I had a world stopping moment yesterday. It didn’t hit me at the time because I thought of it as a bump at worst but it’s fifteen hours later and I’m feeling stranded—like I’ve arrived to the part of myself that’s always known there’s no way out. You know how they say that if you put a frog in hot water it will jump out but if you put it in pleasant water and slowly increase the temperature it will boil to death? I think that at some point that frog realises that it’s going to die but by that point, that water feels right. Resignation, acceptance, I don’t know. I feel like that frog. Like I’ve been in water that’s been getting increasingly hot and It’s just occurred to me that it’s too late to jump out and save myself. This is a shit ass metaphor and honestly in this moment, I don’t care to write something beautiful or profound or resonant. This is just a squelch of pain. I’m sad and disoriented but mostly I’m just too tired to fight anymore. Maybe this has always been how it ends. Who am I to think I know better than an eternal, inexhaustible universe?
I’m thinking that maybe I’m just one of those people who have so much promise but they burn out before self-realization. Maybe I’m one of those people who just almost get there, good but not good enough, uselessly talented, foolishly resilient. Maybe my thing is that someone fifteen years from now reads something I wrote and thinks it shows so much promise, that it’s a shame I died so young and it would be kinda funny because is it really a shame if the point of my life was to make someone feel that way, long after my life’s stopped mattering? There’s probably a thing, a god, a being somewhere out in the universe, shaking its head at me thinking I stood a chance. I used to think the universe was indifferent and amoral and it’d give me such hope because it gave me agency: who or what I became was entirely up to me, that I am not preordained, that I am just an incidental bag of flesh and stardust, stumbling along, going back home. But maybe the fatalists are right: maybe we are who we’re always meant to be and I’ve just been raging against fate. And even at my best, there’s no winning that. Maybe there’s some beauty in knowing when you’re beat, in bowing out gracefully. Because in some ways, isn’t life just a relentless such for beauty? Maybe in the end, all you can do is accept the perverse, ironic ways you stumble upon it.
I have nothing else to give. My survival no longer offers any incentives, if anything, it’s a burden I don’t want to carry anymore. I am sitting in a world of rubble and I’m thinking, maybe this is beautiful. It this is how it ends and all I can do is extract some beauty, maybe I did the thing after all.