Of Reality

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A young boy and a mailman find themselves stuck in the framework of the universe, and face the harsh after effects

Submitted: July 27, 2008

A A A | A A A

Submitted: July 27, 2008



Every once and a while something so unbelievably ordinary happens, that the extraordinary is the only result. This is the loose basis behind the following story. While it may seem entirely improbable, the sheer probability of it is the only conclusion one can come to. This whole paragraph might seem confusing, but it is necessary to understanding the events that transpired at 312 Willow Lane. You see, these events cannot be explained through mere language, for language has its limitation, just like anything else. To try to describe it in words is nearly impossible, and the result could turn out to be a mess, of Jackson Pollack proportions, but I’ll try. What will result may seem to be utter nonsense, equivocal madness, but a story none the less. To appreciate it, one cannot merely read it, but it must be felt. The words are just an incomplete medium to the bigger story. The bigger story however is not the same for anyone, for what occurs in a person’s head is different from anyone else. Anyways, here it goes.

Time stood still for 9.7 seconds. No longer and no less, for any longer would cause an utter catastrophe like one ever seen before. Any less, would cause the world as we know it to crumple up in the black hole of nonexistent time. 9.7 seconds; the perfect amount of time. 9.7 seconds stood still as time moved on. Time moved on as 9.7 seconds stood still. Everything seemed normal, and nothing terrible occurred. No one noticed it, yet in reality it was impossible not to notice it. For 9.7 seconds, time, the shepherd of movement, the leader of the living, took a break. Time is a very busy entity. Time doesn’t even know what time is. It doesn’t know how it exists or continues to move in what seems to be a forward motion. For all it knows its been standing still for eternity, and for those 9.7 seconds it began to move.

312 Willow Lane, an empty lot, the proud owner of a half acre of dirt. In the middle of the busy metropolis lays a small desert, an arid wasteland. No birds venture here and no one knows about it. If you were to see it, it wouldn’t look like a desert; in fact it would not look like anything. You see, the word desert in the English vernacular is the closest representation of what it would look like, but this is still way off. For as long as anyone has known, 312 Willow Lane did not exist. What was soon to be discovered is that this unknown lot was the provider of a glimpse into the non-visible.

 It was found merely by chance and by luck only. While flying approximately 34,984 feet above the ground an airplane suddenly lost the power to both of its engines. In the pursuing madness, the emergency hatch was opened. This, in turn created an unstable cabin pressure. Like they tell you before the plane takes off, the oxygen masks dropped. To the passenger’s dismay, these were immediately ripped out by the rushing wind. This was the least of the concerns for Mary McRenow whose 14 year-old son, Bert, was in the bathroom. Completely oblivious to the ensuing chaos, he opened the lavatory door, expecting to just step out. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case. He was, without remorse, sucked clean out of the airplane to what, he and everyone on the plane, assumed would be his demise. This was far from the case, for the young Bert overcame the most improbable situation in the most improbable way. The amount of survivors who survive from a 34,984 foot freefall are few, but the amount who survived it because time stopped, are even fewer. To get logistic about it, the actual probabilities of both of these things happening at the precisely correct moment are 1 in 10? times. To those not as well informed about mathematical symbols, ? means infinity.

Bert was a realist. He was smart for his age, not in educatory terms, but in overwhelming knowledge. He was just able to understand things better than some adults. He was not the smartest kid in his school, but in what really mattered, he was the most intelligent. Intelligence is all relative. So when he was sucked out of the plane, he knew that there was little hope for his survival. The ride down from the airplane took a while, so he had time to think. He would fall 6.62 miles, and the terminal velocity for a human is 124 miles per hour. At this rate he would fall for nearly half a minute. This may not seem long, but tell me thirty second is short when you’re falling from a powerless airplane assuming your going to die. Otherwise, don’t even begin to think that thirty seconds is short. Anyways, it allowed for Bert to have a semi-complicated series of thoughts. I will run through a shortened summary. “Hmm, this is peculiar; I don’t seem to be in the airplane any more. Wait, I definitely am not in the airplane any more. Wow, this sucks, and I don’t even have a parachute. I’m probably going to die, eh; I guess there’s nothing I can do about it now. I wonder if I left the stove on. I’m hungry; I haven’t eaten since we got to the airport. Wow, how did I get on such a tangent freefalling to my apparent demise? Hey, this seems oddly familiar to a scene in a book I read, where some petunias fell from the sky.” Then Bert let out a little giggle as he plummeted towards the Earth.

Meanwhile, on the ground, Lenny, the local mailman, was making his ordinary, daily deliveries to the neighborhood. What seemed to be a fairly monotonous day turned out the be just the opposite. You see, he just happened to be walking directly past the un-seeable 312 Willow Lane, when time stopped. About 45 feet above him, Bert was preparing himself for the worst when he fell directly into 312 Willow Lane. How he did this is a mystery, but after improbability of everything that just happened to the small boy, this seemed all but normal. Lenny heard a large thud, but couldn’t see where it came from. He could have sworn he heard it everywhere. He felt the vibrations from the impact all around him. Not only did the ground shake, but it seemed the like air around him shook also. And then it happened. For 9.7 seconds everything was perfect, but only two people and one entity were able to appreciate it.

In describing the situation of these two ordinary people an ordinary explanation is impossible. In fact, even they could not explain it after it happened. They merged with existence. A good way to explain it is that they did the exact opposite of what would happen to a person if they fell into a black hole. A black hole is a merely a collapse in the space-time continuum, usually caused by massive explosions like those that come from exploding stars. The force behind these explosions collapse space and time, creating basically, a hole of nothing. Not even light can escape. But it is theorized that if one were to travel into a black hole, things would get very strange. First the person would begin to shrink, every molecule in their body. They would slowly be pressed by the force of the black whole until they became singularity. They became nothing; they were one with the universe. What happened in those 9.7 seconds was merely the opposite. Instead of shrinking into singularity, the two people expanded into multiplicity, and became the universe. They felt and saw everything, the patter of feet on the ground during a marathon, the breeze of a cool spring day, the frost of a cold winter morning. In essence they were God without any power. They were not able to change anything, but they were able to notice everything, with great clarity.

For Bert and Lenny, nothing existed; but everything did exist, even more than ever before. These two people lost the human conception of existence. Human preconceptions are the most fallible ideas on Earth. People only use the knowable, concrete ideas to make their assumptions. The Earth is a limited place, with only so much fuel for thought. Very rarely to people think about what is not there, because they can’t see it. When they do think about ideas that they cannot see, they often give an answer to it that makes it rational. Rationality is the striving goal of every person of Earth. This is one of the sad downfalls of all humanity. Some things are irrational, and should stay irrational. Confusion and not being able to understand an idea should be the basis for human thought. Things that we do not understand should not be given an easy answer that appeases the masses, but should be left alone.

The idea that humans give to existence is a very rational idea. Like Descartes said, “I think therefore I am”. He assumed that because he was able to contemplate the meaning of existence that he existed. This is an overly simplistic answer that does not allow for the true idea of existence to come out. And the true idea of existence is that there isn’t one; at least with the limitations of human thought. It’s like trying to imagine a fourth dimension. All that humans no is width, height and length; a fourth dimension has no where to go, or at least human’s minds suppose. This is the same idea of existence. Any theories upon it will only be over simplistic and overly rational to give it justice.

Anyways back to the story. As Bert and Lenny became the universe, they were able to leave these human conceptions behind, because they were not technically humans anymore. There minds were able to finally see some of the things that a human cannot see. If they really wanted to they would be able to see in a fourth dimension, or even in 27. They didn’t need to think about anything, let alone rationalize it because everything was laid forth in front of them, and Bert and Lenny did not have to use their brain’s to process the information, it just was, and they knew. This new profound sense of calm was soon followed by an extreme sense of calamity. They were beginning to slip out of their parable of paradoxes, their perpetual ponderousness. They were once becoming human. This process can only be described as unpleasant. The only way to describe it is to imagine laying on a beach in Jamaica on a perfect summer day. No clouds in sight, a slightly cool breeze coming off the ocean. The day consists of a light swim in the morning and a long nap in the afternoon. Imagine this and then suddenly one morning you wake up and are in Fargo, North Dakota in the middle of winter, outside lying in the snow naked.

Bert and Lenny felt themselves solidifying slowly, and with this solidification came the limits of the human possibility. Imagine knowing everything, without having to think, because you are not limited by your brain. This mass amount of information is almost laid out in twenty-seven dimensions over an infinite plane. It does not need to be comprehended because you just know. Then all of a sudden, all this information in suddenly attempted to be packed in a little organ that weighs no more than eight pounds. It won’t all fit, so like a balloon with too much air, it explodes and only a very limited amount of information remains. It’s a harsh realization to overcome; the idea that a person is only human can subdue even the largest man. For those 9.7 seconds, or 9.7 seconds as humans perceive them, nobody noticed that Bert or Lenny were missing, because to the entire world, those 9.7 seconds never existed.

There they were, two seemingly normal people lying on the ground outside the invisible 312 Willow Lane, having major convulsions and seizures. It would be several minutes before anyone would notice them and call for help. They were immediately taken to the hospital. The paramedics were able to stop Bert from convulsing, and placed him under a sedative to let him sleep. Lenny, the poor mailman, was not so lucky. They were able to stop the seizures but he was stuck in a coma. A coma, the worst situation Lenny could be in. He went from being existence itself, to not even being able to understand his own body. He was stuck inside his own head, the most limited part of his existence. A man can go mad in his head. Its like taking a fish out of the entire ocean and putting it in a jar a quarter the size of its body; quite a limit on the human psyche. While not being able to express it physically, mentally Lenny was in the most agony possibly felt by any human being. It’s not an agony that can be overcome. He would stay in his hell trap for the next four months. When he was to rise out of his coma, the sheer mental trauma, completely wiped clean his mind. He had complete amnesia, and would never be able to tell of his experience.

The next morning, Bert awoke to a large crowd in the hospital room. The room was quite bland. A small TV hung on the wall, and a few funeral looking flowers were in a vase next to his bed. The wall paper looked like it was from the ‘50s and the floor was shag carpet. Sitting to his right was his mother, drenched in tears. To his left was a nurse writing down his vitals. Outside awaited several newspaper reporters waiting to question this miraculous miracle which had saved his life. The nurse soon left the room, and he was left alone with his mother. They said very little for a while, but they each could read each others thoughts through their eyes alone. Bert’s mother slowly stopped crying and began to tell him how glad she was that he was not dead. She told him that the airplane made a crash landing in an open field, but that no one was hurt because they were able to glide the plane along pretty smoothly until they landed. Not much time passed until the reporters came rushing in, after noticing that the boy was awake. Bert was bombarded with questions left and right. How was he alive? Was he scared as he fell? What was going through his head as he fell? These were only the preliminary, scene setting questions. Soon came the questions regarding his luck and so forth. Bert only responded to the reporters with a calm voice and said only a few sentences. He just simply stated, “You would not understand if I told you, all of these questions are trivial, you yourselves are trivial, and you should not need to ask questions to end up with answers. You need not worry about these types of things, but realize that what happens happens. All of your lives will remain as constant as before. Time will move foreword, the sun will rise in the morning, and bad news will move faster than the speed of light.”

For the rest of the day Bert did not say any words. He realized that he once again was singular. He was within boundaries, he was a caged dog. He had experienced mental freedom, and lost it. Like they say, it’s better to have achieved mental freedom and lost it, than to never have experienced mental freedom at all. Bert knew that he would never be able to understand everything the way had felt before, but he knew what needed to be done. Instead of lamenting his lost knowledge, he just relaxed. He knew that he was limited in his computing capabilities, and he realized it was futile to even try, so as directly as can be said, he just stopped caring. He did not stop caring in the way a suicidal person gives up on life. In no way was he giving up, he just realized that he needn’t worry himself over ideas that he could not explain. He just let what be, be.

A week later Bert was released from the hospital, and was free to get back to his normal life. The summer began to fade into fall, and the air grew crisper with each growing day. The colors shifted from a vibrant green, to a melancholy brown, red and grey. In September, Bert began school; he was entering into his sophomore year of high school, more wise than even Socrates. A few months went by, and finally he had enough. The same mundane routine every day, he was able to pretend he was interested in his classes, for at least a while, but he soon had enough. All of his classes seemed trivial at best. Bert had experienced greater knowledge, greater truth, and because of this, chemistry and algebra no longer seemed important at all. Even at home, each day became more and more tedious. After school he meanders his way home from school, taking the long three mile walk instead of taking the bus. He did this because he just needed some time to his self. During this time, he was able to just enjoy the subtleties of nature.

The path from the school to his house followed a path through a once verdant forest, but was now ridden with dead trees, and high brush.  A little further in lay a small stream; the drizzling sound it made could barely be heard from the path. Most days after school, Bert would generally, just take the straight walk home, possibly stopping every once and a while to take a look at an especially interesting tree. It was the weekend that he yearned for. Every Saturday morning, Bert would venture onto the path. About a mile in, hidden by a small bush, was the entrance to his own path. Worn down by his footprints, this path found its way directly to the stream, and from there, it turned south; downstream.

Further south, the landscape changed dramatically. After about a four hour walk along the stream, Bert would hit a dense coniferous forest that stayed green all winter long. It was here that the wilderness was untouched by man. The gentle stream, slowly widened into a thunderous river, rolling over large boulders. Several weeks earlier Bert had brought with him, a bag of tools. Near the river he cut down a couple if the huge conifers and built himself a small enclosure, big enough for him to lie down comfortably. It was here that Bert would quietly sit in his enclosure and just listen to the sounds of pure unadulterated nature. Siddharthaesque, he sat listening to the wisdom that the river bestowed upon him. The never ending constant, the peaceful resolute. It was always coming and going, but never seemed to be in a hurry. Sometimes a curious sparrow would perch up upon his den; it would sit motionless for a while, until it realized that Bert played no threat, and then would majestically fly out of sight into the nearest tree. It was here that he was truly happy. His mind was always at a happy medium. It was not necessarily thinking, but was mostly processing, processing the surroundings. Bert was able to fully enjoy his little patch of heaven without needing to question anything about it.

As winter slowly grasped its hands on bringing night into the realm of the day, Bert’s venture to his spot, lasted shorter and shorter. The mere time that it took to get there and back, took nearly eight hours. With the shortened day, this left him with maybe an hour to relax. Because of this his mood grew tenser and tenser. The reality of his life (In his sense at least), was beginning to become all too real. The trivial problems of his schoolmates—the trivial problems of his math homework—the trivial problem of his chores—the trivial problem of his trivial problems. It began to feel like too much. He was beginning to feel his reality, his human nature begin to kick back in. His problems began to resemble those of the people surrounding him. But he had all truth—he had conquered reality—he had become more than human, better, he had become past human, but here he was slipping back into the reality of his pressure driven society.

He had to get out, as fast as possible. He thought back to his safe haven, how it had offered an escape from his human instincts, he was doing the best he could to not revert back to his “real” sensibilities. He wanted to go back to his demigod position, the all observer. Without hesitation, he ran as fast as he could back to 312 Willow Lane, but he could not find it anywhere. He went to the exact spot where he had remembered falling, but there was no 312 Willow Lane. Only 311 and 313, and in between lay nothing.

312 Willow Lane never existed and never will exist. 312 Willow Lane always exited and will forever exist. Bert McRenow never existed. As he lay in the space between, 311 and 313 Willow Lane, he slowly became singularity, he became nothing. The rest of the world followed suite. The universe never existed, but will always exist. The only constant is time, the shepherd of movement, the leader of the living. For 9.7 seconds, Bert and the universe existed. No more, no less. Reality exists, only when existence becomes a reality. The paradox of all paradoxes, that relies on all of the wisdom in the universe to be laid out on a dinner table, only to be digested, by those who can understand it. And to understand it, it is necessary to already be in existence.

Every once and a while something so unbelievably ordinary happens, that the extraordinary is the only result. Time stood still for 9.7 seconds. No longer and no less, for any longer would cause an utter catastrophe like one ever seen before. Any less, would cause the world as we know it to crumple up in the black whole of nonexistent time. 9.7 seconds; the perfect amount of time. 9.7 seconds stood still as time moved on. Time moved on as 9.7 seconds stood still. Everything seemed normal, and nothing terrible occurred. No one noticed it, yet in reality it was impossible not to notice it.

Oh, time that time does travel,

The unnerving ends of knowledge

Only produce the most acute emotion

Of reality

© Copyright 2020 Wendell Cordinavio. All rights reserved.

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