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Short Story

Leaving Perfection (short story)

 

the annihilation of all those things

that used to be important to me

 

  1. I)

So where are we? A setting, is that what is required? This initial birth of writing needs to build something, to start, to be a start, the start. Where are we? Where is it that we will journey through together, hope to discover together? Truly, where we are, it is meaningless, just the disguise in which our theme will hide below, yet it is a disguise which must be communicated, the window through which any possibility of discovery this story might transmit will be seen through.

Where we are, or at least that setting which I will attempt to depict to you, is the seaside. The ships are old, we are at a great port, there is a tangible feel of that great age of discovery and exploration, that here: these ships, they will be the next Columbus, they are the brave, inhabited by the adventurers. Perhaps it is four hundred years, perhaps five hundred years ago, it does not make a difference.

Into the chaos of this hopeful scene walks a young boy we will call Trevor Nobody. He is young, no more than a child, but from the absurd strut to his walk we can see he is a mixture of hope and worry, precociously attempting something new but feeling the mountain of his inexperience, realizing that he is out of his element. What wonder, youth, to do things for the first time, and with the grin of the aged and wizened we watch young Trevor experience an aspect of life for the very first time.

He is wanting to be a cabin boy. In fact, he has a long history, a history that would need its own story to explain and perhaps it will be written one day. But this is not the place; so, suffice to say, poor little Trevor Nobody, his life has not been easy, and what we are witnessing is the dual action of the fact he is desperate, since Trevor has nothing in life and destitutions ignoble wings flutter over him, and then he is hopeful: here, in the bowels of the great ships, many men have come to greatness: perhaps Trevor Nobody can be one of them.

Now, this next part is important to communicate, though it may seem tangential to Trevor: there is one ship in the harbor more important than the rest, a legend made out of wood and fabric: the Ave. Crewed by the best of any ship, built no larger than the other ships yet with a detail that shows art in its every plank, and captained by the most lionized man of any ocean, maybe who has ever lived: Captain Trouver Infinite.

Just to have the Ave in port is an honor, just to witness her subtle beauty, to see for first hand that the legends are not just the Big Fish of drunken sailors but real, here, in front of us, materialized in fabric and wood. However, poor Trevor Nobody, he has no idea, to him all the ships are legends. Has he ever even seen a ship before? The large eyes of his scream no, he is like a man from a land of plains for the first time seeing a mountain; to him, every mountain is so large that he does not even know to crane his head to differentiate Goliath from David. Awed little boy, today is your lucky day, of course, of course, you will become the cabin boy on the Ave.

How does this remarkable reality happen? Well, it is a story, it need not be realistic, and the explanation could simply be that there was an opening position. But, sometimes it is more meaningful to have a touch of destiny in these spectacular types of situations, so what instead will say is this. Trevor was going from ship to ship, applying with all his will to find a position and having no luck. Why not? Well, he is green, and perhaps more maliciously not very pretty, and then he is not the only boy dreaming of grandeur in the high seas, trying to escape the bleakness of poverty, the destitution of ignorance, and the hatred of the masses. No, sadly, as perhaps even now in the present, whenever that might be, there is an endless plethora of young boys suffering sadly, hoping for a better life that most will never get to experience. All we can say is that there must be something to Trevor Nobody, something that I am sure he has not revealed to either author or reader yet, but something that the grandiose man who will at a later date will be revealed to be Captain Trouver Infinite sees. He walks quickly down the pier towards his ship, the palpable awe of all on the docks giving him a palpable halo visible to all except Trevor Nobody, who is staring at his feet as he walks, trying to mentally leap past the dejection of all of the rejections he’s stumbled through. It would appear that Trouver is going to pass him without a second thought, some great thought weighing on his noble mind, when just as he pulls level with Trevor he stops, stops gracefully which should be impossible such was his momentum but he has done this. He quickly looks at Trevor, a quiet merriment suddenly sparkling in his eyes, then tells Trevor to come to his ship, the Ave, they need a new cabin boy. With that remark and no more Trouver continues walking with that same strange momentum as before, again at the unstoppable speed as if he had not stopped for Trevor, as if his invitation had been nothing but a fantasy, and a fantasy is what Trevor would think it was if not for the envious eyes of all the sailors around him. To be a cabin boy on a ship like the Ave is an honor equitable to being a captain on any other ship. Trevor Nobody pulls himself together a bit, ignorantly mentally slaps himself on the back for a job well done, then heads towards the Ave for a  future that he at this point he could not even begin to understand.

Now, on the Ave, we are going to have time sped up for awhile, have Trevor go through a certain number of important experiences in the blink of an eye. To take the bilgerstein of his metamorphosis from child to man as nothing to write much about, though truly it is important to this story. To preface this cyclone of entropy let me say that Captain Trouver Infinite is a fine reader of men, since the transition from ignorant waif to confident young man that Trevor undergoes is dazzling. He works hard on the Ave, he takes to the chores given to him with a natural preponderance that belies the apparent weakness of his body, he becomes the adopted child of the entire crew: a boy who through his natural cheerfulness and genuineness of spirit ingratiates himself in the heart of every grizzled sailor. And oh, how Trevor Nobody is loving it all, loving doing work he finds meaningful, sharing many a happy moment with these, the men whom he has come to admire and lionize. Truly, these men are worth lionizing, Captain Trouver is not the sort to employ the usual mariner, those part pirate part mercenary who sail simply to escape the gallows, no, these men, the men of the Ave, they sail because it is in their blood, because it is what god or destiny or whatever made them best at, and these men are just the sort who want to do nothing in life but what it was that they are fated to do.

And what is it that those of the Ave do? Well, much like other merchant ships they sail port to port to pay the bills, but that is all that this is for, just to maintain the financial resources for the true mission of this ship. And the true mission, what of it? It is unknown to the sailors, something only known to Captain Trouver Infinite, but it is something wonderful for sure, something worth scouring the world for. If a man like the good Captain believes with all his heart that what he chases is worth devoting his life to, then who are ignorant men such as the sailors to question. The men don’t ask the Captain what it is they are chasing, they simply have a blind trust, a trust that indeed the captain deserves because he has not only given these men good lives, but he cares about them. He runs the sort of ship as if every sailor was his own son, as if all men were deserving of his love and admiration. The captain himself, though he is always cheerful, intelligent and jocular with his men, he is also insulated, always in his Cabin, always by himself: insomniac, lights on at all hours, the shadows just visible through tinted windows of endless charts, endless parchments, endless books lining every wall, taking up every table; and then, always, the Captain wraith like moving between them all, almost dancing, trying viciously and elegantly to discover something from all these enigmas displayed before him that the sailors could only guess at.

Captain Trouver talks to Trevor Nobody much like he talks to any of his other sailors, for of course Trouver is the captain and Trevor just the lowliest of all, a cabin boy, and the chance for them to interact truly does not occur often. Yet, to say that Trevor idolizes Captain Trouver is an understatement, since all the men of the Ave idolize the Captain; rather, Trevor worships Captain Trouver: the man who changed his life, the man who saw not the pitiful wretch that he was but instead the extraordinary man he had the potential to be; the man who gave Trevor the opportunity of a lifetime: the man who saved him.

Now, maybe, there should be an explanation of what makes Captain Trouver Infinite so worthy of the adoration he universally garners. He is a man not famous for the wealth he has created, though many of his sailors became rich under his watch, nor is he famous for the distances he has travelled, though in many of the most exotic places on earth there is a Trouver Island or an Ave Mountain, nor is he famous for his daring exploits, though as a captain in the King’s navy he is credited with single handedly changing the course of many a battle, no, what he is famous for is something more abstract, something which one only realized upon hearing the soft commanding lilt of his voice, upon seeing the peaceful eagle that resides in his eyes: here is a man not cut from the fabric of humanity but rather of the deities who live in clouds, and here, in the incarnation of Captain Trouver Infinite, is a man who will discover what it is to live, who will discover the meaning of life, discover utopianirvanaperfection, and, to follow him is to hope to share in heaven when he eventually reveals it.

Something needs to happen to make Trevor Nobody and Captain Trouver bond; giving them some form of a relationship is important to how this story will evolve. Maybe we could have one of them almost die and saved by the other, maybe Trevor likes to sing softly beautiful songs and one day the good Captain will hear him. I do not know yet, it is not revealed to me, but something must happen. I think what will happen is this: There is a terrible storm, the first true storm that Trevor has ever seen on the ocean. Lightning electrifies the air with crackling intensity, rain turns the air into a second ocean, and the waves are throwing the Ave through the ocean much like a feather through a hurricane. The storm is terrible enough that the sailors are grim, always a sailor must have weighing on his heart the possibility that nature will finally take back that gift of life she has bequeathed, yet, the men are not in a panic: Captain Trouver Infinite is at the helm, steady as a statue, calmly and clearly calling out correct commands. Trevor is simply trying to stay out of the way, to fresh to such intensity as this to be anything but a burden underfoot when, suddenly, he sees with a horrifying clarity a rope snap: flinging a sailor friend into the water, he is lost forever, and his downfall seems like a doom for the entire Ave as the lost tension of the rope sends the entire balance of the ship helter-skelter. Captain Trouver opens his mouth to command someone to climb the mast to secure a replacement rope, feeling in his heart a sick malaise as the unavoidable risk that this person must assume, a sickness that every leader must make peace with, when he is forced to shut his mouth: Trevor is ably climbing the mast, ably handling the wild convolutions of the waves, little Trevor Nobody, baby to everyone, the most precious child to all the men, and there he is: at risk! Like in the eye of a hurricane the chaos of the ocean is quiet, if only because the terror biting into the heart of all the men is so voracious an emotion that the senses of hearing and touch disappear around the horror of sight: oh, Trevor, you will fall, you will fall, screams in the heart of all the men, already tears brightening their rain soaked eyes as they begin to mourn, when, miraculously, Trevor manages to tie down the crazed rope. He is coming back down! Despair turns to hope turns to ash in the mouth of every sailor as the newly found hope is dashed: Trevor is blown from the ramparts and is falling, falling for an eternity: oh, if he lands in the water he is doomed forever and there he is, oh god oh god heading for the water. And with the slowness only made possible by the shock that mental pain plagues our mind with we see a staggering scene unfold: yes, Trevor falling, oh yes, into the sea, but, from another angle: hope, if only in its barest form. Captain Trouver, leaving the wheel to another helmsman, rope tied around his waist: he is in the water, he is trying to find Trevor: does his rope snap? Have we lost both of them? No! There he is, he is holding the sputtering body of another: Trevor. We bring him back in the sailors and us, and here, on the deck of the Ave, returned unharmed: both Trouver and Trevor. They stare at each other a moment, words unneeded so perfect has their shared suffering attuned their shared mentality, and, then, Captain Trouver stands up to return to the wheel, Trevor Nobody gets back to not being a pest underfoot, and the rest of the crew return to trying to master this bitch storm while being unable to shake the feel that they have just seen a miracle.

After this event of shared horror, that needed common bond between Trevor Nobody and Captain Trouver exists. It is something that is not talked about, not even truly there as a reality to either of them, just an invisible closeness whose reality from the perspective of the omniscient heavens is indisputable. Now that this shared link exists, we can get into the difficult matter of the impending downfall of Captain Trouver Infinite.

Downfall! Yes, but let this be a story in itself. How will it all happen: in a manner that this narrator feels as colors, but doesn’t know entirely what to paint. Lets discover this together.

The Ave has been at sea for a long enough time now for Trevor Nobody to feel as one of the men, very much at the bottom of the ladder but certainly sharing the same structure. He’s loving his life, feels that there is meaning in what he does, and ever since the bravery he exhibited during thegreatstorm, and his miraculous rescue by Captain Trouver, the other sailors of the ship have a sincere respect for Trevor Nobody in addition to their affection. Maybe for Trevor life would be good if things on the Ave could just continue as normal, nothing change, just blissful day after blissful day. But, sadly, such is not the lot for any in life, things change, fall apart, need to be reconstructed and in many ways this is where the wonder in life comes from; then, in many ways, this perpetual reconstruction is where much of the misery in life comes from too: alas, poor Trevor will not escape the endless grinding wheel no matter how much he might wish it, and the breach in his perfection, and indeed the breach through the brand of perfection through which the Ave was sailing, happened one day at the approach of a port that Captain Trouver and the Ave had never come to before.

To say this port was perfect sounds impossible, but for the allegory at work in this short writing it is easier to throw reality out the window and say, simply, that this port, this city, this isolated jewel in a desert of cacophony, is truly perfect. We will even call it Eden. And the men of the Ave can feel this, they know it to be true. Here, here is the place where a man can find nirvana. Here, here, is why they followed Captain Trouver: their messiah has led them through the wasteland of life and brought them to the holy land. The quartermaster of the Ave opens every cask of rum, uncorks every bottle of wine, and sets free every flagon of ale: the men will obviously stay here: it is time for the greatest celebration a man can have: that time when finally, finally, a man discovers that the feasts that only seem plausible to live in his mind have an earthly synonym. The party is beyond anything experienced by any of the men before, and toast after toast is dedicated to Captain Trouver Infinite: their leader: their savior.

Yet, where is the good Captain, for he is not with the men. The men believe that the Captain is trying to sacrifice the merriment of the party so that his presence would not act as an inhibitor of responsibility, but this is not the case. No, we find Captain Trouver in his room, by himself. He is sitting, a half full glass of wine in his left hand, his right hand unconsciously tapping his right knee, and a pensive peaceful gaze playing powerfully in his eyes. He is sad, but at peace with his sadness, a necessary part of life that he understands completely. Simply, he has come to a decision, and he came to this decision as both a captain and a man, and one thinks that maybe this is not the first time that he has had to come to this decision.

He leaves his cabin to go to the party, which by this point is at the point where a man cannot be held responsible for his actions, and Captain Trouver stands at the mast and announces quietly that he wishes to make a speech. Why make a speech of such import when his men are obviously in such a state of debauchery? Perhaps simply because the Captain must speak his mind while the spirit of the moment resides on his tongue. Perhaps the glass of wine we saw in his hand was not the first, and the Captain himself is a bit fucked. But, really, it is stupid timing, and if the Captain had chosen a better timing likely the same conclusion would have resulted, but one thinks that conclusion could have been reached with less antipathy. Regardless, this is the timing he has decided.

Quietly the Captain demands attention, perhaps feeling embarrassment of calling attention to himself, for though he is larger than life he is a humble man. Gradually, word spreads from those closest to the Captain to those farthest away, and assembled on the deck the captain is ready to begin his speech. The speech goes something like this:

“Men” Said the captain, and this initial syllable is not followed by anything but a deafening thunder of applause. The Captain waits, solemn faced, perhaps sobering to the reality that the emotion and action he wished to communicate will not be as simple as the preplanned speech of his mind.

“Men, my men, sailors of the Ave, men who have shared your lives with me, risked your lives with me, and, I would hope, have lived a wonderful life with me. I tell you truly, with utter honesty: I have never before come to a port like this: a place so perfect as to make one forget that Eden is only a legend.” Thunderous applause. “I tell you, men, that it is my firm belief that you depart from this ship here, to make a life at this port. While I hope that the Ave has been a home for you that has allowed you to live a life which you find satisfying and rewarding, I think there is something to which cries to the soul of man, something which every man searches for: perfection. I think that many of you might find that perfection can be found at this port, this Eden.” More thunderous applause. “However, I tell you, that for myself, I cannot stay here. I look with envy, even jealousy, at the potential you all share in finding a shared perfection together here, but it is not a perfection I can partake in. The litany of my life has been decided, and it is not here that I will rest, if indeed I will ever rest.” The applause has stopped, and an atmosphere of silent confusion reigns. “My men, my noble men, I know that a place perfect like this has been placed as a planned port firmly in each of your fantasy. This, this place is your dream, and I tell you with the admiration brought on by envy that it is a good dream, I see your natural peace, the natural way you would fit into this dream that has been made real. Yet, I tell you, and I pray you see this as no disservice to your own dream, that this dream you share is not shared universally by our crew, for it is not shared by me. Yes, I dream, of course I dream, but what those dreams are is immaterial: I will not be sated here, if ever I can be sated, and, therefore, I must carry on. If any of you wish to come with me, you may, however, I hope and pray that just because your dream is not shared by me you do not take this as any indicator on the happiness that you can find in the perfection of your own dream, and will be able to live in your re-found Eden with the bliss of nirvana. I, myself, will leave this perfection. If any wish to come with me, they may, but I hope to leave here alone. I will depart at sunrise. Thank-you, thank-you for everything….” And here, for a few agonizing moments Captain Trouver thanked his crew for such undeniably fantastic service but the ears of each crew member was frozen: Captain Trouver: leaving; Captain Trouver having a different dream of perfection; in the heart of each man an anarchic confusion bloomed, and upon the departure of Captain Trouver to his cabin the crews emotion was as driest kindling waiting for just the most basic spark to instigate an unimaginable blaze of whatever color that first spark happened to be.

Oh, it was foolish for Captain Trouver to leave. Such are the dark voices that eat at all our logic, taint any purity with the possibility of deceit, and soon a spark was born, a malignant whisper flowering, flowing from ear to ear to ear: Captain Trouver was trying to unload the crew of the Ave, that a man as wise as him would be foolish to pass up such splendor as the present port was brimming with, and, therefore, there must be even something greater that he wanted. Yes, all men agreed that the Captain was a great man, but wasn’t it the great men who were the most devious, the most likely to have risen to such heights by unfairly standing on the backs of the subjugated?

Soon, the men were arguing such virulence that it need not be regaled here. What can be said are the results. About half the men chose to stay in the port, chose to take the Captain’s advice and attempt to live the glorious life that it seemed god had firmly gifted into their lap. Then, the other half, what they did maybe there would be regret after a terrible hangover, but their actions were irredeemable and impossible to turn back time on. They drunkenly, in a mob, elected the loudest voice of malcontent against the Captain’s to be their leader, and what he proposed and what ultimately fell to pass was this: to wrestle the Ave away from Captain Trouver Infinite, to take his maps, to discover where it was that Captain Trouver was personally heading, and then to go there themselves. There was no hatred or disrespect for the Captain, just a feeling that they were fighting against a legend and it was time to make a legend out of themselves. It would seem that the Captain must have suspected that such a possibility as his exile would come to pass since when then men barged into his chamber he was in travelling clothes with a small trunk. The men placed the captain in a large dinghy with a sail, enough supplies to hold out until he could either go back to the port or scavenge food, and departed in the Ave. Captain Trouver stared quixotically at the Ave as she left, maybe even a bit of a grin illuminating his face, then set about rigging the sail to push his new ship forever forward. Of course, because such is the way this story though this came as an enormous shock to Captain Trouver, Trevor Nobody was underneath the sails ready to join Captain Trouver on his quest to find nothing.

 

  1. II)

Now of course there is the temptation to speed time up, gloss over these initials momentsmemories of Captain Trouver (if he can still be called a Captain) sailing with Trevor Nobody (who really has always been a Somebody). Yet, then, if every emotion towards expediency was allowed, this story would be nothing more enlightening then a proverb: everything is perfection, all of reality is perfect; and, while this is the point of this story, it is the hope that with the added flesh of story on this thematic skeleton a foreign principle might by analogous metaphor be given some subtle scent of sublime truth. So, let us slow down time, deal with the relatively arbitrary, and maybe even enjoy this scene, enjoy the language as it flows to meet our senses just as we might enjoy a sunset or a first blooming flower: for their meaningless but real beauty; perhaps, also, a truth may be revealed.

Captain Trouver stares at Trevor nobody as he climbs from out of the stowed rigging on what we shall still call the Ave, for every ship that Captain Trouver controls is always called the Ave. This could be the time to tell you that the last ship, which we will never see or hear from again, was not the first Ave, and we doubt she shall be the last: the Captain seems to revolve: to rise to great heights, to fall to bitter depths, and then to rise again, and certain constants are always shared: the brilliance of the good Captain: his ship the Ave: the finding of perfection and the abandonment of the captain; then, of course, the cycle repeats. However, this time, an anomaly has emerged, and as Trevor dusts himself off and gabs away about his reasoning for staying with the captain, words which are very important to him yet we care not about, Captain Trouver Infinite is mentally attempting to deal with this off balancing alien to his equilibrium.

At last, Trevor stops lecturing, and we must say it was a very nice lecture, a lecture which fully encapsulates the deep love and respect which led to the logic of Trevor staying with Trouver and makes Trouver appreciate Trevor not as an added weight but as a treasure which warrants to be treasured. After the speech, which leaves Trevor a bit red in the face because of embarrassment and lack of oxygen Trouver Infinite tells him that he is happy to have someone so passionate join him on his voyage, but that he is worried that he will disappoint Trevor. His journey is not, as his former crewmates claim, one to find ever unimagined riches, rather, he will just continue doing as he has always done, going from port to port, fishing here and there, perhaps, if the opportunity arises of gaining new crew or a bigger Ave, he will take it, but, then again, perhaps not. Trouver is looking at Trevor with his eyes seeming to say I fear to disappoint you, that I live a life that most would deem unsatisfying, and Trevor seems to understand this, tells him that of course he is free to leave, would leave and will leave whenever he wants, if a life such as that which the Captain chooses to live is the sort of perfect life he deems appropriate, then maybe Trevor will have much to learn by attempting to live such a way as well. And such is the way their shared journey commences.

As a first order of business was food. While those hearty mutineers left Captain Trouver with some food stuff in addition to what he presciently brought with him, with the addition of course of Trevor this food would be reduced all the quicker and besides, what sort of a responsible man is sated with the barest adequacy of stores: Captain Trouver wanted to be amply furnished with supplies in the event of who knows what. Trevor and Trouver went to land to collect tools to make fishing rods. They went to sea and gained many a fish. They traded some of these fish with locals or merchants for any other goods they needed. Everything was done orderly. Everything made a certain sort of sense, yet, everything was different then it was but such a short time ago. How had this new universe supplanted the old, when the old had been everything?

Trevor was sometimes melancholic, not for himself since he found the quiet actions of daily life meaningful, yet rather for Captain Trouver, who he felt must be dispirited for his grave loss of position in the world. One day Trevor, in the midst of a particularly dark brood, said that he wished the very worst for those who had remained aboard the old Ave. Captain Trouver sounded surprised, and asked why would he wish such bad thoughts onto men who had always been so good to him, to which Trevor replied “They cast you out, their leader. They are mutineers, traitors, dark scum who broke the laws of their sworn morality in their betrayal of you.” Yes, Captain Trouver admitted, they had cast him out, but had he himself not in many ways cast them aside, or at least tried to, insisting that they stay in Eden while he left to continue his endless journey? And besides, had not each of those men given many a proof of their devotion to morality and proven many a time their goodness of spirit. No, adamantly though thoughtfully stated Captain Trouver, these men were merely hazarding the moral labyrinth which confronts each of our souls and getting through it to the best of their ability. Of course, inevitably there would be errors of judgment, indeed, perhaps it was an error of himself, Captain Trouver, which had led to so much of the friction: if he had just worded his speech better, had given it better timing. But if, if, if is meaningless, all that there can be is the metamorphosis of those past mistakes into the knowledge of wisdom, and perhaps all these difficulties faced by everyone would serve to make everyone wiser. He himself, he had no feeling of animosity against his old crew. Nor did he feel any antipathy against his present situation. What was, was. What is, is. And either way, he was the same man; either way, he would appreciate, enjoy, wallow in those beauties of life which chose to reveal themselves regardless if he was the Captain of the most famous ship on the seas or but the humble rower of a dinghy.

“But,” Argued Trevor, “Did you not spend your life trying to become a great Captain? Is it not all your work undone, all those past milestones meaningless?” And here, here, we have a point, stated Captain Trouver: yes, yes, all that work is undone, but what work was it? All life was but a voyage whose goal was the moment. A beautiful future was hoped for, striven for even, but the idea was never that the future would be better than the present; just, that, it would be something worth going towards, a port on the horizon to head a ship towards but what actually counted was what was happening on the ship itself: keeping every rope taunt, every crewman happy, the whole affair safe, orderly and at peace. Yes, getting to be the most famed captain in the world was a majestic port which he had set sail for, but just as when he had set course for Eden and had carried on leaving his crew, he was unsaddened, perhaps even ecstatic, by leaving that metaphysical port of departing from being the greatest captain in the world; for him, that was never a goal, just an arbitrary sight to head his life towards while he enjoyed the quiet invisible beauty of everything. “Then,” belied Trevor, “What do we head for now?” Maybe that tree, said Captain Trouver, but then again maybe that pinpoint of light on the distance, or maybe myself being a father, or maybe a farmer of plantain; it makes no difference, when I get there things will be as they are now, just as I can bring in sweet air at any point in my life I can breathe in the sweetness of the world around me. To spend a life staring at a wall would be a life just as valid as  becoming the greatest Captain in the world, yet, momentum, that deity, has more say then we would give her reason, and she pushes us forward in our first baby steps as an infant, before we understand who we are, before we have given any resonance to the question of what we want. Yes, we could stop, but stopping in itself would then be a goal, it would be a refutation of the wonder inherent to that movement that can infuse us when we first awaken to consciousness. No, what happens is not that we stop, what happens is that when we awaken men assume that this motion that they find themselves a part of must have meaning, must be something more resonant then being a part of a system where through fluke or folly everyone goes from age 10 to age 11, grade 1 to grade 2, child to youth to man, and, therefore, they must go from movement to the goal that this movement is heading towards. What that may be is up to personal interpretation, but, said Captain Trouver, who was saying all of this while staring at a flame on some shore somewhere (it makes no difference but that the flame gives him a look in the eye that one hopes you can imagine), I refute all this. I will not try to be a great man. I will not try to be a rich man. I will not try to be a success. All of this suggests a changing of who I am, and transfiguration from that man who I was to the man I should be. Fine, if that is what you want, but that is not what I will allow myself to want. I will not be so weak as to pretend, even if I believe it, that life is about stepping stones, goals, and finding meaning. No, to me, said Captain Trouver Infinite, me, a man who does not believe in a benevolent god, who believes when I die I will be nothing but dirt, to me this brief flash of life, this interlude of consciousness between the immortal contractions which the molecules which form my earthly form have found themselves and will find themselves, this time is about an appreciation: to see the universe in her perfection, and out of all glorious creations many dimensions, be one of those few conscious beings able to actually stare with the awe that the universe deserves. I will not distract myself from the sublime masterpiece with thinking of such mundane thoughts as who I want to be, what is wrong with my life now, what perfection would look like: no: all I will be is a man with eyes wide open staring in silent awe at the world around me. What I do with that awe is meaningless, it has led me to be the greatest captain in the world, then, it has led me to this, and maybe it will lead me to many more things. I tell you, Trevor, that before this last mutiny there were other ships I commanded, deeds I have done: always, it seems, even by accident, I have through thoughtlessness brought men to where they believed their dreams resided, perhaps this is what has made me a legend, and I believe in the happiness these men find there and am happy for their ecstasy but it is not for me, no, I must always walk away, continuing floating with this speed I awakened to find myself at, perhaps having a certain gravitational force which might attract things to me but that is not my intent, perhaps have a certain magnetism which attracts me to the extraordinary but that is not my intent. The only intent I have, again, and again, again, is to keep my eyes open, and when they shut, they will be shut, but for now they will be open and that is all that I have. And Trevor, I tell you, I cannot change for you, or more correctly I will not change for you. You are welcome to join me, I hope you join me. I believe my beliefs are worth believing. But, I will not advocate: I will not pontificate: I will simple be.

Well, Trevor was looking at the fire during this advocating speech which pontificated a belief and there is always something of when a man in alone with another, when there is not that corruptive influence of others to corrode the honesty of the words from a man’s mouth to a listeners ear with his corruptive presence, and here, by the fire, there was only the words of Captain Trouver Infinite and the ears of Trevor Nobody listening. Perhaps there is universal truth, or at least personal truth, and if we could communicate purely we would understand each other perfectly, maybe even be each other, but such is not the way of communication, flawed form for a flawed perfection, but, this day, Trevor understood perfectly enough to realize a certain reality which perhaps he was already predisposed to yet had just never taken the time to think through. He listened to the words with his ears. His brain processed them in analogies which made sense to his personal personality. And his heart accepted the warmth generated by the personal resonance found in these words as truth. “Yes,” said Trevor Nobody, “I will travel with you forever. I will try to be at bliss forever.”

So was it all so easy as this? Of course not. But, then, it was not so different from this as might have been possible. Trevor was used to the accepted idea that there were supposed to be goals, aims, a point to life. How simplistic to think the point of life was just in living! But, then, Trevor Nobody had spent much time aboard the Ave with Captain Trouver Infinite, and then, maybe he was one of those sorts of people who was genetically predisposed to such natural thought anyway, maybe those sort of people do exist. Maybe this was all more easy then it had to be, more easy then it would be with most people. What ended up happening was, from a written perspective, fantastic: many adventures together where these men only built on the name of Captain Trouver Infinite and the Ave, adding only a third canon to this mighty litany with the inclusion of Trevor Nobody; here was the things of legend, the thing to tell children at night in order to inspire them to dreams of grandeur and glory. Yet, for themselves, there was only the mundane day to day of taking in nirvana’s bliss out of every moment, and, when the lights of their lives eventually winked out much as the sun at the end of a particularly normal day, there was no sadness in their hearts, just the appreciation that they had seen the entirety of that day.

 

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