Monthly Archives: September 2018

On Sadness

Right now, as I write this, I am sad. There is moisture in my head. My lips are heavy. If I were to stand a force greater than gravity would make me sit.

We are all sad at different times for different reasons. We are recharging. We are grieving. We are afraid for a future that we cannot predict. We are broken. We are tired. We are stuck. We are at odds with the universe. We are at odds with God. We are at odds with strangers. We are at odds with friends. We are at odds with ourselves. It happens.

Sadness is a lens. It allows you to see what is in front of you. Your father’s frailty was always there. Now it is in focus. Your mother’s concentration as she puts on her glasses to read an email. Your friend’s soft smile as she shuffles a deck of cards. They were there. Now you see them.

Sadness is a glass cage. You observe your own actions as an audience member watching a film. You hear your own voice in conversation. It is hard work. Words come slowly. You miss the connections between things. You are present, but you are not present.

Sadness is a process. Inside the gears are whirring. You will discover things.

gears-1381719_1920.jpg

Sadness is a veil. The light is there. But it is hidden.

Sadness is fleeting. All things pass.

Sadness is necessary. It holds us back from the things that hurt us.

Sadness is a map. There are paths. There are mountains. There are valleys. There are peoples and prizes. Here be dragons.

Sadness is a web. You are stuck to you. We are all stuck together.

I am sad because I am tired. I am sad because I see jagged machines rising over the horizon. I am sad because I do not understand myself. I am sad because I am not sure if I will make the right decisions.

Sleep on it. See what changes.

 

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Mirror

Sheilegh had found her. She knew her large nose and thick black eyebrows. She crossed the pond and spoke to the younger woman.

“I’m you from the future! I’m here to save your life!” Sheilegh said.

The younger woman looked at her expectedly. She had to say something good.

“You have ADHD. You can’t change it.”

“… Is that it?”

“No. There’s more.”

Why was she so nonplussed? Sheilegh tried again.

“You can learn any language. You learned English.”

“Interesting.”

“Knowing this will encourage you to learn.”

“How are you going to save my life though?”

“I don’t know. I suppose I thought you’d be impressed that I had managed to create a working time machine. I needed an opening line.”

“I am impressed. I have dreamed of creating a time machine. As I’m sure you know. But you don’t seem to have anything to say.”

Sheilegh looked around. Nobody seemed to take any notice of them. A gaggle of ducks were arguing. The air was icy.

“Can we go to your place?” Sheilegh asked her younger self, “…I don’t want to mess things up.”

They walked.

“I’m sure the timeline is already distinct from your own original,” the young one said, “But you know that. You’re me.”

“I never could invent a forwards time machine.”

“And even if you could, by coming back you’ve altered your own timeline forever.”

“Yes. It’s not like in fiction. No time loops for me. I mean us. I mean… Whatever. We don’t get to conveniently end where we started.”

“You got anywhere to stay?”

“I was hoping-”

“-that you could move in with me.”

“Yes. I can easily earn money using historical stock market data.”

“And then what?”

“Well there are a few avoidable incidents that I’ll alert you to so they no longer cause lifelong health problems.”

They had reached the younger Sheilegh’s apartment door.

“That’s nice.”

“You know I half expect your apartment to be filled with copies of us. One hypothetical danger of time travel.”

“Yes. What is the probability that you would come back only once?”

“And given that I came back, what were the chances that I’d come back to this universe?”

“You don’t know how to end this dialogue do you?”

“This is clearly fiction, as it could not be real within the parameters established within it.”

“That’s not what a real person would say.”

And then, in a universe-spanning spasm of contrivance, everything exploded.

Tunnel

“I don’t like being a young man” it thought.

But then it wondered. Was it really being a young man that it didn’t like? Or did it dislike the feeling of uncertainty that all decision-making creatures have from time to time?

Perhaps it was decision itself the creature did not like.

“I might have made things worse” the creature thought. It’s neck-hairs bristled. Small white lights shone in the wandering black outside the train window.

It opened up the WordPress app and started to type a half-formed story.