“Real Eyes Realize Real Lies”
What do you want?
Like what do you really want in life?
I know it sounds like a silly question, but it’s one of the most important questions you should ask yourself. It truly is.
Because if you don’t know what you want in life, then how are you going to get it?
It’s like wanting to travel somewhere, having your car and your passport ready, but having no destination.
What’s going to happen is that you won’t go anywhere, or worse you’ll find yourself driving around without any destination...
And that might be the case...
... For my travel analogy, that means that the car you’re driving is extremely hot and uncomfortable.
And you might say, if that’s the case, then why bother with it?
And people really do ask that question, so might you…
For the past month or so, I’ve been thinking a lot about life
And when people say that, they usually mean what they want to do in life.
Whether that be their career
Or entertainment or leisure
But I’ve been thinking differently.
Of course, I’ve been thinking about those things but I’ve also been thinking about how much of your life is really yours.
How much of your life is really being lived to its full potential?
Are you living?
Or are you just existing?
On average you’re gonna get about 79 years on this big rock called Earth
If you live in Monaco, it’s closer to 90. If you live in Chad, you’ll be lucky to get 50
Regardless, we don’t get 79 years of freedom. We have responsibilities and things that we can’t ignore.
Most importantly our bodies!
Assuming you sleep 8 hours a night on average about a third of your life over 26 years is gonna be spent sleeping.
So right away, we’re down from 79 to 53 but it doesn’t stop there.
Chances are if you’re reading this prose, you have gone to school or are going to one.
In the United States, you’ll go for at least 12 years
8 hours a day 5 days a week for 36 weeks a year.
This amounts to 17,280 hours spent just inside the school building…
But wait, we also have to factor in homework and out-of-school activities among other things.
So this is more like 22,000 to 25,000 hours or about 3 years of your life.
If you go to college or university afterwards, make it 5 years less, this means we’re down to 48 years.
Well, all this schooling and money you’ve spent getting a degree has to be put to some use right?
Chances are you’ll try and get a job in the field of whatever it is your degree is in, It’ll probably be a full-time job. So you’ll be working 40 hour weeks pretty regularly if not more than that.
Let’s say you get two weeks of vacation per year. The average person works for about 40 to 50 years of their life…
… So we’ll just go with the average and say 45.
Over your entire life, you’ll work on average about 90,000 hours or about 10 years of your life. We have 38 years left.
Wait, depending on where you live your commute to work will vary, you might drive yourself
You might walk or you might use an Uber or a taxi.
Regardless, your commute to and from work on average takes about one and a half hours a day.
Adding this up over your entire working career. It amounts to 17,500 to 20 hours or about two years of your life.
36 years left.
All of this work and studying really builds up an appetite. So you should probably spend some time eating.
On an average day, we spend about 70 minutes just eating food to survive.
In your 79 years of life, you’ll spend about 32,000 hours just eating or about 4 years of your life.
Down to 32.
Well after you’re done eating you have to clean up and maybe do some chores around the house.
On average you spend about one hour a day doing tasks just around your house
Cleaning up after you eat washing dishes, doing laundry, showering and plenty of other stuff
This amounts to nearly 29,000 hours over the course of your life or about three years.
29 years left.
Eventually, all of that food and water has to leave your body somehow, so, You’ll spend about three months of your life just sitting on the toilet… yeah :|
Of course, we also waste time and we do it pretty well.
Over the course of our lifetimes, we’ll spend about 115,000 hours on our phones or about 13 years.
This, of course, is just your phone. This doesn’t include you watching TV, you playing games among other things.
16 years left.
Assuming you can afford to retire at the average age of 62, You’ll spend the rest of your life living the luxuries of retirement if you can still function properly.
Over 50% of retired people over the age of 65 have some sort of disability.
With 15% of those people having three or more.
Chances are if you are one of these people you’ll be in and out of medical care pretty often, So those final 16 years of freedom you have aren’t exactly freedom.
So overall you have one year in your 79-year life to really and truly do what you want to do
But despite the age, whether you’re young or old, you may be nearing the end of your time with some of the most important people in your life.
For example, while you’re young and in school from the ages of 1 to 18, You’ll most likely be spending nearly every day in the presence of your parents.
After you finish your schooling, your parents are probably in their mid-40s, so they have about 30 years left in their life.
The real world starts to set in. Your job, you’re possible relationships, you’re important things to do in life take priority.
Eventually, if you leave your hometown, you’ll only be seeing your parents around holidays and special occasions. Maybe 10 days a year.
300 days left with the people who brought you into the world, whereas before, you would see them almost every single day.
You have already spent 95% of the time that you will ever spend with your parents in the first 18 years of your life.
And now you only have the remaining 5% for the rest of your life.
At the end of the day, there’s only one thing that matters and that’s your own happiness.
Well, what many people don’t realize is that they do so many things in life just to try and succeed as opposed to fulfilling a purpose.
They work a job they hate for 40 years just to make that extra $30,000 a year so they can afford a car that they only drive to work.
It’s temporary happiness, not genuine happiness.
People who go to school go to become a doctor or just get an education, just because their mom or their dad or somebody else told them to…
… not because they actually want to.
I really hope that every single person reading this Prose entry of mine gets insanely rich and famous so that they could finally realize that this isn’t the point of life.
The point is to be happy with what you’re doing while you’re doing it.
Alright, sure… The 45 working years or however long you’re working is going to be hard to get past…
But what if you don’t hate waking up every day to go to work? What if your work is your happiness?
You see life isn’t a straight path. You can’t map it out perfectly one-to-one. It just doesn’t work like that.
We spend every day planning on what we’re going to do the next instead of just taking in the day for what it actually is.
Sure, we have to eat, duh, but what if we spend that time eating with friends or family or just people who make your life better?
Your commute to work might be long and tedious sometimes but what if you spend that time listening to podcasts or carpooling with coworkers and friends… Then, The 13 years we waste on our phones might seem useless.
… But what if we use that time to build the business you’ve always wanted to or build the brand you’ve always wanted or write a Prose entry to talk to people about the random ideas you get.
You’ll bring so much value to people that you never even thought was possible.
Let’s say you take care of yourself and regularly work out and eat decently well, your chances of being healthy later in life are much more likely and you’ll have much more free time to master the things that you really want whether that be a skill or just relationships with others.
No matter what you or I or any person on this planet does, time doesn’t stop for anyone.
Time is the one thing you cannot get back!
if you lose a lot of money, it’s fine! You can get more.
If your friend decides to turn their back on you, It’s fine! There are millions of people out there in the same situation.
But the time… You can’t get it back. Once it’s gone, It’s gone.
How many days have you spent doing the same mundane tasks that you hate and more importantly when is it going to end?
Life is about choices and every choice you’ve ever made has led you to this exact moment reading this Prose entry.
Given that you only have one life at least in this universe, Why not make your own decisions?
So many people live life predicated on somebody else’s opinion, which is dumb.
People have so many barriers in life, but they aren’t really about money. They aren’t about time
They aren’t about how you look, it’s about opinions.
… Other people’s opinions.
Probably about 90% of people are unhappy because they value someone else’s opinion more than their own.
When you’re old and unable to do the things that you could have when you’re younger, You’ll regret it and regret hurts more than any breakup, failure, or anything else that ever could!
Life doesn’t have to suck, you don’t have to regret everything.
That fear of missing out is a poison!
Instead of living trying to mimic people you see on Instagram or YouTube or social media just live based on your own terms.
Instead of just observing and living passively really start to think about what you do with your time.
Does that mean call your boss and tell him you quit? No; does that mean to drop out of school tomorrow? No.
All it means is to truly decide what you want in life and put yourself in the right direction.
It’s not gonna happen overnight. That’s not the point. There would be no journey then.
As cliche as it sounds, your 79-year journey here is very short.
Sure. It’s technically the longest thing you’ll ever do, But the universe is 13.8 billion years old.
If the universe’s history was condensed down into 24 hours, the world as we know it with cars and airplanes and civilization as we know it would only come into existence in the very last second.
Block out any and all negativity in your life. And once you can truly realize that the only opinion that matters is your own.
Life can get pretty clear, and the noises inside your head get pretty quiet! :)
Humanity died fast when the list appeared.
First came the suicides. When you see yourself at the bottom of the list that supposedly represents all of humanity, it’s hard not to lose hope.
Then came the murders. Of the people who had discovered the list. The people who kept it running. Some decided that the list was fake, and that anyone who believed in it deserved death.
Eventually, we stopped. Killing and fighting and tearing each other apart. At least for a while.
I was born with a number on my hand. I don’t remember what it was. No one can tell me, because you can only see your own number. But right now, my number is 3,425,007. Out of the eight billion people on the earth.
That’s one of the better numbers. My mom told me once that her number had dropped to 6,331,909. I thought she was kidding until I heard the gunshots. One that took my sister. And one that took my mom.
I don’t know why my mom killed my three-year old sister. I don’t know why she killed herself. And I don’t know what the number on her corpse was. Because as far as I know, your number stays with you forever. Even when the only one who can see it is dead, it lives on.
I’d like to imagine my little sister was 1 on the list. Maybe 2, for that time she killed my fish by pouring too much food into its bowl. But other than that, she was perfect. I can’t understand why the cosmic power that decides where we stand would put her at anything less.
No one else understands, either. Everyone has their own idea of the list. I guess that before it showed up, people were content with their own views of right and wrong. But now that someone is deciding for us, we’ve gotten desperate.
A few streets from my house is a church. The sign outside says “God forgives all-Numbers are warnings, not punishments”. The church three blocks away is telling me to ignore the list entirely, that it’s a construct of the devil made to deceive us and turn us away from God. And the synagogue on Bailey Cove promises a way to move your number up the list, and a better understanding of why you were ranked where you were in the first place.
My mom and I went to a church back in our hometown that told us we had to be honest with our numbers and share them with the world. The next church we tried told us the list was a gift from god, to tell us when to repent. My mom loved that answer, but I wasn’t sure. I stopped going to church as soon as I could, and mom’s death didn’t do anything to persuade me to return.
I’ve always wondered who’s at the top of the list. You’d think they’d be on the news all the time, sharing their five-step plan to being a good human being. But only one person has ever claimed to have 1 embedded in their skin. Anton Icara, famous actor, TV personality, and philanthropist. When the first rape allegations came, the woman who had submitted them had been completely ostracized. After all, this man was the pinnacle of human decency. No accusations could ever stand up to that little number on his hand.
Security cameras don’t see your number, though. All they saw was Anton’s fifteenth murder. The same woman who had tried to tell the world what he was really like lay dead on the floor, a knife in her chest.
I wonder sometimes if he really was the best person on earth. If our own view of morality fell apart somewhere along the way, and he wasn’t lying when he told us that he was the only person who understood what perfection was. It seems plausible. When I was a kid, I wondered why the Bible banned so many things that sounded perfectly moral to me. Maybe the list works the same way. Maybe that’s why giving to charity didn’t move my number up the list, but watering my houseplants did. Anton Icara might have been right.
Then again, if he was lying, why did we all believe him?
I don’t know why the number on my hand is there. I don’t know what it means, what it wants from me. I don’t know who decides our numbers. And I don’t know what will happen when I die.
All I know is when this bullet goes through my head, I won’t be looking at the number on my hand.
Maze of Me
My mind is a tidal wave of thoughts, roaring over the heavy roads until at last the engine dies. They trigger me like a gun without the bullet, observing my reaction, its damage insignificant to those around me. I am not wounded by sight, yet I feel crimson stains beneath my skin.
I am sad, I think. And yet I smile.
I am happy, I know. Yet saltwater slides over my cheeks.
Will the mind’s perplexities ever be understood as they intertwine and dig deeper into the pit of my subconscious? Thoughts hold blind control over me. I am merely the fallen apple in Newton’s theory, reacting to the forces around me. The cause of my actions reaches to my conscious, begs me to understand my own reactions.
Yet I falter in the maze of my mind. Forever I am a mystery to myself.
Unknown is infinitely familiar
Unlimited, in permeating our lives
Shadows cast in the light of the known, overlooked in its omnipresence.
New life, yet to unfold.
Dark death, a story untold.
Unspecified time, between our beginning and end.
Infinite possibilities, of the time we will spend.
Undetermined lives, until we decide our fate.
Undiscovered alternatives, to the reality we create.
Forgotten pasts, of history lost.
Indefinite futures, roads twisted and crossed.
Anonymous gods, who we give a name.
Nameless people, living a fateful game.
Frontiers to discover.
Secrets to uncover.
Foreign to you is familiar to me.
Mysterious minds, colouring what we see.
Unidentified creatures, living outside our sight
Unexplained phenomena that elude the light.
Faceless strangers, writing across time and space.
Alien worlds, in their imaginary place.
Known is an instant of one reality.
Unknown, stretches beyond infinity.
I Wish I Knew
I’ll never know
if we got married
and had kids, their names:
I’ll never know
whether or not you loved me,
or if you just hung around for my body.
I’ll never know
If we became close friends,
not caring that we were once lovers.
I wish I knew
how you were really doing,
I wish you would have told me.
I wish I knew
more about you,
I wanted to memorize you like I memorized every word of my favourite song.
I wish I knew
every thought you had
so that I could understand why.
I can’t ever know any of this,
but I’ll always wonder.
I can’t make you come back
but I want you to.
I can’t change the past
but knowing that never helps.
I wish I knew why you killed yourself,
I wish I knew why you would leave me,
I wish I knew what I could have done.
But knowing can’t always help.
Life After Death
“Mommy, where do we go when we die?”
And there it was, the question Emeline has been dreading to answer aside from the birds and the bees.
How does an atheist answer this question? Does she tell her child there is nothing after death, that we all just turn to dust six feet under and that’s that? Emeline takes a deep pause. She clears her throat repeatedly and mumbles “um” as she scrambles for an answer.
She eyes the door, maybe she could make a run for it. She pushes the thought from her mind, puts on her best fake smile and begins.
“Well honey, you see-” she says as she brushes the hair from the little one’s face, “we don’t really go anywhere.”
The little boy’s face scrunches at the response.
“You mean we just stay here?”
Emeline realizes she’s been vague, but maybe vague was the answer to her problems. Maybe she could “vague” her way out of this question.
“Yeah, kind of.”
The little boy’s eyes light up as he sits up straight in his bed.
“Does that mean daddy is still here?”
Emeline’s breath ceases momentarily. Suddenly the purpose for the question makes more sense. Her husband had died two years prior in an accident. He was in critical condition at the hospital before he passed. It was the first and last time Emeline prayed.
Emeline’s tone becomes more stern.
“No sweetie. Daddy’s not here anymore, you know that.”
Oddly, the light in the boy’s eyes grows brighter.
“But I’ve seen him, and you just said we stay here when we die. So, I know I’m not seeing things.”
A rumbling begins in Emeline’s stomach. She takes a deep breath, tightly clenches her teeth and says, “Sweetie, you know that’s impossible. Daddy is gone, and he’s never coming back.”
The boy is deflated. Emeline realizes she may have come off a bit too harsh.
“No,” he screams, “you’re lying. Daddy is still here. I’ve seen him!”
“Honey, I need you to calm down. Don’t you speak to me like that-”
“You’re lying, you’re lying,” he says over and over again.
“Sweetie-” Emeline tries to hold him, but he pushes her off.
“He’s still here,” he shouts.
Emeline sighs defeatedly. “Fine!” she screams, “Fine, fine I believe you, just please settle down.”
The little boy stops, breathing heavily. “You do?”
“Yes” Emeline says, “yes, I believe you.” Emeline realizes she has to let him keep his imagination. He’s far too young for her truth, and if “seeing” his dad gives him comfort and let’s him cope, then what kind of mother is she to take that away?
“Good because daddy said you had to believe so I could tell you.”
Emeline’s face is befuddled, but she plays along.
“Tell me what?”
The little boy yawns. “He told me to tell you to open the top drawer of the corner cabinet in his study. He said you’ll find a box in there with a note attached. He said he’d been meaning to give it to you, but never got the chance.”
Emeline’s once blush cheeks fade into a shade of white paler than a ghost. Her throat clogs as she is at a loss for words.
“I-” she begins to say, but the little boy is fast asleep.
Emeline regains her composure. Confused, she turns off the lights in the bedroom, closes the door behind her and takes a moment outside of her son’s room. “He’s confused,” she says, “it’s just his imagination.”
Emeline attempts to brush off the bizarre conversation with her son as she walks away only to pass the study. She pauses and stands in front of the door. She hasn’t entered since her husband’s death. Emeline’s pulse is racing, her palms sweating profusely, she takes a deep breath and reaches for the handle. Her hand rests on the handle for a beat as she musters up the courage to open the door. “This is ridiculous,” she finally says, “it’s all in his head and this will prove it.” With one turn she enters.
The study is dusty but everything is as her husband left it. Emeline storms towards the cabinet in the corner and opens the top drawer as instructed. Other than a few envelopes there was nothing. Emeline is somewhat dejected, but reassured that it is all in her son’s head.
As she is about to close the drawer, she notices the board in the drawer is lopsided. Emeline removes the envelopes from the drawer and pushes further on the lopsided end. The board pops open and reveals a false bottom with a single box within it.
Emeline gulps at the reveal. Suddenly the room is spinning and the walls are closing in.
“Breathe,” she tells herself, “he must have seen David putting the box in the drawer. It doesn’t mean anything.”
Emeline deeply sighs and slowly reaches for the box and sees a note attached.
“To my dear Emeline, I am a man of my word. I’m only sorry it took so long and wish I could give you even more. I love you forever. David.”
Emeline brushes her fingers across the ink on the paper as though for a brief moment she has her husband back.
A single tear strolls down Emeline’s face as she opens the box. Emeline begins sobbing uncontrollably as she stares at an emerald cut diamond ring, the ring David had promised Emeline when he first proposed with a ten dollar silver band. She takes the ring from the box and places it atop the rusty silver band on her ring finger. She laughs nervously, not knowing what to believe.
“Mommy?” she hears her son’s voice behind her, “are you crying?”
She quickly wipes her tears and turns to face her son. “No baby, mommy’s okay,” she says.
He sees the box in her hand. “You found it!” he shouts excitedly, “see, I told you.”
Emeline smiles. “You were right. Come on let’s go back to bed.”
Emeline takes her son’s hand as they head back to the bedroom, and she tucks him in.
“Mommy, does heaven exist?” he asks.
Emeline looks down on her son’s pure face. “You know what sweetie, I don’t know, but I know you exist, and if there is a heaven, you’re it for me.”
The little boy smiles, temporarily satisfied by his mother’s answer.
Whether heaven exists, or there’s life after death, or if Emeline’s husband really did show himself to their son doesn’t matter to Emeline because in this moment she has everything she needs right on earth.
She kisses her son’s forehead and closes the door behind her. She looks at the rings on her finger and smiles as she makes her way to her bedroom.
Some things are better left unknown.
She bathes in the deep streams
of depravity sinking beautifully
in quicksand of forgotten truth,
an inelegant bird of flight
chewing and devouring reality
in her translucent shadows -
an empress of delusions
with a lop-sided tiara,
dancing in frenzy of morbid beauty.
Entrenched in corners of my mind,
she scorches me with forgotten sins.
Paralyzed by her fears of empty voids
of insanity, she opens up her soul
like parted oceans, watching the moon
illuminate her mind, suffocating her
essence in darkened waves of delusions.
Abandoned unknown tarnished fears
inhabit her heart, mimicking sounds
of preying vultures, emptied by insanity.
Shadows are dark pits in psychosis,
huddled within her bones,
gelatinous promises of vacuumed
aberrations of sinewy threads.
And I am adrift in clouded wells
of her depraved mind, drawn
by forked electricity,
beauty of frenzied lunacy.
Anxiety in A minor
It’s 1:42 am
And I’m up
About the nature of reality
They say the Universe is 13.8 billion years old
And 93 Billion light years wide
I look up a light year
Which they say is 6 trillion miles long
But I don’t understand this
I have no context for numbers this big
Earth is 6 billion years old
But humans have only had hands for 2.6 million years
And that seems like a relatively short amount of time
But also that’s an unfathomable amount of time
To spend evolving all this DNA
Just so I can have hands
And no good ideas for what to do with them
Speaking of DNA
There are 204 billion atoms in the human genome
But I don’t understand DNA
The internet says there’s
7 billion billion billion
Atoms in the human body
And 100 billion neurons
Forming 100 trillion neural connections
In the human mind
It’s 2:05 am
I scratch my head because I can’t grasp these numbers
But I’m worried I haven’t made enough neural connections
To make it through the Alzheimer’s stage in life
It runs in my family
But I don’t understand these things either
Maybe they’re in my DNA
They say DNA is only 3 meters long
6 if you stretch it out
I can picture that, I think
But I probably imagine it
Out of proportion
It’s 2:41 am
And I’m not sure what I should be doing
I drink some hot water from the electric kettle
And some tequila Pancho gave me for Christmas
I read that most of the atoms in your body are hydrogen
2/3 they say
And that hydrogen has an unstable relationship to its electrons
Because it only has 1
And the valence shell likes to be full
Which takes 2
So the atom drops the electron
Or picks 1 up
Changing its charge
To either positive or negative
Making the atom an ion
And most bodily fluids are made of ions
Because Hydrogen is so fickle
Or unstable, I guess
It’s why we have the pH scale
Negative ions means it’s acidic
It’s 3:03 am and I drink some more tequila
It’s probably full of negative ions
Because it’s acidic
Or maybe I don’t understand ions
But it hurts my teeth either way
I switch back to the Universe
I capitalize “Universe” now because I don’t believe in God
But that seems silly because wouldn’t that be idolizing something else
I shake my head and agree with myself
Then I read that as much as 90 percent of the Universe
Is made of dark matter
And dark energy
But it doesn’t react to electromagnetic radiation
Which means it doesn’t react to light
So no one has ever seen it
And it might not even exist
And I think about the Universe being 90 percent
Of something that no one has ever seen
And my body is made out of how many billions
And billions and billions
That I’ve never seen
And now its 3:19 am
And I’m panicking
Because the infinitesimally small
And the infinitely large
Are crashing in my head
And I can’t keep track of which one
I’m thinking about
And it makes my heart race
And I picture red blood vessels
Racing through my tubes
Made of tiny little atoms
Bodily fluids so they’re probably ions
And then I feel the space outside of me
The 93 billion light years
Full of dark matter
And how far that is
Through the wall
Through every wall
And the floor
And the ceiling
And then I remember a thing I read
About Dissociative Identity Disorder
And how each personality has its own set of physiological eccentricities
Different eyeglass prescriptions
Different dominant handedness
And I think about my hands
Which I’m sitting on
Because I’m not sure what to do with them
After so many years of evolution
Which makes me feel guilty
So I sip the tequila
With the negative ions
And hope I’m not just a personality
How the body changes eyesight
And how precarious
And insecure reality is
And now its 3:25
And I’m rubbing my feet together
And clenching my teeth
And avoiding my problems
Because I have no money
And I wonder if all this stuff is not for me
Because I panic
But as a human I have a curiosity
Which leads me to ask questions
But we don’t have time for the Unknown
Space exploration is for rich people
They call it a Mars colony for a reason
We make coffee
And shake martinis
And now it’s 3:51 am
And I can’t sleep
And I’m going to die
And I’ll never know
What I could be doing
With these hands
My philosophy professor, Dr. Welch, passed out the little blue books first, prolonging the agony of the class. Then, he wrote the final exam question – if it can be called that – on the black board:
Discuss something unknown.
Seriously? This was the final exam question? This was going to be the source of half of my final grade? I began to sweat. I was a straight A student. I had studied all my notes, reread every book and article Dr. Welch had assigned all semester. I had flash cards of my flashcards. I could tell you that a discussion of Plato’s allegory of the cave began on the upper right-hand side of page 26 in the insanely thick, miniscule-print textbook, History of Western Philosophy. On page 31, bottom left, Socrates argued that a society will decay and pass through each of four governments the third being democracy (third best or second worst), the last and, apparently, worst, tyranny. I could discuss the ideas of Machiavelli, Descartes, Voltaire, Hume, Rousseau, Kant, Kierkegaard, Marx, and Nietzsche ad nauseum. What did all I had painstakingly learned have to do with the unknown?
What’s unknown? The result of the original experiment we worked on all semester in organic chemistry? Whether or not I’ll get into medical school? If I will fall in love, get married and have children? If my future as yet nonexistent spouse will love me till death do us part? What preceded life and what comes after death? The existence of God or gods? Everything important? I don’t know! It’s unknown! I shouted silently. I lay my head on my desk. I closed my eyes. I sat up. I looked out the window. And thought. And thought. And thought some more. I watched birds flying in formation, leaves fluttering gently in the wind, sunshine glittering like diamonds through the trees. I picked up my pen and began to write.
The Unknown: It would be simpler to discuss that which is known. In the system of meaning we have developed and share with people across the globe, we can confirm only this: we are born and we die. Or, perhaps we can only confirm that we are born and the version of ourselves which others come to know in a given “lifetime” appears, at some point, to cease to live, that is, in the accepted vernacular, to die.
Everything else is unknown.
If a tree falls in a forest and no one hears it, does it really make a sound?
Who cares? The real question is: Is there really a forest? Is there really a tree?
I might say that whether or not I wake up tomorrow is unknown, but whether I take a breath after I write this sentence is also unknown. Will the sun continue to shine? I might respond, that scientists believe it will burn for another five billion years. But do years even exist? Does time? Does it matter? And do I even know that the sun is burning now? There are stars that seem to burn brightly in the sky that scientists tell us have been dead millions of years. How do we know we are not actually shadows of a life already lived? The faint echo of the final notes of a song…
Philosophy, religion, science, mathematics, history, language, literature, art, music…every intellectual pursuit of man – whether of the abstract and theoretical or physical and concrete – is an attempt to assign meaning to the world. The universe. To all that is seen and unseen. Does anything have meaning outside the confines of the mind? We do not even know our own minds. If we even have minds! Perhaps we are merely the figment of some other creature’s imaginings, each thought and action prescribed and executed according to a plan about which we know nothing. Or performers in an ongoing, as yet unending and unscripted, episode of Survivor. Or the most evolved versions of an AI experiment…
We have assigned the word “mind” to that which we believe enables us to be aware of what we call the world and our experiences in it; that which allows us to think, to feel and to be conscious of our thoughts and feelings. But what if it is not only the hallucinating and delusional whose minds present a world that does not exist? What if the truths we accept are simply the realities upon which a majority agree? What if all that we take as truth – the sun is hot, water is wet, snow is cold, gravity exists, etc. – what if none of them is true? Grass is not green. Roses are not red. Cookie Monster is not blue. What if the colorblind are the truly sighted ones? What makes the truths we have accepted true beyond what our senses have told us? Once man thought the Earth was flat and the center of the Universe because that’s what his eyes told him. Why believe we know anything?
Ultimately, everything is unknown. We posit truths that are eventually disproven – be it tomorrow or a thousand years hence, returning us to a state of Unknown. Even when we think we know something for a fact, there is still room for doubt.
Does it really matter?
What we call “seasons” come and go. Birds fly, trees leaf and die, roses bloom with thorns that prick, thumbs bleed that try to pick; flowers seed, wind blows, and so life goes – be our knowledge common truths or universal dream...all is not as it seems. But whether all be truth or lie, to this life as we now know it, all will die.
I closed the blue book and waited for Dr. Welch to collect our final exams.
I wondered what he would think of my essay.
Missed the sign Stephen King...
His reaction should have given it away. Just a simple observation made but a grand reaction.
The couple had sat down to watch Kujo for the first time. The movie introduces their family of main characters; a husband and a wife in a kitchen making breakfast and getting ready for the day as their neighbor friend drops off a gift for their child.
Back to reality; our young woman makes her way to the kitchen to start making dinner for her fiancée and herself. She can see the television from where she stands in front of the stove.
Both women are stirring a pan.
“They’re sleeping together.” She predicts with a smile.
Irony and serendipity.
The fiancée reacts emotionally as if he misheard her. As if he’s been caught.
“What?” He exclaimes before realizing his error.
“What makes you think that?” He corrects but there’s still a hint of anxiety in his usually cheerful voice.
“She doesn’t look at him at all and she doesn’t say anything to him until he’s leaving. They’re sleeping together, I bet you anything.”
The woman who loves him was talking about the wife and neighbor on the screen.
“That doesn’t mean anything.” He defends. The woman who loves him just smiles.
“I’m psychic. They’re sleeping together just wait.”
The next scene reveals the wife in bed with the neighbor saying that this time it really was the last time.
She sits there like The Mona Lisa. He says nothing.
His reaction should have been her first clue but for how many months longer would his betrayal remain unknown.