Diary of a Madman: Aphorisms, Maxims and Allegories
Privy to a Conversation...
by, 02-09-2009 at 11:52 AM (2351 Views)
...“And what is ‘Real’?” he asked, methodically, cryptically.
“Well, how things are. – The sky, the moon, the stars, this tavern…death.”
“Is there a thing that you would call the opposite of death?”
“Of course, life.”
“And what is it, to be alive?”
“Drawing breath, a heart beat…I suppose.”
“Is it so simple as that?” he said, reclined.
“No…no, it isn’t. I’m at a loss as to what else to say, though.”
“Would you say that life, to be alive, must do some or another thing?”
“I would – but, I don’t know what.”
“But you would concede that life, to be alive, is in the doing?”
“I would have to.”
“And death is in the not doing, therefore?”
“Yes. I suppose that’s how it would have to be.”
“Then I’ll return to something I asked you earlier. You were given myriad of paths upon the death of Elizabeth. Did you, or did you not, choose a course of action after her death?”
“It’s just not that simple.”
“It is. Answer the question, if you would.”
“I would have to say that I just don’t know then.”
“And is not knowing a doing or a not doing?”
“It would be a not doing…” The room began a slow spin.
“Well then we are landed smack in the heart of a conundrum, old friend. I want to ask something else of you, and I want you to answer simply, by what must be deduced from what we have agreed upon thus far.” He paused, leaned onto the frame of the bar, against his forearms, nonchalantly chaffing his palms together, drew a long breath, held it, and injected his eyes – those eyes – into my Being, “Are you alive…?” His release of breath was not accompanied with a blink.
The room then seemed to…discontinue – deceased in time. Everything was beleaguered, and now fraught with drought of motion. I felt dizzy, disorientated. I looked down, and in so doing noticed for the first time a small handgun in an ankle holster peering from underneath the edging of the man’s pant leg, lurking just under the cuff.
“No. I am n- …not alive.” Grabbing me by the back of the neck, he pulled my face to within mere inches of his own, and sneered, “You’re god damn right.” – then, deliberately, gently, as if releasing a caught bird to freedom, let go his hold.
“I think that it is time for another drink, don’t you?” he rapped, again, on the bar. He looked at me, studying…then veered away. His gape went missing for an age, and then materialized once more.
“Incidentally, I have no idea who this Elizabeth or her family is. It was a charming description of her, however; thank you for that.”
I felt my jaw go completely slack.