As Confusion Sets in, Rationality Walks Out the Door

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
A boy and an acquaintance meet on a journey based on spontaneity to a remote island and find out the true nature of meaning

Submitted: July 27, 2008

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Submitted: July 27, 2008

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Only twice in his life, has he been as utterly confused as he is right now. As confusion sets in, rationality walks out the door. Ray, the inauspicious kid that he was, never really had set his life goals too high. His dream in life was to one day move to a warm climate, find a simple job, and live his life to the fullest by doing exactly what he wanted day in and day out. Each time that it seemed like he was heading on the path towards achieving his goal, he was pushed towards the path less trodden, and only ended up in utter confusion. Twice previously had this happened, but each of these events were exponentially less profound than the third time.

Ray is eighteen years old, and a week ago he graduated 213th in his High School class. He was the kind of kid that always just went with the flow. He was never forced to take on any sort of leadership role. He was a tall, lanky, brown haired kid, with glasses and little to no athletic ability. To put it nicely, he was not a very revered person. He had friends, but basically just did as they did. To most people he was practically invisible; a wisp of air that would often brush by your shoulder. He had no real aspirations, except to live his “dream life”.

The first few weeks after graduation seemed normal, he hung out with his friends and got the normal barrage of questions of any college bound student. He was asked whether he was nervous? excited? ect… Quite often he would find himself stuck in a fit of nodding, and would just daydream into the distance. It was about mid July that Ray had his first epiphany. He woke up one morning and had a revelation; a revelation of pure unadulterated horror. He woke up and saw his entire life laid out before him. Go to college, get a job, get married, have children, sustain the family, pay for the kids to go to college, retire, travel a bit, and eventually die. It felt as if he were being sucked into the vacuum of life. You get sucked in and fly around in circles trying to figure what is happening, and before you know it you are thrown away in the garbage; dead. Instead Ray decided to ditch the vacuum, and the whole maid service along with it. He took all of his money and drove straight to the airport never looking back. In front of him all he saw was the black abyss of pure uncertainty; the most calming yet unnerving reality.

He knew generally where he wanted to go; somewhere warm, maybe an island, where it is possible to escape the routine predictability of the “American dream”. In the end he decided to go to the island of San Lorenzo in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. There was only one flight and Ray bought a ticket. As he walked to the terminal he noticed that the entire nine hour flight would be taken in a small propeller airplane. Nevertheless, he continued foreword. As he got on the small plane, he was greeted by the small 4 person crew and found his seat quite easily for the plane had only 16 in total. As he got on he was greeted by the only other passenger on the flight, Oscar Wellington, a twenty six year old investment broker.

Oscar greeted Ray with a warm handshake followed by a boisterous bear-hug, like he was a long time friend. Despite being the only other passenger on the airplane, Oscar, a man of relatively large size, decided to sit as close to Ray as humanly possible. For the sake of everyone, I will skip to the landing of the airplane in San Lorenzo. To be short, it was the longest flight in Ray’s life. At a meager nine hours, it seemed as if it lasted for days. It is a proven fact that time slows down in awkward situations, especially ones that are impossible to escape. Three weeks later, or so it felt, the airplane landed on a dirt airstrip with the prowess of a man on stilts.

Ray stepped out of the plane and onto the warm subtropical island. His face was immediately met by a barrage of heat and mosquitoes. He took the travel brochure out of his pocket, and saw a picture of a thriving market, and a rather industrialized city. All that Ray saw in front of him was the dense forest, and a small shack that acted as flight control, despite having no electronic instruments whatsoever. It was not quite the paradise he expected, but before he could discuss the “misunderstanding” with the flight crew, the plane was already long gone. All that was left were himself, and Oscar. They were not greeted as royalty, or as special guests to the island. They meandered into the small shack to find several indigenous people sitting around playing cards and drinking heavily. In a quiet voice, Ray asked of possible hotels, or restaurants, but the only recognition was by several vulgar gestures, and a language mostly comprised of clicking. In reality, all natives of the island could speak impeccable English, but enjoyed toying with tourists. Frustrated and bewildered Ray stamped outside and began to pace fervently in circles. It was not long before he was greeted by another boisterous bear hug by the one and only Oscar Wellington.

Oscar had been to San Lorenzo previously nearly a decade ago, with his family, who were biologists and were interested in the different niches found on the island. He had been a successful investment broker, but his real passion in life was to be a motivational speaker. He created his own five step plan to eternal happiness:

Step 1- Befriend everyone and have many people in your life.

Step 2- Always stay optimistic, no matter what the circumstance.

Step 3- Be honest and hardworking in all of you endeavors.

Step 4- Set goals and strive to accomplish them within one year.

Step 5- Find meaning in everything you do, even the most menial tasks.

 

Lets just say that he created the entire plan by reading a “How to be successful” book he bought through an infomercial one night. His plan was so unoriginal and boring that people, just out of spite, began to live the exact opposite life. It became an almost international success and was being called antiwellingtonism. It spread like wild fire. His hometown of Otsego, Wisconsin, became 98% antiwellington. In return very little was accomplished in this small town, and it soon died, forcing all of its, depressed, lazy, introspective and devoid of meaning, citizens to leave town, and spread their ideas. Anyways, Oscar felt that for the sake of the world, he needed to go into hiding, and the most remote place he knew of was this small island of San Lorenzo. He knew that once he left, the people would have no one to spite against, in turn returning the status quo.

Back in San Lorenzo, one of the natives left the poker game to help the new arrivals. He approached what he thought at first was one very large man, but turned out to be the two men engrossed in a giant bear hug. After realizing he was being watched, Ray pushed Oscar off. The native approached the two and in perfect English, told them of the commodities on the island and led them to a jeep waiting just at the entrance of the forest. The two got in hesitantly, and the native sped off into the forest. As they rolled further and further in, it got pitch black and deathly cold. Not a sound could be heard; it was an eerie silence, like that never experienced before. Most people will never experience utter silence; the kind of silence only apparent at the rim of a black hole, where absolutely nothing can exist.

Quite frankly, it’s not like any of it mattered in the end. By the time they had reached the end of the forest they were not the same people. They had lost that certain human essence that breeds reality into existence. To have an epiphany is to have a sudden revelation of great importance. An epiphany is just a reference of speech in order to create a coherent, bound, aura around that which seems important. Reality lies within speech. To communicate is to remind ourselves that we can think and wonder. In all truth, the ability to communicate is pretentious. That which exists is that which is known; that which is understood. To believe that anything can be understood is ostentatious. The vibrations of the human vocal cord paired with arbitrary symbols have created an entire reality. When completely alone, does one exist? Does a person solely live to be recognized as in existence? As Ray and Oscar awoke, they were outside of the forest only to be met with a harsh white light. Each was alone in a vast abyss of nothing, until they began to speak. Ray pondered, “Oscar are you there?” And with a meager five syllables he recognized the existence of Oscar so Oscar appeared. Oscar did the same, and Ray soon existed. 

As soon as each had come back into reality the two decided that they would split up; that they would test the structure of nature. What lay around them seemed to be nothing but in truth was a giant sandbox just waiting to exist. They each would create their own realities. The only way this would be possible would be to utterly believe in what is around you. To the brain, a dream or a thought are processed the exact same way that the world is processed. The only difference relies in the source. Ray would walk one way, and mold himself a new reality; Ray would walk the other and shift into his own reality. What freedom to have. The blank slate of all blank slates. To be king of thousands of people, to live in quiet isolation, to be the smartest man on Earth, to be the most popular and revered, to be God. The paths of men decide their fate.

To Oscar this was his chance to be a success. With each step he took, this white expanse slowly shifted into a gigantic arena filled with an uproar of people. He alone was onstage and he was preaching his message to a much different crowd. Instead of spiteful rage the people were living and absorbing every word he said. The wave that was the people glimmered in the bright sun as it slowly shifted from side to side and the yelling became almost a monotone hum. Oscar was in bliss. His reality was set. His life had been chosen. Set in stone. The clay had hardened. There was no going back. The carpenter, the painter, the musician, the orator, he gave them reality and they sent in back. He was this omnipotent power completely dependent on his creations. Completely symbiotic in nature, they hovered ceaselessly upon each other. The world soon grew and Oscar basked in all its greatness. What opportunity to relish in. The beast had been created, but evolved rapidly and in unexpected ways. Oscar’s reality was that of a dream. He often dreamed but could never differentiate. To be bold and vivid, perfect in an unyielding way. To not know the difference between asleep and awake. What are dreams but another reality? If reality is a dream, what is there to differentiate them?

Ray decided to take another path with his “creation”. Rather then thinking of certainty he let things be. He did not create his dreams into reality, but let it all play the course. The random longevity that lies within the mind only makes sense to those not paying attention. That which is unexpected is that which is true. Confusion is only a lack of rationality. Ray indeed was confused, but he was confused in an all knowing sincere manner. With every step he took, he fell into an adventure of emotion and sense alike. Not a single thought went through his head. Ray’s mind was the palate and his surroundings were the painting. He laid down and floated. He sat up and dove. He knew nothing but created a thriving metropolis of meaning. To accept one as in control is to accept that we can give coherence to all that we know. Goals are that which we hope to achieve; limited boxes. Spontaneity is that which flows; a running river leading back towards itself. What came into existence was a plethora of everything that in which humans find hope, grief, happiness, sorrow, emotion, meaning, reality. All of this which was previously placed in a limited box now exploded into a river of reciprocity. Ray’s reality was adjacent to a dream. It represented lack of rigidity. It represented all that was true. It represented the lifting of a transparent veil that limited the human existence.

Oscar ended his search. He was happy in his reality. How long this would last is impossible to tell. Ray was just beginning. His search led him to contentment. As he roamed the crests and valleys of his mind he found meaning. He realized that one cannot find truth in that which they understand. Experience and feeling are real. Ray opened his eyes to an arid expanse. He walked foreword towards nothing with excitement unbound by reason. He meandered into a prairie. He frolicked through a meadow. He ran up a hill and he just sat. His eyes became windows. The sky so blue, the breeze so cool. To give up is to lose hope. To accept confusion is to find meaning. So there he lay in his paradise. Surrounded by chaos he created an acceptance, and understanding. One cannot control the world. One must bask in its glory.

One time as the wind passed through the upmost boughs of a tree, a utopia was formed. One time as the waves crashed upon the shore, nirvana was reached. One time a man walked into a forest. Once and a while all seems perfect. Certain moments are revered. Certain times are lost. Within destruction lies creation. One time the world turned to dust. In the cosmic riptide it traveled the universe. In silence it veered in and out of knowledge.

 
 


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