24 April 2005

Stop the world

I want to get off...

A gigantic blue orb slowly revolves on itself. Life is there in its frightening majesty and beneath the milky streaks of cloud a man waits. He is numb and unresponsive. In the shattering enormity of the universe an event occurs. A monstrous generator slowly winds down and all light dims. The home planet grinds to a gradual halt in blackness.

Expressionless the man steps up and his feet leave the ground. In an instant the machinery of physics propels the planet into motion again without him and light returns, faintly at first. The man is aware of Earth's awesome bulk slipping away into an unfathomable distance. The blue planet recedes and the curve of its edge is visible. In minutes the whole lighted sphere shows against a velvet backdrop.

The man looks away. When he looks back Earth is gone. He is left alone in deafening silence, the black weight of darkness crushing him from every side. Nothing has penetrated his conscious mind in years, trivial or important. He cares for nothing and humanity ignores him. So he is left behind.

In that cocoon of utter nothingness he begins to think. 'Do I exist?' He asks himself. 'I am surrounded by black empty space yet I hear my breath and pulse, therefore I am.' Establishing this critical fact triggers more activity in his cerebral cortex. He remembers pieces of his life.

He scans the void until he sees a white pinprick in the fabric of space. It grows larger by degrees into a definite circle then swells into the familiar oasis of blue and white. He hangs in space and waits for powerful forces to slow Earth's approach. Stationary for a millisecond the planet awaits his footfall. He steps onto a horizontal plane of the immense ball and is anchored. A desperate fear of loneliness almost overwhelms him. He wonders is it too late to forge something new.

He needs to concentrate on walking, it seems a forgotten skill. Signs pull him to familiar territory and faces appear and greet him. Very, very gradually he returns to the human race. If I can just learn to talk to people sometimes, he thinks, the outside looking in could be a place of comfort, where I can work out where I fit. He looks up into the sun from this new perspective and stares and stares until he is blinded by the light.




"They ask where the hell I’m going
At 1000 miles a second
Hey man, slow down."

Radiohead – The Tourist

19 comments:

Grace said...

'Do I exist?'....an interesting one. I sometimes think we exist only in terms of our interaction with others and isolation can cause one to really reflect on this concept. Who am I?

Perfect Virgo said...

If someone talks to you they are acknowledging your existence. In isolation you still do exist but in a kind of repressive vacuum. What I think I am trying to say is interaction is preferable to mere existence.

Grace said...

I agree PV, interaction is preferable to mere existence. I am finding that isolation is a hard place to return from and interaction becomes more difficult?

Perfect Virgo said...

Yes Grace, you get very used to your own company. Maybe the lesson I learn about returning to interaction is that you get picky about who you talk to. Very picky indeed.

4005 N 24th said...

Existence, reality, mortality, consciousness. Great notions to ponder. Countless millions before us have failed. We are in a great conundrum.

Who said 'Puto ergo sum'? No, there is no answer there. What does 'to think' mean? Interaction with other 'beings' may be merely our imaginative fabrications. We CANNOT and NEVER will be able to prove or disprove the objectiveness of reality. There is no release from this torment except to be lucky enough to be able to ignore it. Those who cannot ignore are prey to the weapons of destruction. Is it all a very bad dream? A nightmare? A shipwreck on the wild foaming ocean waves in slow, painfully slow, motion?

Once again, PV, you have produced a masterpiece.

Denis in Tacoma.

Perfect Virgo said...

Denis - wise words. I see you have been giving this knotty problem some thought too. You're right, 'I think therefore I am' doesn't work because people have been known to ignore me.

As Grace and I were debating, you need interaction to imply someone has spotted your existence. But maybe the torment of simply 'being' could itself be a kind of proof.

They say ignorance is bliss. Trouble is Denis, I cannot ignore.

doughgirl said...

Perfect, you described my life perfectly when I was amiss. The solitary confinement that I put "myself" into, yet wondering why I never fit.
Though I did exist for sure as I felt the pain of the life I had created fro myself. Yet when i found the halls I began to see the pinpoint of light at the end of the tunnel.
No matter what I go trhough today, I am not alone. My frineds they comfort me and my HP guides me inthe right direction.
What a gift:) Thanks!

Perfect Virgo said...

DG - feeling pain reminds you of your existence, yes. I am so glad the planet returned to pick you up and that you recognised it when it returned.

finnegan said...

What about those personages we meet in dreams? when they acknowledge us, are they surrogates for our own self-reflection, or are they real?

Sometimes I feel these unknown entities are composite psychic touchstones latching onto my spectral mind simply for the sake of it.

Other times they are so real and palpable that I wake up weeping.

RuKsaK said...

For several years now the thought that existence only occurs through me has been prevalent. Without my existence even God does not exist - Man makes God in his own image after all.

RuKsaK said...

Oops! That was a little too rambly, deep, silly for me. Do forgive me for spilling my brain in your comments PV.

Perfect Virgo said...

F - thanks very much for the deep and interesting comment. I guess the characters in our dreams must be composites of people we know from real life.

Fascinating that you should wonder if they are utterly unrelated to your experiences. That opens up a world of possibilities.

I go for long periods without dreaming but when the dreams come they are vivid and simply scary.

Ruk - your thoughts are always valuable to me. Never have to worry about depth or mind spillage! Are you saying if you die everybody else ceases to exist? Maybe the relationships between the remainder prove they exist (at least to each other.)

Is this like the tree falling silently in the forest unless someone is there to hear it? Now where did I put my thinking cap?!

Grace said...

Hey PV, I'm sipping magnetic water, it arrived today! Hang on to your drain covers!! :-)

Perfect Virgo said...

That'll be the wand then! I can feel the pull from here!!

4005 N 24th said...

R said: "For several years now the thought that existence only occurs through me has been prevalent. Without my existence even God does not exist - Man makes God in his own image after all." This is basically stating that reality is subjective......there is no objective reality. Because we cannot prove or disprove this notion I am forced to accept it. Check out my previous post.

As a side. Do you guys remember the season of 'Dallas' (JR Ewing etc....was it aired in the UK??) where it was all a nightmare...the entire Season. I found that many people were irate to learn that it was just a dream. Humans are very intolerant of having their comfort level challenged.

Denis in Tacoma.

finnegan said...

I've linked you with a button made from your 'last gas station' image.

check it out. Mine's own linke button is the yellow one.

Perfect Virgo said...

Denis - 'Dallas', don't remind me! Was that really a dream?

Yes staying in a comfort zone is human nature I think. Perhaps there's 'fear of change' in most people too.

F - nice link, I like that very much. The 'gas station' idea is very representative as it has been something of a pre-occupation for me lately.

Jen said...

Whoa. I think this discussion is a bit over my head. :-D

Perfect Virgo said...

Jen - No way! Just a bout of pompous rambling!