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Revive and Restore
It was too cold to think, to concentrate, too cold to anticipate or understand. It was too cold to answer. “Tell me about karma” he said. What of it? To me, the fact that I was here had little to do with karma. The air wafted through my hair, and shriveled what would have been my throbbing head, had I the ability to feel it. “Tell me about you” he said. What he was, I did not know. What I am, I do not know. With everything in doubt, I trusted. With an incomplete understanding, I knew. So I told him everything.
Nothing has ever had a definite start in my life. I was born unknown and was later adopted, grew with few jumps and little change in a life that molded its way around society. Everything was gradual and perfection was limitless. In a rhetorical sense, everything is unending, until the once invisible boundary is imposed. I found that limit to the ordinary on my own, watching over the sky and trying to find where it ended. Lying down, I heard my name called by a perfect mother from a perfect house in a perfect voice. Yet she called hesitantly, as if discovering a blemish in our life, the mere fact that something was out of place. “We need firewood!” she enunciated over the tender bushes and grass separating my restful peace from her astringent anguish. Since I had failed to chop wood for the oncoming winter earlier today, I had no choice but to fetch some from the expanse of forest encompassing our lonely cottage. Nevertheless, I held no indignation towards storming into the forest; axe in hand, ready to conquer an army of green. Men like power: I now considered myself a man, and the axe was potently intimidating to my verdant foe. Hence, with an attitude too strong to harness, I burst forth a mile a minute, and selected a tree slightly larger than sanity should permit.
Eagerly I swung my axe, and felt the solid thwack as the metal formed a deep abyss in the side of the bark. Charged with adrenaline, I pulled the axe out with one tug, and readied myself for a second blow. It never came, for I witnessed the bleeding cavity slowly shrink and close, as the sinews within the bark reunited blemish free. Awestruck and frantic, I swung again, and again, and again, only to leave a different pattern in the bark each time it re-grew. After exhausting my strength, I knelt down against the tree, and decided to follow a different approach. After close examination of the faultless bark, I found a coin, partially exposed, in the side of the tree. It must have been many years old, for only half protruded from the tree with rest submerged. I pulled it out, only to feel an icy cold seep into my hand, and the tender blisters from the rough wood of the axe dissipate into my pinkish skin. The moment I wrenched it free, my entire body recuperated as scabs fell off and scars sunk back into my flesh. Reborn, I pocketed the coin and raised the axe back over my head, and with three solid blows, fell the tree.
Upon returning home with an armful of fresh wood, I was given time to scrutinize the coin. It most closely resembled the size and illustration of a penny, except for the fact that the man engraved upon it had no whiskers, and the inscription above read a different message: “Trust not in me”. The back of the iron coin was ominously blank, yet covered in rust. Now knowing that this coin held power, I decided to try it out. I pulled a worm from the ground and cut it in two. Pressing the coin against both parts at the same time made the severed ends reach out like magnets to their polar opposites, and rejoin with a more perfect union. With the verified assumption that this coin healed wounds, I strapped it to my arm with medical tape and used it as a precautionary immortality.
Days passed, weeks passed, and even months, in which I held this coin against my skin. Now tied to the bottom of my watch, it was always in contact with my wrist, and as I felt more and more impervious to danger, I became less and less cautious. Each time I used a knife, I gripped it carelessly by the blade. Each time I ran, I fell and temporarily skinned my knees. Each time I argued, I fought, each time I cooked, I burned, but I have not yet died.
Today I climbed a tree. I ascended far beyond any point a daring man would have reached, and eventually arrived at the top which was daintily covered with flimsy branches begging to break under my weight. Stepping too hard, I lost my footing, and with my newfound strength tore through the branches that were calmly giving way. I fell far, too far, for I was impaled upon a smaller tree, and displayed a gory depiction of my innards, to which I closed my eyes an empty man. The golden-eyed hawk resting nearby flew up to the tree, and the image of it feasting on me was the last I ever truly saw. Today, I died.
In the time that it took to heal, I lost consciousness, but felt something tugging from so deep within me that not even the sharpest upturned bough could have pierced or reached it. As I drifted back to life, I felt an unfamiliar coldness creep over me, at which the tugging ended and discomfort began. I rose, yet feeling nothing. My cold hands gripped the tree, and with little effort broke it in two and threw it aside. I now felt no wound, but was still missing something. I thought it could be my entrails, but they were no longer among the trees, and I felt them resting surely beneath my skin. Yet I felt a particular limitlessness, a lack of boundaries to the human world, and a control established by the absence of rules. I remembered what I was supposed to do according to the laws of nature, but could deprive myself of obedience. I rose without moving my legs, and ran without muscle exertion.
I felt no allegiance with humanity and rested for uncountable days in a forest full of life with which I could not relate. No, I was still dead, but someone must have made a mistake, and left me here to remain an anomaly, and to live off my own lack of vitality. I had power, for I learned not only to manipulate the laws of science, but also to annihilate them and induce my own. I rewrote God’s programming so to speak, and raised a palace of abnormality. Emotions now escaped me and so did feeling. Now everything was describable as merely varying degrees of cold, and all ambitions were that of power I already had. Unable to advance yet unable to feel, I could only wait in my thoughtless coma for something to happen; this dilemma needed fixing, which is the absolute opposite of the only thing I could apply: devastation.
Watching the jubilant elephant-sized squirrels swim through the air, and the occasional tree take root perpendicular to another, and fully bloom in seconds, I could not think, and as a result noticed nothing wrong with my world. It was then that I felt the air shudder with the footsteps of a fast paced human, walking briskly towards me, with no apparent effort. I suspected nothing associable with a threat, and felt nothing but the flawless cold snowy diamonds pinching my skin.
“No, I am wrong, this karma is not yours. It is mine.” Stated the man, his golden eyes twinkling. He told me to look one more time at the coin, which I did, and had I any perception, I would have immediately recognized the bust upon the coin to be this very same man. But he knew I could not understand, and started to explain anyway “One of my first creations was a currency of life, long ago extinguished by myself, for I felt that vitality should hold no such materialistic value”. He looked through me, or rather into me and said, “Had you any conscience, you would ask of our own existence. You would ask if I was a God, and I would respond “No”. I would tell you that I am a moderator of sorts, and that I am the only remaining patriarch of Earth. Hence, I make mistakes, which leads me to your next question, “What am I?” You are a mistake, an error, for I saw you die there, and as I retrieved your inner being, your soul so to speak, you healed and became whole in a physical sense, yet hollow in every other aspect. You are soul-less, dead, and in the wrong place.”
I stared passively into his eyes, and just then managed to conclude that he was not human, not because of what he said, but because his eyes were ornate gold, and his figure wavered and lacked existence. When I started realizing the fact that he was immune to the new laws of my perverse world, he smiled. He then reached out his hand, in which the coin promptly appeared leaving my own hand empty, and dissolved into nothingness.
After ridding me of the coin, he whispered slowly “Life seems much better once you get to know death.” He raised his arm, and out of it poured an energy I have not yet stumbled upon in my conquest. It glimmered and shone, felt and thought. It held consciousness and wisdom, while it wailed in longing for its return, sorry to have ever left me. It was life. It poured into the dusty inaccessible recess of my chest, and relit the candles behind my eyes. As every dark aspect of my creations was reversed, so were those within me. I felt, I thought, I held consciousness, and most of all, I was alive.
My life was never quite that incessantly perfect again, and for that, I am thankful.
Perfection is nothing.
Fallibility is everything.