The Interview of Life – Chapter 1

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There are times when, upon waking, you realize that your life is worth nothing. The realization can dawn on you as you’re waking up, the first thought in your mind that still holds remnants of last night’s dream. The thought can take you by surprise as you inspect a fruit or vegetable at the supermarket or grocery store. It can capture you in a state of despair as you miss your bus and sink in as an unexpected rainfall drenches your clothes and as you think about your umbrella left in the rack at home.

This thought has hit Serah Basil in every one of these instances. It has been the third time this week. It was only Tuesday.

He thought of these times as he wrung his tie out, knowing that it would get soaked again. His attention shifted and gazed at the water fall from his tie as he wrung, and watched as the cloth darkened with the newly coming rainfall. He smiled and thought of the fact that every time he would wring out his tie, the liquid would still be replaced by more. When he would get to work, the liquid would dry and evaporate, being replaced by dry, stale office air and possibly today’s lunch. That the food gathered on the tie would be scrubbed off by a wet paper towel, thus making the tie wet yet again. A never ending cycle, he thought to himself.

He thought of circles. Do circles ever have ends? Circles have beginnings, so surely they also have ends, right?

This led him to the topic that has filled his mind ever since he was a boy: God. Does God have an end? If he has a beginning, then surely he must have an end.

… Right?

Serah sat up and adjusted his glasses, pushing them higher on his face so that water would not get into his eyes as he looked to the sky. He thought of his father, about how devoted he was to God.

“We cannot see God, but we know that he is there,” his father would say. “He is all around us: omnipotent.”

Serah remembered asking how God was omnipotent. How can God be everywhere?

“In spirit,” his father had answered. “Spirit creatures are not held by the bounds of physical bodies like people can. He is everywhere, and that is how He knows what is going on everywhere. He helps the people that are faithful to Him.”

Serah remembered asking his father what happened to the other people who weren’t faithful to God.

“They suffer intensely,” his father blatantly replied. “And if they are not suffering right now, they will suffer in Hell.”

Serah had then asked, “Is that why mom is in the hospital right now? Is she not faithful?”

He remembered how angry his father had gotten.

“Your mother has faith,” his father said. “Don’t you ever question your mother’s faith again!”

Serah had nodded. His father sighed.

“The Lord works in mysterious ways,” his father had said, and he left the subject at that.

The bus slowed to a stop in front of Serah. He got on, paid his fare, and took small breaths as he passed by an older man who smelled of body sweat and cigarettes. The man was sleeping. Small, sharp snores heard when the man inhaled, and then forcefully pushed out of his lungs and mouth when he exhaled. Serah wondered at what the man had experienced before boarding the bus and sleeping so soundly. What stop could he have possibly been waiting at? Did he get on the bus before the rain started? He dismissed that question as another whiff of the older man’s odor passed by his nose. He thought about if the man had any family. Was he going to them now? Is he traveling away from them? Is he married? Does his spouse worry when the man gets on the bus and sleeps and possibly misses the stop he was supposed to get off on? Has he already missed his stop?

He came from his thoughts as a woman got on the bus and visibly pinched her nose as she walked down the aisle. She spotted Serah, and made a disgusted face while pointing in the old man’s direction. Serah shrugged and offered a small smile. As she sat down, he thought about her as well. Where was she coming from? Did she have any children? How did she act in front of them? Would she make a face and wave the stink away if her children were present? How would her children respond?

His thoughts wandered like so until he got off the bus. He watched as it drove past his stop, and as the bus pulled away, he saw the woman move to the seat he had sat in, farther away from the smelling old man.

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The Interview of Life – Chapter 9

Seth was waiting for Seah when he got home.

“Eli!” Seth said as Serah opened his door.

“How did you get inside?”

“Not the right question so I cannot answer it!”

Serah rolled his eyes. “Hello, Seth.” He trudged into his apartment and shut the door behind him. He just wanted to be alone.

Seth eyed Serah from the chair he was in. “You’ve eaten today.”

Serah frowned. “Yes.”

“Did you get the food yourself?”

“…not exactly.”

“Hmm.” Seth jumped up. “So! How was your day?”

Serah dropped his bag and coat on the floor. “It was fine.”

“Just fine?”

“Seth.” Serah struggled to contain his irritation. “I have to ask you: how does knowing about my day have to do anything with why you’re here?”

Seth thought for a moment. “Given that I am here to help you, knowing about your day can help me…help you, as it were.”

“I… don’t follow. Are you trying to confuse me?”

“No. I have answered as honestly as I can.”

Serah didn’t need this. He went to his room to change clothes. He came out of his room slowly.

“Seth.”

“Yes?”

“Where you snooping in my room?”

“Not exactly. There was nothing in there when I peeked through the crack, so I decided not to bother.”

Serah was not amused. But he decided to let the matter go. Just for now. He sat down, stretched, and sighed. He stared at the ceiling, wondering what it would feel like if it decided to suddenly cave in.

“From what I can remember,” Serah started, “you say you can’t tell me who sent you.”

“Correct.”

“…and you say that, in a way, I am being tested.”

“Yes, also correct.” Seth picked a piece of string from his pants.

“So what am I being tested for exactly?”

Seth stopped and sighed, and for the first time, Serah actually considered him to be just a regular man. He waved away the thought immediately.

“There is a lot in that question,” Seth finally said. “It is not the question, but it is definitely close.”

“Then answer it.”

Seth laced his hands behind his head. “You are being tested…for you.”

“Excuse me?”

There was a flash of a grin on Seth’s face. “Manners…”

Serah gritted his teeth. He didn’t care about manners. He wanted answers. “That doesn’t make any sense. How am I being tested for myself? Who sent you?”

“You know I can’t answer that.”

“Are you just pulling my leg for a moment out of the cold? Is this some sort of prank? Nothing you’ve said holds any merit. What are you doing here?!”

Seth closed his eyes. “You think I’m just another homeless man?”

“I think you’re insane! Ever since you showed up all you’ve been doing is harassing me, saying you have the answers, but you’ve done nothing! You haven’t helped me answer anything at all! You’ve just been here, randomly showing up in my home expecting for something to change, well there hasn’t been any change! I ask you questions, you barely answer me. You confuse and agitate the living shit out of me! No more!”

Serah went to stand and realized he was already standing. He walked to the door and swung it open. It hit the wall behind it with a bang.

“I don’t want to see you ever again. I don’t care if you answer my questions or not, I’m done.”

Seth didn’t move. “Serah,” he stated. “It’s only been a few days.”

“It’s been two weeks! Get out!”

“That isn’t long enough to-”

Out!”

Serah watched as Seth slowly stood and walk towards the door. He stopped as he reached the porch.

“If you change your mind,” Seth said, “I’ll be back.”

Serah slammed the door shut and screamed.

The Interview of Life – Chapter 8

Serah went to work the next day. He filed his papers and made notes for management to review. He did his work and avoided talking to anyone. The night was hard – he barely got any sleep and the pills make him slow, a hangover without the headache. At lunch, he stared at his coffee, knowing it wouldn’t help in any way. His mind wandered and he asked himself why he even liked coffee. He didn’t like sugar, but he also didn’t like how bitter the coffee tasted. And yet, every day he would somehow have a coffee in his hand. He would drink it all and throw the cup away, gagging at the taste.

His mother and father drank coffee every morning when he was a child. They would prepare their coffee and after their first sip, they seemed more relaxed. Awake. Did he drink the coffee because he only saw adults drink it as a child? Was he just trying to prove himself as an adult by doing seemingly adult things, even though he had the choice to not to? Many adults didn’t like coffee, and they wouldn’t drink it. It was a decision as an adult. So why did he feel as if he needed it? Was it an addiction? Was he addicted to coffee? He knew he was addicted to sleeping pills. Without them, sleep wouldn’t exist. But he woke up just fine without coffee. He didn’t need it. He knew he didn’t need it. So why?

He subconsciously took another sip, held the liquid in his mouth, and braced himself for the taste going down. Terrible.

“Is anyone sitting here?”

Serah looked up from the table and saw Jamal. He was holding a lunch bag in one hand and a coffee in the other. With the hand holding the coffee, he pointed at the empty seat across from Serah.

“Oh! No, go ahead, the chair’s free.”

“I was actually asking if I could sit with you,” Jamal said.

“Oh.” Serah kicked himself. “No please, have a seat.”

Jamal sat his things on the table and sat down. “Thanks,” he replied. He opened his bag and pulled out a reusable container with pasta and a sandwich. “Do you usually eat alone?”

Serah scratched the back of his head. “Well usually I eat at my desk, but I just felt like being outside today.”

Jamal nodded while he chewed on the sandwich. “I figured. You don’t seem like you enjoy talking to people much.”

Serah smirked. “If that was the case, I should’ve been fired months ago.”

Jamal raised an eyebrow and spoke with a bit of food still in his mouth. “So you DO like talking to people?”

Serah opened his mouth, then closed it. “…no, you’re right, I hate talking to people.”

Jamal laughed. “Hey, the realization is the first step, right?”

“Apparently.”

They were silent for a while. Jamal finished his sandwich and pulled a bag of chips from his bag.

“Can I ask you a question?” Serah asked.

Jamal shrugged.

“Do you like coffee?”

“Well, I mean…” Jamal motioned to his coffee, “Yeah. Why would I get it if I wasn’t going to drink it?”

“…point taken. Just asking.”

“I mean, you have a coffee. Did you get it because you don’t like it?”

“I…don’t know.”

Jamal frowned. “What do you mean by that?”

Serah explained, “Well, I get coffee every day. But I hate the taste, and I don’t like sugar which is supposed to mask the bitterness. Like clockwork – come to work, get the coffee, clock in. I have no idea why I get it.”

“Maybe you liked it at one point and along the way you started to dislike it?”

Serah tried to remember when he first started drinking coffee. He couldn’t. “You might be right about that.” Serah took another sip.

“You’re still drinking it,” Jamal pointed out.

Serah looked at his cup, and then stood up and walked over to the trash can. He threw it in and sat back down.

Jamal laughed, and so did Serah.

Jamal commented. “You know you kind of walk like a robot?”

“Do I?”

“Spine straight, arm at a right angle. You’re tense, man.”

Serah smiled and shrugged.

“Did you already eat?” Jamal asked.

“Ah, no. I didn’t bring anything.” He didn’t want to let Jamal know that he doesn’t eat much. He never brought a lunch.

Jamal pushed the pasta over to Serah. “Here, you can have that.”

“No, it’s alright.”

“I’m serious. I made too much for myself last night. You go ahead and have that.”

Serah hesitated, then pulled the bowl towards himself. He decided that he liked Jamal. Serah felt himself relax a bit into his chair.

“Thank you, Jamal.”

“I want that bowl back.”

4/10/19 – An Anecdote, Part 2

About three minutes ago, someone important died. They might have not been famously important, but they were important to someone. Someone out there had lost a person that had changed their life in a multitude of ways, be it mental or physical or otherwise.

But that’s not why you’re reading this, is it?

No, you’re reading this because you happened upon it randomly, or you follow the person whose profile this is on. You might also be reading this because you are trying to find something. What that something is, you do not know. A sign, a reason, a distraction; or you are just trying to find information on whatever subject you were looking for. I don’t know if this qualifies as any of these things, but interpret these words as you wish.

Now go. Do something. Anything.

Just go already.

The Interview of Life – Seth (A Sidenote)

Seth was wondering how this was going to work.

He watched silently as Serah got on the bus and sat near the back. Serah looked at the man that stunk and snored; not with disgust, but interest. It was one of the reasons Seth decided to take his file. People watching was always fun. Serah-watching was just as good. Seth looked down.

He knew how this was going to end. He’d known Serah’s entire life.

But…everything would happen slowly, and then all at once.

Seth didn’t want any of it to happen.

He remembered his training: he was not allowed to tell him why he was there, except to tell him that he could answer his questions, and then The Question will be asked. Seth didn’t want that question to be asked.

He wanted to save him. He was not allowed to do that either. He was not going to be the end of Serah. But he still would, in a sense, be There. Seth knew when it would happen. He would feel it. Seth saw Serah get off the bus and watched as a woman changed to his seat.

He would be there after The End. He didn’t know what would happen to Serah then.

He didn’t know if he wanted to know, anyway.

 

3/19/19 – An Anecdote

…okay, writing every day is hard. How do people do this? 

…let’s try making something up on the fly. Something needs to be uploaded to WordPress. Anything, really.

Once upon a time…I don’t know, there was a…star? Bug?

There was an animal. Let’s be general here.

The animal was tired as shit.

Their toes were always cold, and the discomfort made them grumpy and very unhappy. But, that was the life of this animal, so it said nothing.

The animal walked around daily, looking at the other animals laugh and smile, and wondered how they could be so happy when they were uncomfortable all of the time.

Finally, one day he asked someone:

“Why are you so happy?”

The other animal was confused. “What do you mean?” They asked.

“How are you so happy when your feet are always frozen? The constant discomfort of traveling daily, barely being able to feel anything, let alone the ground underneath your feet. How do you do it?”

The other animal was concerned.

“What do you mean?” they repeated. “My feet are usually not cold. During the cold weather, yes. Otherwise, they are not!”

The animal stood in shock. This entire time, they had been cold and suffering, thinking that everyone felt the way they themselves had felt almost their entire life. But no one else was. How could this be?

The other animal looked down.

The animal also looked down.

The animal was not wearing any shoes.

The End.