Lately, I can’t stop thinking about the nature of existence. I mean, it’s fucked up if you think about it, have you ever? We’re just like a fish bowl, you know, the little ones for fucking goldfish or betas or whatever—my friend used to have a beta, it would eat all the other fishes we put in with it… we would take bets on how long they would last before they became a sort of Silence of the Lambs style sushi… we’re JUST like a little fucking fish bowl, sitting on some snot-nosed kid’s desk (the kind of kid whose OCD parents eat Xanax for breakfast and think having a dog in the house is just too messy), but walk down the stairs, past the “open-concept modern blah blah bullshit modernist kitchen/living room”, out the door, and down the block and what do you see? A fucking OCEAN… Did you know that we still haven’t figured out what dwells at the depths of our oceans? Our world is a grain of sand on the beach and we’re still not even familiar with our own grain… We might be as insignificant as the fish bowl in size, but surely not in being… We are billions strong, spawned from the most perfect coincidental accident, interwoven in degrees of separation throughout time and space; we ponder the beautiful, form unions, deceive, invent, destroy, and dream… Or are we? We could be as meaningless as the fish bowl that sits on the desk of your distant cousin’s neighbor’s friend’s snot-nosed little kid; you are as indifferent to that as the universe is to you.
What am I doing here? I ponder as I sit and stare… a universal question that spans across varying concepts, being both literal and metaphysical. What am I literally doing here? Sitting in a crowded room, listening to this sad little man ramble, attempting to educate; however, my attention and thoughts are perpetually being directed out the window. While I put on a mask of studiousness, I gaze upon the sea of ants crudely moving beneath me. Where are they going? How do they relate to one another? Every ant has their own daily agenda, relationships, problems, and initiatives, probably living a vaguely similar life to my own; yet they nonetheless stay the same to me, ants that go unnoticed. As I watch them shuffle past one another, I think about the selfishness of my generation. Everyone is so wrapped up in their own lives, too busy to give a kind thought to other ants who pass by. Strangers stay strangers. The virtue of empathy is fading away. What is my place amongst these ants? In other words, what am I metaphysically doing here? This question continually vexes me. I like to think that my path has already been inscribed, and take small, obscure happenings as reassurance that I’m headed in the right direction, but I’m really not too sure. Sometimes I think that I’m nothing more than a petal on a vast lake being blown any which way in a random, unorganized fashion by the wind. Do I have any sort of control over my own life? How do my decisions affect me and those around me? The more I ask myself these questions, the more conscious I become about my place in the universe. Time is constantly flying by me, but am I moving forward? I watch everything around me grow: the plants grow, the ants grow, the buildings grow; sometimes I wish I could just pause it all for a while. I know I’m growing too, but part of me feels I’m not ready to do so. My anxieties about the future increase as time passes. Will I become a mere, selfish ant, or do I have greater things in store for me? My empathy has not yet been drained by the world. I often think about the ants, wondering how they feel under their masks. I see so many ants get crushed by the struggles of society and it hurts me. I can’t watch the news anymore, it makes me too nervous. I want to help them, but I don’t know how. Perhaps the first way to start is to unwrap myself from my own life, take a step back, and think about others more. Maybe that’s the first step to answer the question of my metaphysical place in life. Although these thoughts make me anxious, they also offer me a sort of solace, that by thinking about these things, I am on my way to figuring out what I’m doing here. I look up. The crowded room is beginning to empty. The sad little man has finally stopped speaking. I follow suit, grab my things, and shuffle out the door to join the sea of ants.