The Lost Man

December 15, 2008
By Daniel Allen, Rochester Hills, MI

In the hours when the sun hides his weary rays behind the lost horizon, and the moon attempts to prove her bleak existence by shining her grey light into the dark blue night, MAN begins to lose himself.

Thoughts run through his head as he tries to justify the things he has done; as he tries to explain to himself why things are as they are. Memories, flashes of brightness in the darkness, grow before his eyes. He fails to sort through them. Doubts creep into his mind; doubts over whether what he sees was, or is, reality or fabrication. He loses trust in the world around him. Then he loses trust in the world within him.

Slowly, the Demons in his heart crawl out and welcome MAN into the night. MAN tries to send them away, but they stay. They stay and torture him. They ask “MAN! Do you remember when you did this? Do you remember the pain it caused?”

And MAN replies, “Yes I do remember! However, I have also caused great pleasure! Where is the angel who will argue that case?”

The angel never comes. MAN loses faith, as the flames begin to burn through his heart and vultures begin to peck at his living flesh. “Why,” wonders MAN, “Why is this happening? What did I do wrong?”

And the Demons reply, “You lived, and that is enough.” MAN then shouts into the darkened night, “Yes, I lived, but it was not by my own will that I lived! Forces beyond our control brought me here!”

“Yet you lived, and that is enough!” reply the Demons. Man loses consciousness, yet his mind still process the worlds around him. It sees the vulture pecking at his palpitating liver and thinks, “I should have drunk more, and then this vulture would not have such a feast today.” MAN loses all comprehension of the events unfolding around him. He damns and curses himself for the things he had done. “To no purpose!” MAN screams, “I lived my life only to find this end was inevitable. It was all to no purpose!”

A loud laughter floods the enclosure with MAN within it. Two demons face each other and one says to the other with a smile, “Now he gets it!”

Yet MAN holds on to hope. Hope is always the last to go. Every man hopes that things will improve, that this is not the end. It is when Hope abandons MAN or MAN abandons Hope that MAN is truly lost. Until then, he will suffer the vulture and humor the demons, and all other creations of his mind. Then finally, Man abandons Hope, or Hope abandons MAN and the hammer hits the nail and the casket it sealed.

Nobody came the day MAN died. Nobody came to the funeral. Only the vulture, the demons, the fire and the pain where there to see that all was done as planned. After staring at the tomb for a few minutes, they too turn around and walk away.

The words on the tomb echo through the darkness: Here lies the man who wondered if it was all worth it. In the dirt beneath the tomb, two words inscribe themselves “IT WAS”. The moon made its way to the lost horizon, and there met her brother the Sun, who had arisen to show his weary rays once more.

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