Prologue

 

Look at the desert and tell me aliens don’t exist.

Look at animals in general and tell me that there is such a thing as evolution by genetic mutation up from a single protozoan. No need to get defensive, I’m not a vaccine freak or anything. It’s just astounding to me that humans share, even rule, their pocket of existence with beings who for millennia functioned independently from our understanding of how things were supposed to work and tend to be fundamentally equipped to defeat us in one-on-one combat.

Really, though. Coyotes, javelinas, and jackrabbits; the fragrant and thorny and probably poisonous garden of green-brown and brown-green surviving across barren plains between purple mountain ranges; all the tiny slimy, furry things hiding from the sun and sneaky lesser demons hiding in the rocks with paralyzing fangs and night vision. Somehow dinosaurs didn’t make it to this equation, a metacalculus function that looks like long division compared to the rainforests of the world or the depths of the sea.

Seriously, what the fuck is an octopus?

What distinguishes humans from the rest of Earth is that we are the best able to think and communicate. As such, me and my thumbs say, “suck it, nature.” The one organ that all intelligent life has in common is the one that enables such intelligence, the organ of reflection. Combining all data perceived, this organ is able to deduce and learn patterns, repetitions and correlations in the collection of data. The understanding developed through observation and experiment is what makes growth possible. Real growth like changing the physical world and furthering the study of concepts, inventing offshoots and specializations along the way.

The burden of such power is the responsibility to use it. And it is quite a bitch sometimes, considering the darkness that comes from turning the telescope to your temple. I’m sure people busy with harvesting and not getting speared still had existential worries, don’t get me wrong. I’m just not sure that they handled it like we do because they didn’t have the capacity of communication.

I don’t know anyone from my birthplace and haven’t seen people from my various homes in years other than my family and the infinite strangers that we encounter regularly. Is it privileged to freak out about that, the scope of history and your place on its grand axes, given the guarantee that it doesn’t matter?

It doesn’t matter to think about why you were or how you do or what you where as much as it matters to be there. To live the questions and go back to check with the answers. Asking these questions is an answer in itself though not to the original question and often more disappointing than what you were looking for. It is for the moments that we stop to smile that we embark on the journey. The faith that we will find ourselves beyond over yonder, being something other than what we are now. The fear that it will not happen and the curse that being afraid will only realize that possibility. The reassurance that although we will never get to choose what happens, we get to choose what we happen to.

The idea that this is all a ride and we can do nothing but.

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