Despite my one good, 20-20-shoots-a-laser-beam eye, I feel in a fog without my glasses. This is not because I can’t see well but because of the tendency for one eye to take over and the other to take a vacation. I may leave my wire and glass apparatus at home on purpose if going out with friends or exercising, but I always wear my glasses to work. That is, unless my cat plays air hockey with them across the coffee table and sends them to make friends with the dust bunnies nesting snugly beneath my couch.
So, I showed up to work dim and early today, my stomach already growling in protest from a small oatmeal breakfast that was calculated precisely to start my metabolism and then turn my body on its own fat cells. By the time the blur of morning copies and planning lifted, I was outside myself watching this me-person rushing up the stairwell of a century-old building where countless bodies had gone before over countless years to the same tall-windowed classroom–a sky box of the mind. Who was this girl, so easily replaced, who climbed two stairs at a time and let her plans for the day cloud her picture of the future?
Maybe it was low sugar. Maybe it was the lack of sharpness to the edges of things or the blood leaving my brain from the rush up the stairs, but I had…a moment. I could see everything ahead of me and behind me, and I was a dot on a line that was really a circle. I was a flat object in a flat building and couldn’t appreciate the true scale or dimension of the universe. And there she goes along the same path, ignoring the shadows of paths that constantly branch off from her–another possibility every microsecond. Why? And what did it matter when the Sun would eventually expand and swallow what was left of it all whole–a single star in an unremarkable galaxy in a doughnut-shaped universe that would expand and expand until it was too large for anything to touch, not even the smallest particles…
“Whoa,” I said, pausing on the landing. “I think…I need a doughnut.”
Yes. Clearly that was what my subconscious was telling me. And anyway, pastries are the first and best defense against existential attacks.
So I made a purposeful decision to change my path…and make a stop in the break room.
How about you? Had any existential thoughts lately?
Michelle Joyce Bond