Short Story

Searching For Infinite (short story)

Where am I, where am I? A dream I just had, or is it even over, not nightmarish, barely remembered, but infiltrating my soul. Where am I? Is this a dream? How can I know, truly know. I hear a baby screeching, not the cries of normal youth but the retching of pain. I shake my head, wake a little more, and the screech is gone.

I am still not awake, or at least not entirely, but I have the aptitude to unconsciously check my clock, know the time, know it is not time yet for the necessity of full wakefulness, and allow myself to revel in this tertiary environment of awake but still dreaming. I am in control, fantastically constructing cities of l’amour that set Paris to shame with one half of my mind, while with the other half solving the problems of government for the next several decades. I should write all these things down, though I distrust my mind at all times and especially now. Who know what cleverness the universe is radiating on me at this exact moment, what hidden capabilities my mind squirrels away in these recesses of sleep.

But these ideas are lost now, ethereal as they were; it is like atoms: by trying to capture their speed I lost their position, and now, I am left with my hands empty of all that I vainly tried to capture. Just a few grains left, enough to make me feel some real remorse of what I have lost. Even those are casually slipping. May they all leave, I don’t want any haunting of the past, never.

Now, here I am, awake. I have forgotten what beauties I thought, and now, instead, all I feel is a casual apprehension of fear, likely the remnants of my nightmare, if that’s indeed what is was. I shake my head, trying to dispel, but I don’t have the will to lose it entirely. What was it? What was it to shake me so, what winds are there that leaf through my soul, lifting and revealing the crevices that I would wish to never acknowledge? What edible thoughts do I not even know I have eaten, do not even know were in my capabilities to fabricate?

Now, sadly, it is the time to make things happen, to wake up, to drag myself to whatever it is that must happen today. It is not a day of that unfortunate paradigm of work that sucks at us all, stealing our lives to construct unbeautiful things. Rather, it is that mealy day of rest that men absorbed with efficiency have calculated that I need if I want to retain the dismal sense of efficiency they assign to me.

It is the day of rest though, and why spoil a lovely morning, light filtering in attractive patterns from the sun through space, diffracted by the atmosphere and my window into a fantastical pattern on my bed sheet. Beautiful. What will I do today? What will I do with this life? Why is it, that I am alive. I am hungry also.  I want to be more alive then I truly am; I fear death. I fear the absence of existence. Who am I. Where am I going. Why, why, why, why, why, why.

Cluster fuck shit, I don’t want to go there, forget! New things. I propel myself from bed, and the momentum carries not just my body but my thoughts to a new place, a different place, and I decide that of all the ethereal images flying through my mind, the most manageable, the most real, is my hunger, and on this here, this day where it is given that I have time at my beck and call I decide to make breakfast. The breakfast I dream about on those long drives to work with nothing but a coffee. I go to the kitchen and become lost in my task, thinking about nothing substantial but using all my processing power, every megabyte of ram I have, to make the most virtuoso breakfast I can with those supplies given at my hand: things are imperfect, I appreciate the fact I do not have ideal circumstances: there are not the right food stuffs, and indeed my ability to shape them into something remarkable is vaporous at best; but I will try, and even if what I create is imperfect at least it is something, something to put my name too, something to say YES, I created this: even, if after all this, perhaps to eat it, digest it, then to learn from it, to perhaps make something more perfect next time. While my thoughts devolve unconsciously into streams of colors (or are they flowers?) I begin my breakfast, and decide that yes, it is something to be proud of, it is something that I am pleased with.

Astonishingly quickly I gorge; devouring my construct, eliminating its beauty, turning it into a pulp in my stomach indecipherable from any other edible substance: its beauty is lost, forever, the cleverness of my hands will never be known. With remorse I wish that someone had seen me in action creating something of substance, to share in what is now lost, to reaffirm my abilities of creation. Banal, these thoughts, I know my truth, but what is truth without benchmark, without people to compare to, to sit on someone’s shoulders and feel tall?

What now? Do I have any responsibilities today? Of course. But fuck them, can I escape? Will I suffer if I do the nothing that I want? I should write something beautiful, something to give me fame, fortune and respect. But not today, I am not in the mood. Conditions are un-ideal and I appreciate the constancy of this reality. I should visit my mother but I am simply inert; she can wait till a time where I am not where I am now. I should go for a run, maybe around the lush lake just a few minutes from my apartment, but no, no, I can escape that too. This is the day of rest prescribed to me, and I will munch on my antidote in the vein that it was given. I will do nothing. Utterly nothing. I will continue sitting here, on this couch (when did I cycle from the table to this couch?) and revel in revelation, enjoying the solitary thoughts that flit through my mind, the casual entertainment of life passing outside my windows, the joy of being in my pajamas and not having anyone watching.

Thoughts percolate through my mind. Dissolving in that barrier between substance and nothing. This is OK. I can feel the war in my subconscious, attempting to create; always, every thought a battle with the nothing; every subtle flicker of light in the back of my mind a victory against the emptiness of the universe. Why do I squander such virtuous gifts? Why is it I do not use the light of my mind to shine brightness on the darkness of the soul. To construct magical spells of vision to help enchant a disenchanted reality. I could. Yes. But, when, why, and why is it every time I try, tease that my brain is, every time I try to document the beauty of my thoughts, the cleverness of my mind, they dissipate: hide, or become the nothing themselves; to realize that they were never there in the first place, to realize that all I was doing was giving myself illusions of brilliance to hide from the truth: my lack of genius.

No, much better to continue hiding in the revolutions of my brain. To continue resting here, doing nothing, but endlessly imagining. To simply be alive, and appreciative that the vast majority of the universe does not have the benefit of life, and the vast majority of those things experiencing life do not appreciate consciousness. And here I am. Winner of the genetic lottery: the sum total of infinite. And I casually wish for more. Shame on me: to not appreciate what I have: to take it for granted. Life is here, happening, in me. Yes, perhaps, perhaps there is more to life than simply existing, perhaps I could create universes different than this one presented to me, but for today, on this day of rest, on this day where I can do anything, doing nothing is enough.

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