My uncle once told me about this theory of his. It was during a celebratory dine on the holiday of autumn. This was in the last few years of our modern world, before everything went to the sand. The world crumbled like eroding rocks on the shore. My uncle foresaw these events, but everyone was too busy to pay attention to him. He was the crazy one of our kin. I was young, prior to the social influences they had all been affected by. He theorized of alternate universes, how each fraction of each millisecond displaces our reality, but we’d never notice, similar to how our Earth turns but we’d never stop to feel it. Everyone was walking, going so quickly, in such a rush. I believed my uncle.
That was decades ago, and now I’m one of the few ones left to walk our Earth. I walk, in a rush, just as they did. I step forward with a single foot in front of the other, and as I do, I feel the universe on my skin and on my mind. The lonesomeness of this planet, now being desolate, haunts me. I walk each day, each week, each month, each year. I have walked for decades, alone. I am not concerned any longer, I am aware of the illusions that would restrict my species.
Everyday, the same brown boots on the sand. Everyday, the same tree to rest under in this desert. Everyday, the same lake for myself to quench my “thirst” from, but no food. I become hungry, starving, famished, malnutritioned, yet I walk. I am aware of the illusion, I need nothing, this universe is not real anymore. I realized quickly after our world crumbled to sand, that it was a trick, an illusion of reality. How could I walk miles everyday yet see the same tree and lake? I found my answer through the theory. After that, a new question infected my thoughts: How can I wake up? For that, I had to wonder my own theory. I walked for answers. I knew that one day I would find them.
The sand was my religion. The tree and lake were my government. My boots were my expression. The starvation was my suffering of the original sin and my yearn to reach my destination. The sun in the sky was the anchor to hope, as well as the wondering behind “how” and “why”. But, with wondering this new theory, of how I could awaken, I found my new meaning in life. It was all one unimaginable, philosophical, figurative, paradoxical, consuming, illusion.
After decades, I realized that this was my home and Earth was gone for me, but there was a sacrifice. I could give my life away to restore the universe for the society that existed before the decaying to sand. My apologies if this is all too complicated for you, but this is what I leave behind as I fade, giving my energy of life to the restoration of your universe. My meaning in life was to walk, seeking an answer to how to awaken myself from this illusion of a reality and sacrifice myself for the universe. Eventually, I created my own answer to the theory. A messiah to my faith. Comparatively, a God to this religion of sand.
I felt a presence of existence, something dark within me, calling me, like a magnetic. I had been walking towards it for the entire time since the collapse. This God of sand, the catalyst of the universal collapse, the harbinger. I seeked the harbinger. Each step was closer. I walked patiently, time never passed, it was part of the illusion. Afterall, how could there be time without a universe?
One night I rested upon the tree that I was so connected to. I had named the tree and loved it. The symbolism behind this was that this tree was a gift from God. Whether it was a gift from the God of the religion of the old world or a gift from the harbinger, it was a sign of mercy. It was a sign that I was expected by the eternal one to survive. This tree was included in my faith, because it was an unnatural miracle for such a living thing to survive in this xeric environment I rested upon it with the blistering sun on my skin and the potential universe revolving around me. As I did such, I knew that I finally had the ability to make a choice. I knew that I could make one wish for a miracle.
I was more hungry and starved of freedom than food itself. I made the decision in a second, knowing so much what I wanted more than anything. I was going to meet the harbinger when I rose from that tree. I closed my eyes, resting, sleeping, although being more than aware that doing such was but an illusion as well. I pretended to believe in the illusion, although that was near impossible. Being aware was torture in itself. “Sleeping” was the most relief that I could achieve. The sun never fell from the sky and the moon never presented itself. I missed the mood so much. Eventually, I rose. It could have been seconds, hours, days, months… maybe I rested there for years. I’ll never know.
I stood tall on the sand. Using my boots to be above my own faith. I turned around and looked beyond the tree. I saw a table with a silhouette sitting in front of it through my blurry vision because of the humid air. I took a few of my last steps on my tired foot and my worn boots. I stood in front of the table, avoiding eye contact with the silhouette, almost afraid of this concept of breaking the tradition of walking.
“Please, indulge comfortably…”, the silhouette said. I felt vibrations through my entire being. My universe was unstable. I had not heard a voice for longer than I was capable of remembering. I sat down at the table. “Hello Harbinger…”, I said, welcoming my God, the slayer of my former universe. “Hello Traveller.”, he called me. I had not had a name in such a long time. I was at a lack of words. I felt like a human again. For this brief moment of discomfort, being mortal and a victim to my own physical and mental restrictions once again for the first time in nearly a century, I decided that I was ready. As I had lived in the more enlightened universe, I was prepared to become obsolete in my own existence. I was primed to perish for the sake of the former universe. “Do you know what to do?”, the Harbinger asked me. “I think so…”, I said, only unsure because of the instability in my mind as to my universe of sand. “Do you have any last words?”, the Harbinger asked me, giving me one last chance of human expression. “Yes… goodbye old friend…”, I told my enemy before being smited. The Harbinger was my God, my enlightener, but simultaneously, he was the poacher of my humanity, my ignorance, and my innocence. I was ready to be dismissed.
I trusted that my witnesses would confess my legend and legacy to the society of all humans on Earth and the former universe becoming whole again. The sun with each day that it burned, the tree with the shade that it offered, the lake with the water it supplied. I closed my eyes, never to be opened again, fading, awakening, finally at peace.