"Who decides, huh? Who? This is bullshit."
"I don't know, man. Calm the fuck down."
No one's really sure what he's talking about, but everyone knows what he's talking about. Life, death. Maybe a woman. It doesn't really matter what the words are applied to. His mind is moving at the speed of light and every risk he's ever taken is being reevaluated whether he knows it or not. The creation of logic falls to the destruction of hope and back again. A never ending cycle of cognitive thought mixed with the fallacy that the heart can feel.
"What's he on about?"
"I dunno. I think someone died."
Some might think it sad that emotional reaction is based on the answer to that question. But he thinks it's natural. He neither cares if someone he's never met dies, nor if somewhere he's never been suffers from a natural disaster. Most of his friends call him apathetic, but a few know he carries a weight they could never bear. The weight of nothing.
"You know, if you keep trying to climb higher, it's just gonna hurt more."
"I once read that there's only one thing worse than being alone."
"What was that?"
The song claims that it's small world, after all. But it isn't. Even with dreams of sailing among the stars, no man will ever leave footprints across the entirety of Earth. No woman will ever walk the whole of her home. No one will ever even see it all. It is not knowledge held that destroys the myth that ignorance is bliss. It is the knowledge that there is always something to learn. Fear is not an evil. Fear is what makes something worth doing. "I am not afraid" is the motto of the complacent.
"It's a girl. Definitely a girl."
"Nah. Too hopeful, I think."
"A word makes all the difference in the world, brother."
Everything is interpreted the way the interpreter wants it. Propaganda is the only true force in human evolution; human civilization. It may or not be an abject lie, but it's a subjective truth and an objective motivation. Laws chip away at pieces of theories left by the wayside, leaving not evidence of fact, but raw impressions of an existence that needs no definition. His life is meant for service. Not because of fate; only because that's what he wants. An absence of self-concern, oft-mistaken for an irresponsible and irreverent attitude, is actually proof that he simply wants to take care of another. And be taken care of.
"Don't be an asshole. Be realistic."
"I'm a dick, not an asshole."
"What's the fucking difference?"
Someone once said that if you stand still long enough, the world will come to you. If this is true, the only hope for travelers searching for companions is if they're traveling in opposite directions. It is a chase that never ends and never should. If this is a lie, then a whole lot of people are wasting their time smelling the roses. Yet time is a commodity only valuable as long as it can be remembered. As such, it's worthless, for we will all forget eventually. Memory is the only reason you have something to lose. Imagination is the only reason you have something to gain.
"She's out there."
"You're fooling yourself."
"You're setting a standard that no one's ever gonna meet."
"I don't set the standards. People I meet do."
The heart can't feel. The mind does it all. The weight of nothing is overwhelming, lightened only when an emotion can be carried. Fear can lead to love, for a true love will intimidate, if only to test resiliency. He wants her. And he wants her to smile. It is an imagined memory that, one day, he hopes, will come true.
* This is the first part of what will hopefully be a nine-part entry in the River of Mnemosyne challenge that's happening over at The ...
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