Remoy Philip

writer. creator. producer.

A Morning Smoke...

So the other day, when it was warm, I woke a little cranky with the situational life I found myself in, so the only momentary vacation I found for myself would be that of the Joe Camel type. So I stepped outside and faced the sun and lit myself one. It was rich, bitter, and dry; but damn was it good.

I looked to my right, where up the sidewalk I saw a woman and young man walking my way. They carried books of various colors and one predominantly large book; along with their various literature stored arm in arm, they wore clothing that wasn't suitable for the situation of a leisurely walk across the nieghborhood. Her heels clicked on the sidewalk, and his suit and tie looked ridiculously uncomfortable. "I just want to smoke and enjoy some self-pity," I thought to myself. But I knew they had an agenda, whether self-appointed or not, and it was their duty to stir in me the thoughts they'd been preparing, practicing, teaching each other.

"Hello, sir," said so-and-so, "My name is so-and-so. Can I ask you something?" I tried not to laugh nor vomit. "Do you feel like we're living in the last days?"

You see where I'm going with this. You and I both know what these supposed adults were refferring to.


My Grandfather was a man I wish I could have known more intimately. He died young. His death was just as untimely as it was ironic. A well known surgeon in his field died at the hands of an infection dealt to him by the hands of soon to be disbarred surgeon. I was young at the time of his death. I still have stories of him that I hold dearly: he used to take me to dairy queen and get me ice cream and all sorts of junk food while my grandmother yelled, and I mean yelled, at him at his supposed leading of me to my own untimely death; after work or on weekends, my grandfather would take me outside where we'd throw a big plastic faux baseball and swing an onversized red faux baseball bat, he was imagining cricket and I was thinking of Deion Sanders; or when I happened to stray away from computer games and into the programs and at least to his knowledge, totally fucked up his new IBM desktop computer(I just happened to manage to move or hide a toolbar; but damn did he get sauced up in anger over that one). I rarely saw him get angry, or did I rarely see him lose his cool, but he did. Most of the time I saw a well grounded man, who just was enjoying life, his life, the only life he had; a life with it's own history.

Back in India, where the world doesn't realize it's separated into thirds, people don't have much. My grandfather's father didn't have shit to his name. A shack of a house, a cow, a few sons, and that's about it. My grandfather, my upachin(malayalam), was the oldest. He wanted more; he sought after more. He would go to the library grab books and read under the street lamps. Electricity wasn't a hot commodity then, and truth be told, in India it still isn't (Unless your a trans-national company who seeks to fuck up these countries who are naive to their self value, and you(the corporation) can steel their(naive third-world country) money and power while degrading their culture by convincing the peoples of the region that if they damn up their natural streams and rivers they can then be more accommadating to modernity. When being raped, scream fire). Also my great-upachin didn't have much, so my upachin would wander fields, gather grass and bring it back to feed that damn cow. Also, the untouchables, the unworthy of India's caste system, well my grandfather found them worthy of humanity and would bring them food and scraps, that he himself would deny himself so other could eat. This man was in India.

Well as he progressed through adulthood he still sought after more. Through the religious colonization of Southwest India by Saint Thomas, Eastern Orhtodox Christianity was brought to India (remember: scream fire). So he(my grandfather) took after this new faith and following his passing all exams, he was deemed a recognized physician. The first of the family to do something worthy. What did he do then? He moved to Africa.

He went to be with his wife, and her family. Their love was new, and with its own strenuous struggle of a story, he helped those in need of medical care while she(my amachee), taught children. He never worked to make money, or to be something more than mediocre, he did what he did best; he gave himself for humanity. If I dig deep enough through the images of my memory, men and women he had helped, restored, given hope too are found in pictures that were lost somewhere in the remains of his things. Men and women, blackened by the sun, who just like every other human, has the right to liberty and life, which my grandfather saw.

His family was gettin older, and he thought it be time to move United States(FIRE!). So he did. My mother and her siblings came first, then my grandparents finally made it. He climbed to a small success in his field. He was part of a small founding of a local church. He dealt with cable mediocrity. He was a patriarch; a pioneer; a man of humble beginnings; a man who died too early.


I guess subjectively maybe I am living in the last days. My days and hours run together faster than I could imagine. Time is flying faster and my hands and mind are left grasping at what was. It's impossible to live in the now, because my now is already spent. I have no present, it's already the past. My last days are soon to come. I've lived through and enjoyed my wonder years.

Objectively, do I feel we're living in the last days. Honestly, look around compared to two thousand years ago when these texts were written. Take off the lenses of subjectivity, read a few books, find some new historical context, be overcritical, and then make a decision. I think you'll be surprised.

Oh, and don't forget... FIRE!!!

Be Relentless,