The biggest horror is that life really is meaningless. That I am neither good nor evil, but simply am a being who exists in this period of time and space. Who would want to come back, if Heaven was truly that much more rich and full of meaning and novel discoveries of even profounder truths? Who would want to come back if he neither fought and died in a great war, nor held any incredible occupations or had epic romances? What if almost the entirety of his life was simply fair, perhaps occasionally spicier than utter banality?
All of the books start to feel like simple accumulation of possessions. I am a hoarder of ideas and facts, but I don’t really know what to do with them.
The way in which time holds me captive is not from the way that a decade goes by like nothing at all, but in the way an average day persists without an end in sight. The clock stalls out around four-thirty, and doesn’t budge for hours, perhaps days. But, nobody would believe me to hear me tell of it.
What can I possibly cherish, other than my family and pets? Do I cherish good art, music, memories of travels, experiences with drugs and alcohol? Do I cherish religion instead of trying to do what Jesus commanded me to do? Do I cherish dreams and marathon naps and long, delicious nights bathed in air conditioning?
Would fighting and dying in a war or a post-apocalyptic world make it better?
Would a disease, or some other terrible tragedy give life a piquancy?
Perhaps a younger man might answer in the affirmative, but I am too old to lust after the tragic and the evil simply to have a story or two to tell.
I am too old to think that I am living at the very cusp of civilization, and life will never get better for people than the way life is good for the people of my generation and the subsequent one or two. Life will indeed be better for many others, in ways that I can hardly imagine, nor do I care to. Perhaps one day we all will get to change bodies and occupations and circumstances to such a degree that nobody will value wealth and privilege much, and most people will find being poor and downtrodden more exciting. Perhaps one day we will meld our minds with machines to the point where taking delight in books seems rather absurd.
I am too old to really seriously believe my life would have been better had I been richer, smarter, better looking, more athletic or of a different gender. I think my life would have been different, and perhaps held in higher or lower regard by others, but at the end of the day, I have lived too long to want to change much of that which is intrinsically me–though this may prove to be another ephemeral illusion.