I, in a form of clarity inversely proportional to time, encapsulate and recall the exact series of events which brought me here. Every success, every mistake, and every iota of personal pain and progress. However, I’m incapable of beginning to understand the scope of the scaffolding surrounding those particular events. In the middle of the night, when I drive on I-5 South through the center of Seattle, I examine the melange of silhouettes resulting from the rising and growing mass of skyscrapers. My mind’s eye begins its familiar deconstruction, an imagined montage, of what I perceive.
A darkened tower: a composition of steel, glass, concrete, fiberglass, plastics, late nights, hard work, sweat and blood. The superstructure: the size of which seduces the senses and defined by a team of architects. Every window placed and sealed by a person. Other individuals procedurally iterated through each floor, pouring a composition of rocks and minerals supplied by a third party. Everyone has a family, a home, a car, spent years in school, and found themselves involved in something unique as anything shared by some incalculable limit ... lived their own history. Most of these people are still living, and fortunately many are not. All had parents. This concept, too, begs for another iteration of my algorithm to plant itself and spread guilt in the fertile landscape of my sub-conscious.
A car will merge into the streaking night of infinite neon, florescent, and incandescent lights. I can’t think about the scope of life anymore. Survival instincts force ignorance of everything, and focus on keeping a process so pitifully small and thus-far meaningless ... my life ... continuing. It’s inevitable, though, the danger will pass and I will wander again. The highway, the street light, my t-shirt, and the motor driving the power windows both open, allowing the frigid air to whip over singing mouth and under a wrinkled nose? Some people firmly believe the moon landings were faked.
What about everything else?
I don’t question. The two extremes of a brain in a box, or an individual experiencing a reality. If you believe the former, what do you stand to gain? Your environment and genetics encourage a behavior of rebellion against an unimaginable captor and falsely complex veil of life. The presumption of free will presents its soft side and is easily attacked. I subscribe to the latter theory, as it lends itself to a thus far limitless set of theories, lemmas, and proofs. But, if it’s all truth, then how am I not wasting the combined and incomprehensible energies of everything that came before? “Wasting your money is wasting your time twice.” I can’t comprehend the Earth, but I can’t forget about the Universe. This fills me with panic, keeps me up at night, and instigates the self-fulfilling prophecy tasting like feelings of inconsequentialness.
Reality is stubbornly regardless of the thoughts coalescing in my thoughts. Every day I must perform my designated tasks. Most of the days, I don’t complete them. Everything to this point has taught me failure brings harsh and immediate consequences. But, assuming it was ever true, that tenet of belief has not confirmed or asserted itself for years. My behavior became complex and subtle in response to my environment’s stimuli. I never considered the environment may have similarly responded.
One day, my luck will run out. Before that day comes, I hope I will have done something right. Some think about the blackness and end of consciousness. I’m scared of the moment before I die. If the soul exists, then the best possible case is in the shard of a moment between the gunshot, the impact, the explosion, or the heart stopping inside me upon which I realize I wasted it all. I was birthed, crawled, stumbled, walked, and one day gave up ... only to never try again. Upon considering the incredible series of coincidences bringing humanity to the point where I was born, and subsequently propelling me to where I am today, I am unwilling to accept any persuasion indicating the possibility I cannot endure for the betterment of civilization. I don’t want to be the last one to enjoy the gift of life. Memories can be shared and diffused amongst the social gestalt, where they too will undergo a form of natural selection. Something I make, or am involved in making, can change a person’s life.
Who am I to change someone’s life? My own problem is what I want to solve for someone else. This is the right time to use the word “irony.”