking their phones.

She stands for the next forty-five minutes.

I don’t have the decency to ask them to give up their seats, either.

I hate you in your fervor, how you try so earnestly to convert others to your cause. I hate how a smattering of letters scribbled by long-forgotten ancestors became sacred and used to justify unspeakable horrors. When a tragedy happens, you thank your god for favouring you – as if your life is more valuable than those dead or dying. You think the Big Guy Up There is the very embodiment of what is good when, for millennia, your fellow believers – in the name of your ‘just’ deities – have oppressed and raped and burnt their way through half of civilisation.

Then you tell me that I’m going to hell for asking uncomfortable questions.

Most of all I hate our inconsistency. We carry heaven and hell in our heads and there is a seed of selfishness even in the most altruistic deeds (and the beginnings of love in the greatest atrocities). Look at our wanton destruction of everything we have- the earth and relationships and other people and idealism and youth, and yet that’s all fine and good: if we were monsters and nothing besides, perhaps we could hope for something greater to put us out of our misery.

But every now and then we give each other hope. In our damnation sometimes we fall in love or sacrifice our lives or fix other equally broken beings and that’s all that keeps humanity from the precipice- but sometimes I wish we’d just fall off the cliff and be done with it.