Some old man wanders up to me. I’m assuming he’s wandering, since I’m not looking for old men asking me anything and he doesn’t seem so purposeful. He’s obviously got a question, it seems, but he’s just a lonely, little butterfly looking for another lost butterfly to pin his problem on. Fuck off, old man, I think, but I don’t want to think this, because what if I’m the old man, hundreds of years in the future and I need help?
“What’s up, old man, you seem to be lost,” I say.
“No, I’m most assuredly not lost,” he replies.
Some time passes, as this realization sinks in like a crispy, salty tortilla chip into some cold, nacho cheese because I don’t care. I’ve been screaming it in my head so much lately. I don’t care, I don’t care.
The truth is I don’t care because my emotion nub is so burnt out from being fucked with. I can’t afford to care, because I really care so much and will lose all of my senses, whatever I have them in, whatever jars with whatever labels they are collected and reside in.
“Listen, old fellow, this suspense is killing all of us, why don’t you clue in at least the readers to what has you so readily apparent in this environment?” I say.
“Do you want to know why I’m not lost?” asks the old man.
“No! That was forty years ago, no one cares now! We care about quicker, faster things than you, you obsolete vessel of humanity!” I say, rudely.
“I’m not lost, because wherever you go, there you are,” says the old man. He waves his hand in the air as if opening his palm to truth and power. Like he has just dropped the mortal quandary onto my head as pure enlightenment, I shed my being, release my energy into the cosmic-ness of us all, one with the entity that birthed, suffocates, and absorbs us back in, skeleton burning and turning to ash and my flesh melts and my soul floats to the top.
No, none of that happened. “Great,” I say, cowardly. I kind of give a lukewarm shrug.
His eyes turn dark. He squints them, and I can tell because his spectacles are so fucking thick and magnifying. “Where are you, boy?” he says, like a snake would whisper to it’s prey.
“Right here, daddy-o,” is my reply, because I’m such a quick study.
He melts into some candy-striped puddle and the sun flashes crimson and gold a zillion times a second. Some hyperbolic rate, at least, is represented in this or that last bit. There is nothing to learn, the dark, burning and laughing void tells me. It is a skull, with mirthful holes for eyes, laughing, because it gets to tell me there’s nothing to learn from all of this. There’s no sense to be sorted through. The sense you were born with was put there by people who were not smart enough to realize even they believed lies, or maybe they did, but they gave them to you, and you just sorta let them slip through your fingers and crash to the ground, because you are real and they are not. The lies, not whoever gave them to you, let’s not get this too confused.
I’d hate to take away all your hope, young or old person. Whatever you are.