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The man strolled through his home with an air of monotony that would make factory worker envious. Every nook, every cranny, every experience, every love, every hatred so gratingly explored. Every point expounded upon one million times over, until the very essence of his being exuded a maddeningly stable self-similarity.
And in his machine-like existence, there was not an inkling of desire.
He crossed the threshold dividing his living room and bathroom with his left foot first at 8:57 PM.
He turned on the light switch with his right index finger, half extended.
He applied the exact same upward force of the handle that he always had.
The water wet his left hand in the same way, the cascading stream flowing in the familiar path.
He brought his hands together, rubbing his left palm with his right fingertips and fingering his right knuckles with his left fingers.
Pooling water in his hands, he brought a cold twinge closer and closer to his face. And at that moment he looked up into the mirror:
What he saw was not his face. Nor was it anything that pertained to him. No, what he saw was truly beautiful. He saw across eons of time, the horrors of the past. The dirty little secrets that everyone kept scared him deeply and appalled his carefully fabricated morality. He discovered the infinite pride of achievement, gazing in wonder at man’s hubris, bringing forth from the labyrinth of his chest a new standard of appraisal. He saw love, exploding in the air with each proposal and acceptance, fostering in himself the lovey dovey insanity that brings a romantic hope to all. He felt lust, burbling and boiling inside him, bludgeoning the facets of mechanized reasoning that he had grown so accustomed to.
And most of all, he saw sorrow. The sorrow pained him the most. Emptiness. Regret. Harrowing cries of despair scraping at inner walls at the back of his grainy, wretched throat. In the blink of an eye, he felt the torture of a thousand damned souls. His entity raped with the force of ripping tragedy, he felt cheated of a rightful existence.
With this, he was angered, thinking that there was no point to all of these fantastic experiences if they were to all end in sadness. Which raised a question- why bother? For every birth, there is a death. Throughout life, a man gouges himself and replaces the contents. With every mourning passing, there is an agonizing reconstitution of everything he cares about. It’s as if the excruciating pain is so numbing that a man can’t feel the inconsequential, weak pleasantries. How could the man with one thousand gashes on his hand know the feeling of caressing his lover’s face?
It is pointless, he decided, for no happiness or intrigue could trump the insurmountable gate that is ill circumstance.
This time he saw his face- his gate.
Time for bed.
He strode back across the massive expanse of his quarters. It contained every possibility he could not muster to imagine, but none that he could see. Easing into bed, his face settled on the soft, white, blank slate of his pillow, stained only with the tears cried over his own infertility.