A man who lost contact with reality begins to drift through existence.
|[Introduction] Hello, I've been trying to start writing, but honestly all I have is a hyperactive imagination, no education and honestly no funds to pay for one. This is a condensed version of the first chapter of a story I've been imagining in the past few weeks. I really, really want some critical feedback from you guys because honestly I have no one else to ask for this. Also I'm sorry for any grammatical/structural errors you might find, I've translated this from Portuguese while at work. [/introduction]
Everything around him was long gone. Everything was black and cold, he could no longer see the stars in the sky and he knew he would never see them again. But even so, he did not feel anything, there was no fear or relieve in his mind now that everything was gone. He closed his eyes, he could still see the stars and galaxies, these were deeply imprinted in his memories and carved deeply into his retina.
They were gone now, the heat death of the universe had finally happened. He did not remember that term, it was a concept he had heard many eons ago, but was now lost, he also did not remember the concept of stars, or space, or universe, these were names he once knew. But, he knows them, he had been close to many of them, spent years walking near these celestial objects, but he forgot their names. "Names" he once thought "are irrelevant". Some other time he had thought "Names, they are everything". When did that happen? What line of thought had he followed first? What made him change his mind? The concept of time was also lost on him.
But he had ceased to think now. There was not much to think about when the whole universe was dead, and even less after he had walked the universe for millennia.
However, before he was a walker of the universe, now a motionless body in a cold and dead universe, he was a man. He had been a man, uncountable years ago, just a regular human man. He had a job as a secretary in a company and he rented a small room on the downtown. The room was cramped, the air was stale with a faint scent of naphthalene. The previous owner, an old lonely man without family, had passed away in that room, on that very same bed. It did not bother him whatsoever, he didn't believe in ghosts or curses, the lonely man's death only meant there used to be a human there and now there wasn't.
The walker had his routines, he would wake up at 7:00 am sharp, shave his beard, walk his dog, have breakfast, he would then smoke a cigarette over the room's window, he would arrive at work at 9:00 am, never a minute a later. He didn't follow this regimen out of an intense desire to be punctual, the walker had never been a great professional and he had no inspirations to be one. Yet, he stuck to this schedule everyday, he felt as if he would disappear from reality if he broke his own set of rules.
One day he got out of work by 6:02 pm. He didn't mind the slight delay, his feet were still treading on the cold ground, he still existed. He made way to his usual bar, he sat on the sit he had been sitting for the past two years, he ordered the same drink he had ordered every day before, a cold beer. The walker didn't have a great number of friends, he wasn't dating anyone and didn't feel particularly inclined to find someone.
As he drank the beer he didn't contemplate anything in particular. This too was part of his routine. He got home, prepared dinner and walked his dog. 8 pm. The walker ate dinner, chicken breast with white rice and for 30 minutes watched a soap opera. Now, 9 pm, he gets ready to bed. As he dresses his blue stripped pajama a thought occurs.
"What if I don't really exist...? What proof do I have of my existence?" he continued to button up the pajama shirt. "No", he corrected himself "What can possibly qualify as a 'proof of existence' in this universe". As he sat on his bed he began to mentally number all the possible items that could justify one's existence. "Kids... People have kids to prove their existence, propagate the species, leave a legacy to the world. They proudly exhibit their kids to other parents, 'mine can play the piano ever since he was 4, he's a prodigy'. But what does that amount to proof? After the parents die, only memories serve to prove they existed. Sure, their kid's kids will hear about how their grandpa was a huge fan of golf, or how he once met the once legendary Hollywood actor. But what about the next generation? Their memories of their grandparents will be fainter, and the next after that. Until eventually a person loses all signs of recognition in their own bloodline". Having children wouldn't be enough to prove an existence, another solution had to be found. A material thing perhaps, one that wouldn't decay easily, a book, maybe. "Yes, a book would probably work", The walker continued, " One could write a book and their name would forever be printed alongside their creation. But still, only their name would be printed, perhaps a small biography would be added to the book, contemplating how the author rose from rags to riches, commenting his alcohol addiction and dysfunctional family background, that wouldn't do either. Books are information but there's no book large enough to document an entire existence. Every emotion, every perception, every movement and desire. Even if there was, no one would read such a long, boring book.".
Now laying in bed, he continued to entertain himself with these thoughts. "Maybe, the only way to prove existence is to become immortal, undying, who would have the credibility to discredit me? 'I've been alive longer than you, and I'll be here long after you're gone, you can not question my existence'", an hint of a grin began to form on his face as he felt he had found a satisfying answer. "But who would I be proving myself to? Another human? God? Death? Humans have no right to question my existence. Meanwhile if God is real that would mean He created me, by creating me, I exist. Finally, Death, why should I prove anything to death? Maybe death is the confirmation of existence. Maybe I had it all twisted. Perhaps an undying entity is the one whose existence can't be confirmed because there is no end to it."
The coherence of his thoughts became more and more scrambled, his eyes became heavier, his body was forcing him to shut down and sleep. A wave of relaxation coursed through his body as a heavy veil-like sensation swooped the last impressions of consciousness from his brain and gently sent his body into slumber.
Many hours passed as the walker slept, the comfort he had previously felt was now gone, his body felt neither hot nor cold, a deep whisper of a distant hum invaded his ears. He felt the need to open his eyes.
Beneath him a turquoise floor, no, it wasn't floor, he inspected closer, it something else, there were no tiles on the floor, no cement or wood, only a bright turquoise, like marble, expanding in all direction, neither cold nor hot. It didn't feel like floor, no sound was heard when he stepped on it. "How long does the floor go?", he wondered. Above him nothing, only the color white, no ceiling, no night sky, only white and pillars of smoke raising from nowhere and leading nowhere too, like river streams of directionless, odorless smoke, moving gently in the air.
He began to recollect his memories. "Where am I?" he asked "Why am I not scared?". No feelings of anxiety assaulted him, in fact, he wasn't feeling anything in the moment, as if he was not him but instead a hollowed copy of himself, a projection of his existence.
He walked. He walked for many hours, but he did not know that, he didn't have a watch, ever since he had waken up his perception of time had been gone. Not that he would know this, after all, he did not have a watch. He felt closer to the edge, the turquoise floor needed to have an end, "All things do" he justified.
He had reached it. He did not see it coming from the distance, at one point the turquoise floor and simply ended. He stood there, on the edge, contemplating his situation. "What his this place?" He asked, but he did not hope for an answer, in fact he wasn't sure he wanted one, he had only asked because it seemed like the right thing to ask at the moment. He wondered if he was imprisoned there forever. "Maybe" he concluded "I died in my sleep and this is the afterlife", but he didn't feel dead. His heart was beating and streaming blood inside his body, he was capable of thought, dead beings shouldn't be capable of thought, they have no brains and if they do it's probably rotting.
Gently he began to hoover over the edge of the turquoise floor. He had no control over this, in fact, he didn't like the floating sensation, at all and would have stopped if he could. the distance between the walker and the floor grew and didn't seem to slow down. Soon the once infinite turquoise floor seemed like a small dot in the vast white background.
It dawned on him "I'm floating away from reality"