The Remains {ANEWSIN 15 — JASON GARDEN}

The preceding story was written a few months ago with no plans for release. I have a different story that I am working on, and I really want to release something, so I hope this works!

The buildings were all dilapidated. The windows were broken, and the walls of the buildings were plush with the road. Frames stood proud where doors once shielded the inside from the unknown, and stood empty adorned with a hue of lapis lazuli blue.

The sky was red, like fire, but the air was cold. The wind was terrible, and cut through any attempts to guard against them was ill conceived and fruitless. Only the statues of old dared to weather out the impending storms of photons being released by an unrelenting sun.

There were no living things here.

My journey was to find you. Other things in my life may have been more pressing: more important. This need for your embrace was too overwhelming. It drove me to ignore my feelings of discomfort and allowed me to carry through this mission that, at the time, I believed to be of great importance.

Daunted by the silence, I picked up a stone. My intention was to throw it, but at that moment I was enamoured by its symmetry. It lay perfectly in my hand, ignorant of its intended fate. Who knew the reason that it was where I found it. Its story will be forever hidden from me, but I knew that this is how life had to be.

Life can be just as mysterious as the history of that rock. We jump through hoops, do things we know are fruitless and dumb, yet we end up where we have to regardless of what brought us to that point. No matter what forces we explore, and what life choices we make, events out of our control will stifle any attempts to lead a perfectly happy life. A life that we deem perfect in every way. This stone reminded me all of that. This stone, in that moment, reminded me just how chaotic everything was.

Against my better judgment, I threw the stone. I had to: I was starting to get too far into thoughts of existence. I was beginning to be consumed with expressions of impossibilities far too great to fathom. I was starting to loose any ability to maintain composure in the face of the world that I found myself engaged in. I started to notice the debris that build up at the sides of paths, and the concrete golems that line the path I was standing on.

I fall to my knees, face pointed towards the red sky. Tears flowed from my eyes as I relive all of the hate, the torment, that I had confronted over the last decade.

I had hurt so many people; either out of necessity, or greed. Never malicious, but always knowing what the outcome would be.

I had failed so many times. Some of the trials were failed out of flawed execution. Some of the attempts failed due to self-sabotage. All of them: premature.

I rose to my feet. I had to do this; I had to finish this journey. Even if it meant the end of everything, I had to find you. You deserved that, and I was the one who had to give you the reprise. You deserved the reprise, if not the world.

Is it possible that I hold you in too high regard? Have I blinded myself to your flaws and created an impossible manifestation in my mind of who you are? If that is indeed the case, will I flee as soon as you fail to live up to the incredible depiction that I have in my mind? Or, will I just blame you implicitly for all of the ways that you will fail me?

Is it possible that I am overthinking all of this?

I realize that I have stood in place now for almost five minutes. I chuckle to myself as I start to move forward. I must have looked completely broken to an outside observer. Glassy eyes, pursed lips, contemplating everything and nothing at the same time.

As I take my stride into the corrupted village, I find my mind wandering to places to distract myself from the wreckage around me.

I fixate on the eventuality and inevitably to death. A nice simple topic to dwell on. I call it that with no intent of sarcasm. People tend to dwell on the topic of what happens after. They create the grand fixations with ideas of eternal life, reincarnation, and a utopia where the good can live out a reality of there choosing. I choose to focus on the only provable direction: when we die, we die.

It is not that I have issue with every other decision to entertain the ideas that there is a greater purpose. I am envious, in fact. Call me someone with no faith or imagination, but I cannot begin to structure my life with the assumption that there may be a payoff in the end.

From everything I can see, this is it.

And, to that end, I choose to live my life as well as I can. I choose to be happier now than live as if everything I do will benefit me later. If I am miserable now, what is to matter if I live a better life later? What is even the point in self-improvement if I am not to enjoy whatever I achieve?

The streets are still quiet. Never have I dwelt on the idea that I could miss the sounds of birds, or even wind. Until you find yourself in isolation, those things are a kind of white-noise: an assumption that they will always be there. Some might even find them to be intrusive.

When they are absent, you truly notice how bleak reality can be. Paranoia sets in as every step one takes creates echos that seem to increase in volume. I keep looking over my shoulder just to make sure that I am just as alone as I thought I was just a moment ago.

This journey would be so much better if I was not alone. It has been days since I last spoke, let alone spoke to another living being. Every now and then, I will talk to a tree or a rock. I do this to make sure that I can actually still speak. It doubles as a reminder that the world still knows that I am here, as well. 

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