A girl, a boy, a man, a woman…

It always begins in the same way.  There’s a girl or a boy, a man or a woman.  They have something to do, some place to be, some higher purpose that consumes them.  Then, something goes terribly wrong, causing the very rock on which they stood to faulter in some alarming way.  They overcome whatever obstacle came close to stopping their very dreams, and they move on.  They fulfill the very thing they were meant to fulfill from the beginning.  Every story, an epic tale of wish fulfillment.  Yes, there were hardships along the way, but they came out the other side; this girl or boy, this man or woman.  They came through it stronger and better and ready to face the world more fiercly than before.

But what of those who don’t have such fateful tales to work with?  What of those who don’t have a final destination where they must belong because it is the only thing in the whole world that makes sense?  What about those hopeless wanderers with just an ordinary life and nothing to gain as they steadily trod from day to day?  Do they not deserve a story because their lives were not fated so beautifully?  Or do we write of those beautiful fairy tales because we all suffer the monotony of an unimportant existence?

I want, just once, a story of a girl or a boy, or a man or a woman.  One who has no purpose, no deeper meaning to life.  They learn no lessons about the importance of being, and they suffer just because sometimes people suffer.  And sometimes they are strong and sometimes they are weak.  And sometimes they want to be alive and sometimes they don’t.  And sometimes life is too hard for them and they don’t know why, they know they are inches away from giving up, but they don’t.  And all the while they are wondering why.   Why is any of it important?  Why is work and school and love and death important?  And they wonder, and they keep wondering, but without the significant moment where it all makes sense.  They wonder and wonder and eventually have to come to peace with the fact that they will never recieve any answers.  And not receiving answers doesn’t make them stronger, and coming to conclusions on their own doesn’t make them anything.

That’s what I want.  A story where the protagonist has no mission to fulfill, no soul fulfilling duty that answers the questions of life.  I want the boring reality:  that we never get to know any real answers and yet we somehow have to live day by day by day with that fact.  The boring reality that we don’t know what comes next, we don’t know why we fulfill these mundane tasks that are inevitably meaningless in the world.

I want that but I don’t.  The stories of those special people who get the privelage of fate, they keep me alive on most days.  They keep me hoping that one day I too will have a purpose, a meaning, an answer.  They keep me hoping that one day I can stop being afraid and start living instead of aimlessly wandering from moment to moment with no destination.  Living day to day only fulfilling the duties I’m told to fulfill, doing what needs to be done out of necessity instead of desire.  The stories of that girl, that boy, that man or woman, they pressure me forward into a greater unknown.  Maybe we really are all stories in the end.


About laurengowing

I read prose. I write prose. I don't really read poetry, but sometimes I write it.
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