Circles of Confusion
I am falling.
That is how my story ended, and that is how this story begins.
I have not always been as this. An old man, imprisoned within this body, which is imprisoned within this chair, which is imprisoned in this place of forgotten men. How are men forgotten? We live a little, then we get caught up between death and life, grasping for a few more seconds… All that grasping. That is how it happens. While we grasp for life, oblivion entraps us within his cage. The longer I live, the more I value my own little life, and the less others care for it.
So here I sit. Each breath is a gift, but only a more painful one. Science is a wonderful thing, it showed me the wonder of my existence. I was made to discover it, so it discovered me. I loved my wife and son, but I was alive when I worked. When I lost myself in science… I was. That is impossible to express in the past tense. It does not make sense. Breath. Pain. How can one express the culmination of the verb to be in anything beside the present? Let me think of science. Let me think… Let me be. That is the secret. When I do what I was made for, I am content with being. It is not a question of intelligence. It is simply being. If I had been made differently I suppose I could have been as a janitor. Let me be again. Oh God, just let me be. Something is not right again. Breath. Pain. The brain is a muscle, and, as the rest of my muscles, it has become cramped. What was crystal is has turned to cream. All is one lump of confusion. My memory is the ring on the merry-go-round, and I am grasping for it. It sits there spinning like a wheel. Breath. Pain.
Someone is asking me how I am doing… “I’m not lucid today!”
Shame. Why did I snap at her? Get away. The wheels of my chair look like my head. They are both spinning, grinding on the ground, only everyone can see the wheel of my chair. I can only feel the confusion inside my head.
Then I saw her. She reminded me of my granddaughter. For a moment I wanted to believe that she was. Why do men try to convince themselves that reality actually consists of our desires? Perhaps it is because we are our reality. Reality exists outside of us, but our perception can only experience on the inside. We are born egotistical beings, and we die equally so. The only reality we ever really experience does not ever part from our desires. They are forever intertwined- one coloring, the other crushing. Unless… unless. What was it? My memory is still spinning. There is a secret. There is something I am forgetting… I have forgotten. In other words, I want this girl to be my granddaughter, but I know that she is not.
That would be nice. I would have a reason to go talk to her. I could talk to her like I used to talk to her father, so long ago… at least a couple of weeks. Children are a mystery. They can go beyond wisdom, they are royalty. They are the reason to go on when darkness is choking the breath from your eyes. They change you on the inside without lifting a finger. They are love.
She is leaving. Oh God, let me talk to her. Please, let me talk to her. When I was younger, I used to hate running. My lungs were bad. If only I could run now. I scoot after her.
Breath and pain.
Head and wheel.
Circles of confusion.
That is it! That is the answer. Love is the answer. It is the only way man can live when he wants to die. It is the only way he can be when he does what he must and not what he wants. It is the only way that he can ever be remembered for doing it.
This is it. There is her door. Fear. Fear grips my lungs and heart and head, so I knock as hard as a can on the door. My father taught me how to do that. “When you’re scared you’re dead,” he would tell me, so I knock even harder. I am not dead yet.
That is why children are so precious. They change our reality. They remind men to love.
The door opens. A woman.
“Is the little girl here?”
Oh God, there she is. She is coming to me. Glory to you forever. She is smiling at me.
I am falling…