The other day, I lost my soul. I, slowly descending from that escalator in a mall, transformed into a mechanical part of it and lost all my feelings for humanity. I became a screw or a metallic plank or a generic shank with eyes. Yes, the eyes might have been the only humanly part of me.
Within those few seconds of descent onto the busy ground floor of the mall, I found myself immersed in the heartless randomness of life (or non-life). People seemed to me mere objects with a leathery fabric as shell covering. Their shells were empty. They were strolling along the malls as billiard balls would almost aimlessly roll over the carpet and bounce against each other during a game. They were carrying plastic bags that I couldn’t distinguish from the leathery covering of their bodies. What if they were mysteriously connected in some way? I mean, how could you know a plastic bag isn’t a part of you?
But they continued gamboling about the stalls, laughing, talking, smiling. It was all very cheerfully human and yet since I lost my soul that day, I honestly found it to be cold and external. They were like a bacteriological sample under a microscope, only bacteria are alive and they’re not. I had this urge to blame their purchases for the suffering that I know has ailed them since time immemorial but even that sort of humane, socialist analysis had lost its warmth to me. In fact, I couldn’t distinguish it from the very purchases it supposedly criticizes essentially.
Needless to say, I didn’t find any love or mercy in my heart for them. As parts of the extremely modified earth, I considered them as expendable as any of its pieces of gravel, steel or tree. Like they were building blocks for something pointless. Or shards of something alien. There was nothing special in their faces but their ability to fool the senses and make the brain conjure up something that’s “true.” But that was a trick that couldn’t work on a screw or a metallic plank or a generic shank with eyes.
I couldn’t judge rightly if my turning into a component of the escalator was my own way to grab power or to withdraw from it. Am I playing a human all too human game or did I just successfully quit and become the finest spectator ever–an object devoid of emotions and emotionally-guided thoughts? I wasn’t sure. But what I did know was that from that peculiar vantage point, every hope and dream of every person was a roundabout illusion only meant to satisfy the source for the duration of his sentient existence. Every illusion’s goal was to keep the source “living” productively until his organs can no longer accept air into his system. Perhaps the silent earth was telling him to do so? Maybe the earth and the sky were in conspiracy to make everyone wander around making purchases and loving and hating and smiling and crying? The origin of the senselessness was probably impossible to pin down. But oh, was everything futile. So futile in the eyes of a screw.
The solutions were but problems just waiting for their turn to transform monstrously. The problems were solutions that were justifiable when one considered a different moral system (a moral system of a screw, perhaps?). Hardships contained no romance. Sentiment didn’t come from principle. Love was as banal as the common cold.
Justice was everything that existed and that nullified the concept even further. It was just right that the homeless perished and the rich thrived. But anyway, if the homeless managed to launch a revolution that topples the status quo, it wouldn’t have mattered. For the present, whatever its conditions are, speaks of justice–for justice is what happens at each moment of this seemingly eternal illusion. The deceptive enchantment encourages people to speak up, denounce the wrong, and exalt the right but beneath the magic is an everlasting mantle that says everything is as it can only be. And therefore, there was justice that day but none of it.
The escalator reached the floor.
I stepped away and shook my head vigorously.