I remember my mother coming to visit me at my grandparents one day. I remember all four of us walking around the park at sunset. The air was cool and hot at the same time, and dark waves glittered in orange and red across the lake’s surface. I would lean over the water’s edge and stare at frogs appearing at the surface and then heading back again into the water, in the process sending ripples across the water’s silvery surface. The park always smelled of mud and freshly cut grass and a wild aroma floated around. Back then, I found it to be mesmerizing and beautiful. Now it’s just a putrid smell, death and decomposition hiding away in the tall reed that grows around the water’s edge. Back then, I used to feel life scream out of every corner, out of the lake’s murky waters and it was always such a fascinating question to ask, “What lies beneath the dark, gloomy water?” What mysterious process is happening there that’s giving birth to dragonflies and fish and frogs? Now, I just find the water to be filthy and the lake appears to be some sort of graveyard, where nature is trapped in a stupid, vicious circle of death and rebirth.
My high school physics professor once said that there seem to be an obvious nature to the world around us. I guess that what he meant was that, for instance, we can all comprehend that there is certain causality in the world, that every action bears its consequences. It only requires throwing a pebble at a watery surface to notice such a principle at work. There is action and then, swiftly or not, there is a reaction to said action. But as he also stated that such obvious things require a greater mind to fully acknowledge them.
What does this have to do with my story, you might ask. Well, on one hand, it has to do with the fact that children, in their insatiable curiosity, put everything to the test. They search for answers beneath each and every rock and they’re tireless in their pursuit to understand the world as much as possible. But when we grow up we realize that the questions are never going to end. There is no supreme equation; life can never be condensed in as little as a five word sentence. That’s when we stop looking for the truth. Like my father used to say, “It’s all a matter of perspective”. We’re all inherently different from one another and so, we see the world differently. And the truth and all those small observations that we made during our early years become redundant. I guess that what I’m really trying to say is that when we grow up, we find ourselves inside a labyrinth and find it less tiresome to stay put and wait than to try to find a way out.
That evening in the park with my mother and grandparents, with the silvery moon resembling a clipped fingernail, I understood that what I regarded as being an unequivocal truth, some might see it as nothing more than a lie.
My grandfather was always running behind, he always had to stop and catch his breath, and one moment, my mother didn’t stop. I walked close by her and at one point I said about how my grandfather was such a great man, something like that.
And my mother glanced at me and said, “He’s boring, he’s always telling the same stories over and over again, like a broken record.”
I felt disgusted and a bitter revolt screamed inside my chest. How dare she? He was her father, he wasn’t boring and I couldn’t understand why she couldn’t see the man he truly was. This simple statement, so long ago, ruined what I had regarded as fact.
For a few days, I didn’t speak with my mother at all. I was angry and upset and confused, all at the same time, and I couldn’t understand why was I angry with. Myself, my mother, my grandfather? Who carried the blame for it? What was the truth?
There is no such thing as irrefutable, at least not when it comes to human life, with all its complexities and redundancies and discrepancies. Chaotic little humans, they never see the same thing in the same manner. We can hardly agree upon the most simple and obvious of facts, let alone principles concerning our own existence.
I’d like to thank Djazz and Brittany for contributing to the campaign that’s raising funds to release my upcoming novel, vertigo.
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