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New Year's Contemplations
Aaron stood there in disbelief. “30…29…28…!” they screamed louder than ever and Aaron could not understand. “Why should we celebrate the passing of time with this warmth and chaos,” he thought to himself. “It’s just another reminder that the days are passing and that they are in fact numbered. The inevitability of time continues to rip at the core of everything I do.”
He wanted to stop time. If he had the ability to do so he would force the entire world to freeze. As the ten second countdown began the crowd of people huddled around the television in order to witness the dropping of the ball. So insignificant, so pointless, but there was not a person in the room who didn’t yell in utter rejoice when 2014 kicked in. When the mass of people bunched the TV, Aaron migrated towards the dark corner in the back of the room. He tried to move as far away from the screaming as possible. He backed up against that corner wall and wished it would disappear so that he could run.
Oh how Aaron wished to be outside so he could just run away. He didn't want to witness 2014. Aaron thought that if he closed his eyes and blocked his ears, time would cease for him. Aaron would be able to accomplish daily activities without the apprehension of age and deadlines.
“Everything just fades to memories. In a few years that mass of people will forget every single detail of this night. They will say, ‘Where was I for New Year’s that one time… ohh that’s right, now I remember.” But all that they will recall is where there body was, but not where there mind was. Their experiences blend together like a single drop of blood in the vast tumultuous ocean of life.
The next ten minutes in Aaron’s life were of an existential matter. Pure contemplation. There was something odd about this event. In the grand scheme of things this meditation will be lost. Aaron thought about this as he searched for meaning, but the thought eluded his consciousness and slipped into the dark recesses of his cerebrum.
The next thought hopped onto the main stage, “Can it be true that in order to live productive lives in modern society we have to distract ourselves from these immortally important inquiries… I mean the nature of existence and the idea that we will never definitively know the answer to the question ‘Why?’”
Surrounded by the chaos of confetti, alcohol and drunkards, Aaron never felt more meaningless.
He stood up, defeating the fatigue in his legs and stepped into the bathroom to splash water on his face. The bathroom was completely trashed, and what a shame. It was such an elegant room, the verticality of the tall beams of the shower and the sophisticated golden sink that looks cut out of a Roman bathhouse used to give vibrancy and meaning to this room, but for this night its existence was trivial and petty. Beers were thrown in the tub. One of the tiles seemed to be cracked.
Aaron grew attached to the bathroom. He related to it.
The baroque mirror caught Aaron’s reflection and stopped him dead in his tracks. He was scared of the person he looked at in the mirror. He saw articles of clothing that he never wore before. He saw facial hair that seemed to have grown in the past few minutes, stubbly and messy.
While Aaron was in search for meaning in his life he let his own image slip from his fingers. Time clicked on ahead and the party died down.
Once again Aaron sat in disbelief, with just as much utter shock as when the ball dropped to the base of Times Square.
There was silence. It was so quiet that Aaron could hear the sound of his heart beat and the blood flow through his ear. Bu-thump, bu-thump.
The party was past the point of rally or revival by the time Aaron departed from the stranger. The scene of former joy and glory was as barren as a wasteland and was as cruel as winter.
“Yo dude, let’s get out of here” exclaimed his friend, breaking Aaron’s wrenching stare at the black screen of the TV.
Right there, that second, the electrical pulse permeated the mind of Aaron and he had an epiphany, one that only comes around once or twice a lifetime. A single thought, just a single thought, how it can manifest itself in the mind and shape beings, even nations and epochs.
That thought that receded into the dark chambers of the hardwired vault of the mind earlier in the night showed its head again as Aaron saw a familiar face in the reflection of the black screen. He greeted it with warmth and amiable questions that encouraged self-reflection, not self-estrangement.
“We need to create meaning. We don’t search for meaning, we create it. We are all artists, trying to copy and reference, paint and draw, configure and understand our own lives. Searching for a truth is futile and will end in an unfamiliar place relating to unfamiliar things isolating even oneself from the most universal of absolutes.” As Aaron stood up to leave the barren oasis, he looked at his reflection with acknowledgment and confidence.
On his way out he reached over to the table and picked up a pair of 2014 glasses and put them on with a sense of pride despite the knowledge that even this moment would fade to the banks of the river of life.