Silence. Eternity stretched thin, yielding naught but yet another influx of rhetorical questions. None, save my own personage was present to answer them. Now that I had finally grown accustomed to the zero-gravity environment, things weren’t so bad. My makeshift corporeal silhouette faced away from a glaring omnipresent sun. I had to visualize a shadow trailing behind indefinitely, making non-existent snow angels, as outer space is, to be frank, quite vacuous.
‘Was my mind playing tricks on me?’.
Had it not been for my watch, surely I would have lost all remnants of sanity by now! It was true, what they say about a dead-man’s clock that is. Time waits for no man. If not for the incessant ticking, this dimension remained resolutely mute. Hearts do not beat when there is nothing to throb for. And so resigning myself to this, I gave up on hearing the rhythmic pit-a-pat of a human heart ever again.
‘Why must we become emotionally detached to cope?’.
Stars would occasionally spring up, materializing from some unknown origin. They must have devised this just to show me that I was outnumbered. Strive as I might to shut out their black looks by closing both eyelids, it was ineffectual. Like floodlights, they bore into my soul, shedding light on corners that were best left alone. Never before had I felt so empty, my secrets, excruciating as they were, had been something to call my own. There would be no more ups and downs on my cardiogram line. In an instant, everything became linear.
‘Should they covet the truth?’.
Numbers, lots and lots of numbers, a whole myriad of them spiraled out from null. What’s more they were colorful. “My god!”, I gasped. A bull’s eye was hurtling towards me, at 10 m/s^2 free fall acceleration. This was too much. Overburdened, all my mind could do was replay scenes of the harrowing harassment I had undergone as a child. “Teacher’s pet” they had called me, ironically I was the one who consistently looked out for everyone else, the “scapegoat” if you will. Subsequently, the red mark enveloped me, faintly echoing of past failures. I was literally seeing stars. Colliding head on against one’s fear with such unsettling force could not possibly bring closure.
‘Do problems when left to themselves reach astronomical proportions?’.
Once upon a time, somewhere in the middle of nowhere, a timorous kid had happened upon the answer to life, the universe, and everything. It was so simple! The answer was obviously the question. Yes, that was all it took to handle his predicament. The comic relief it provided was deep-felt and immediate. He had realized that even if he were to ponder about the purpose of his existence for an infinite infinity, he could never attain a satisfactory answer so long as the query was unsuitable. Newly armed with this knowledge he set out to change his world, for the better or worse.
THE END IS NEVER THE END
^ The above is an allusion to The Stanley Parable…try the game if you haven’t already.