I saved a life today. Albeit that of “just a worm” – something we hold as having little to zero value due to the fact that it has limited, if any, cognitive ability, its lack of financial worth and perhaps our own devaluation of life itself. For what is a worm but life pure, simple, and beautiful?
The rain is pouring outside. It comes down, tickling my skin as I walk home from work. People often complain about the rain. They don’t like the fact that they get wet or cold, that they have been removed from their comfortable, numb existence for a moment or more. I tend to enjoy the rain for that very reason. I like when it shocks me awake, takes me away from the thoughts that consume me. The rain allows me to realize that there is a present moment.
Water soaks through my shoes and starts seeping into my socks, causing my feet to get colder. I welcome the feeling. I welcome the sensation, something that takes me from the dullness of the mundane, regular routine I’ve found myself to be caught in daily.
Listening to music, I stand for a while. The rain streams down my neck and into my shirt, causing me to feel alive. Looking around I see all of the trees are breathing – slowly, ever so slowly. They steam as the cool water brushes their skin, only to fall to the blades of grass below and drains into the soil. An interesting thought, that each single raindrop can mix with the earth and mix with other drops to become a single entity. How I envy the rain.
We, on the other hand, are divisible entities that can’t mix with anything. I suppose the only consolation is when we can become something else by consumption. To be able to take something from the world around us and make it a part of us – forever. Well, maybe not forever. I heard that the we replenishes all of the cells in our bodies every seven years. This raises a different dilemma. For if the body is completely new every seven years, are we the same person? What is the mind? Who are we? What is the purpose of all this life stuff?
I look down and see that there is another worm nearing the brink of death. The worms come out in the rain to avoid suffocating in the soil. Here it has traveled far from its home to avoid suffocation, yet it has made its way into a puddle, only to suffocate. A terrible irony indeed. At least it would have been in a comfortable place to die with those it knew if it had stayed underground.
Unable to partake as a passive watcher of death’s grip, I reach down to grab the worm. It’s actually a bit blue, perhaps due to a lack of oxygen? I don’t even think worms have hemoglobin… that’s the stuff that causes blood to be red. Anyways, I go off on these tangents too often.
The worm writhes around in my hand. I think it is afraid it is being picked off by a predator – maybe a bird. But I just allow it to settle. It gets awfully still, laying in my hand quite motionless. I poke it. It moves. Good. It’s alive. Playing dead I suppose.
I place the worm down in the grass. I put it under the blades for fear of a bird taking the life I had just saved. Then again, maybe the bird needs it to survive. The cycle of life is complicated. What is wrong or right?
The rain continues dripping down my body, like a cool dream. I’m in one of those melodramatic moods contemplating the meaning of all of this existence beyond myself. But what about me? Am I a selfish bastard? Did I save the worm for myself or for its own sake? Aren’t we all selfish? At least that’s what the news and my friends keep telling me. I try not to buy into other people’s jargon.
Anyways, I figure it’s probably time to tell you a story before you get all bored with this text of endless rambles, tangental thoughts and lackluster entertainment. Let’s call it entertainmentlessness. And why else would someone even be reading this random blurb of verbatim in the first place? Why, yes of course, to be entertained – which, I am sure you are not – yet.
So what should I tell you about? Do you want to know about my life? About all of the times I’ve gotten messed up, made terrible mistakes or the happy conclusion to my life? Well I hate to break it to you, but this ending ain’t ending yet. You see, we’re in a kind of a middle of sorts. You can know how the middle ends, and the rest, well, that’s for the future to know and me to find out. Is there a future? I’ve heard all of existence occurs in a single moment and that our conception of time is a fallacy. Sorry, sorry. Story, not thought. Story. Here it goes.
I grew up in a circus. Well, no, that’s a lie. I grew up in some small-ass hic town with a cap of about three thousand people. I liked to think I was a pretty special, smart kid, but was largely ignored by my parents. This led me into a series of rebellious acts that continued to escalate.
The fluorescent lights were flickering this soft flicker. Flickers that you’d miss normally unless you were paying very close attention. I was standing next to my mother in this department store’s clothing section. I could see this flickering in the corners of my eyes, but every time I looked, it was gone, escaping to the corner of my eyes again. I stopped playing this game, realizing I couldn’t win.
So I’m about five years old. Yeah, let’s say that. My mother is wearing these enormous glasses, her hair a perm. I know nothing of fashion, I just know, this is my mother and I love her. Is this a given? Do we love our parents out of survival, reason or what? What is love? I guess it doesn’t really matter anyways.
The candy aisle catches my eye and I drift away from my mother’s side. I make my way slowly to the aisle, a buffet of colours for my eyes to feast upon. My mouth is watering at the prospects of what I could consume but my pockets are empty.