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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2020217-Slow-Burn
Rated: E · Essay · Scientific · #2020217
It's time to abandon Earth and migrate to other worlds -- before it's too late!
"What troubles thee, Sire?" the jester asked. "Why the glum face when thou needeth for nothing?"
"Aye," the king frowned. "And there be the rub, old friend. For my true need is that I want for everything. And in being denied the all of it, I have nothing."


In a world comprised of those who live relatively privileged lives where their basic needs are in want of nothing, and the far larger number who live in squalor -- deprived of most everything -- decries of discontent are not reserved solely for the less fortunate among us.

There's an old saying that describes one who is well-off both in terms of finances and friendship, as suffering from an embarrassment of riches. Less well known is the equal but opposite expression as to one bemoaning an embarrassment of bitches.

My reality is one in which regrets, complaints, anger and disappointments have merged into a single and unified form of melancholia. Were I to indulge in such a morass of morosenesses for more than mere moments of time, a return -- an escape -- back to the realms of light and joy should prove difficult indeed.

When I was small, both in body and in mind, I knew little about anything. Now older and grown, I'm aware of too much about everything. And in learning so much, know only more about nothing.

Because my stomach is full, I placate a brain whose appetites are insatiable. And the world is so accommodating, so effusive with its never-ending bounty of information, so grandiose in its exploitation of one's senses, I ache from an embarrassment of my inability to distinguish one truth -- one falsity -- from the other.

I begrudge no single disparity, bear no one complaint, anymore than I might praise one thing's beauty over the loveliness of another. But hear my anguish, for the animus that stirs within me derives not from a sense of personal loss, as much as it doth a cessation of existence itself.

As we play at life, speak about and debate the profundities of any number of human destinies, forces both geological and cosmological in nature gather about us, their prodigious, olympian powers set to unleash a final judgment that is neither final nor judgmental -- but only another page that is turned, the next tick on a clock whose face is without numerals, without hands.

In some immense instant of meaninglessness, the planet once known as Earth is vanquished, along with its vast inventory of voices, songs, achievements and artifacts. As well as its human proclivity for depravity, violence, and stupidity. The same foolishness that dawdled in the face of its demise, ignored the wisdom of sciences which warned of a secular apocalypse, and instead chose to anguish over religious fashion trends.

A great light in the universe will have been extinguished, yet that same cosmos will shine as brightly as ever, its one darkened lamp only negligibly missed amid the radiance of an infinitude of others.

So what's the gripe? The nature of things are what they are. Are they not? Or are they? Whatever the reason, regardless of cause, homo sapiens, as a species of otherwise intelligent life, possess a propensity to both choose and follow the wrong leaders, to allow themselves to be led by instincts and motives which run afoul and astray of what is in their own best interests.

For almost a century, the writing was on-the-wall, so to speak, or rather the strata was in the rock, revealing all to any who could decipher the messages. Cautionary warnings that told us we had to leave this place, this world where Eden might last just long enough to allow our escape. Mankind was never cast from the Garden, but was told to leave before the serpent itself should rise up from below, or descend from above, and consume the world as a whole.

I'm pissed off because we weren't the chosen people after all. Had we been so, our spaceships would even now, this very moment, be colonizing the various moons of our solar system, thus preparing for trips to other planetary systems and beyond.

But instead, as the great cauldrons of the super-volcanoes fill their vast chambers with oceans of magma, the crusts of the earth bulge as if pregnant with the extinction to come. All while errant meteoroids and asteroids complete their slow, inevitable trajectories, and fulfill their fateful rendezvous with some rock in the road.

I'm furious and disgusted because it didn't have to end this way. A child born today should, in theory, have lived forever. Like the image of God and Adam on the ceiling of the Sistine chapel, where the fingertips of both just barely touch, omniscience was well within the reach of human minds and abilities.

But we're too late. Can you feel it? The ground shakes ever so slightly. Steam and smoke rise ever so quiescently from warming vents and glowing furaroles. A light in the sky, faint at first, unseen a year ago, grows brighter by the hour.

My reality is one in which regrets, complaints, anger and disappointments have merged into a single and unified form of melancholia. Were I to indulge in such a morass of morosenesses, for more than mere moments of time, a return -- an escape -- back to the realms of light and joy should prove difficult indeed.

Death is not a denial of seeing the glories yet to come, but rather a preemptive call to everlasting, dreamless sleep. It was our reveries, the dreams we dreampt while awake, which called us to live lives eternal.

Perhaps on some other world, sentient entities have been, or will be, wiser than we. Having survived not only their own personal enemies of mind and spirit, they eventually saw the need to evacuate what was obviously a temporary womb, an impermanent nesting ground where flight, as in fleeing, was understood in both a figurative and literal sense.

The apparent silence and emptiness of the space that surrounds us, is an unsettling indication that few advanced civilizations survive long enough to reach out and touch their neighbors. But the cosmos is a big place, and the distance between phone booths (or cell towers) is far reaching indeed.

I just wish I felt as optimistic about my local 'hood as I do those others -- out there. I've lived just long enough and accumulated just enough knowledge about this and that, to realize we're just about done here. Mother Earth has never been a loving parent, and her next wrathful tantrum is about to take its terrible toll once more.

I suppose, from a purely academic viewpoint, it is somewhat interesting to speculate as to who comes next. During what is called the great Permian extinction, about 90% of all life on Earth was exterminated. That's a pretty big setback. And it's set to happen all over again. If that doesn't piss you off, then you deserve a merit badge for temperance.

As for the rest of us, except for those who choose to remain in denial, there lurks at our very feet the new inheritor of our world. It may well be that small, insignificant bug that so easily smears the bottom of your foot, whose ancestors shall colonize the stars. And not the monkeys who would be gods.

I was rooting for the apes myself, and for some miracle to come along. Miracles if you take a look around, however, are few and far between these days. Not the small ones. I see lots of those. No, it's the big ones I'm talking about. You know, like the parting of the waters, so to speak. Where the children travel from one place to another and get to the other side just in time. That kind of miracle.

I'm pissed off about a lot of other things, but since I wished to restrict this to a single pet peeve only, I decided this one in particular was probably at the top of my list.

As the old king pushed to his feet and stepped from the throne, seemingly oblivious to the fire and smoke visible outside the chamber windows, his scabbard and sword slipped from his waist and clangored to the marble floor below.

The jester didn't have the heart to tell his longtime friend how the king's enemies had already breached the portcullis and would be upon both of them at any moment.
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