A hollow heavy sound: acquainted with the nada
A party. Faces are laughing and chattering. The music booms and you feel the syncopated thud inside your stomach. A hollow heavy sound. Chemicals are released in your brain. The endorphins rushing as the lighting configurations change. Purples and greens and black and artificial fog and sweat. There is a symbiotic union occurring, a marriage of consciousness. And you watch everything. This fantastic display of unity and connectivity is unfolding before your very eyes. And you feel alone. You have no business here. This sense of alienation is so profound; the only thing you feel is an urgency to leave.
Like an old man drinking brandy outside of a café at night, you yearn for something comfortable and pleasant. Something tangible to hold onto. There must be more, something, anything beyond the sinking abyss that seems to be wrapping its empty arms all around you. You remember the old times, the arrogant, ignorant times. When you were a young waiter. The world was you, and you were the world. You had not yet caught sight of the emptiness that loomed just across the horizon.
Destiny was a brilliantly colored object that you could hold in your hand, that you could see in your sights. Ignoring the wisdom of old, you soldiered on. A few years later you took the brightly colored destiny and placed it in a locked box for safe keeping. You had caught a glimpse of the nada and quickly shuffled along. You peek at your box with the still bright, but now fading destiny. Your journey is at its midpoint. The point of no return. Each step forward becomes heavier. Heavy and hollow. Like the beating of some war drum.
Young men who have not seen death are quick to dismiss it as a triviality. A property of some far away future. But as the march continues, and the pounding of drums draws near, in-authenticity becomes increasingly difficult. You search for bright lights to remind yourself of the left behind. You grow increasingly desperate and your search becomes frantic, as you scratch and claw and realize. The nada approaches. Once you soldiered on bravely, now you check over your shoulder. Quickening your pace as you glance at the nada from the corner of your peripheral.
Perhaps at this point you no longer believe in Karma. Maybe you are still interested in luck. Eitherway, you feel yourself aching to run in separate directions. Half of you wants to run back into the skin of the young arrogant waiter you used to be, and the other half of you wants to jump right into the void. To just get it over with. Like the anxiety of waiting for a hard metallic needle to draw your blood, you thirst for the moment when the waiting might end, and you might relax. But you know better than that now.
You know that the person you used to be is gone. You wonder about the person you will become. You watch the tree blocking the electric light, and notice the old man sitting in the shadow. You see his empty glasses of brandy and you wonder if they are helping. Maybe you take a shot yourself, with no one looking. You watch the young man, scarcely aware of what the future holds for him. Leaning against the bar, shoulders hunched and face frowning. He knows only his own discomfort. To him, the old man is an object. An obstacle to freedom. For you, he is a sober reminder. You will keep the image of the old man staring at his empty glasses of brandy fresh in your memory, though you perhaps would like to forget it. All things must end.
The hollow heavy sound marches through you, like a dusty parade of elephants thundering through a scorched desert tundra. The young man will grow, and the old man will die. Like a game of musical chairs, the nada will claim another participant at the music’s end.
You close your eyes and everything goes away. Your teeth are clenched and your muscles tight. There is only the nada. Not any specific color, but the absence thereof. You imagine a lineup in a police station. The Young man is to your left, and the old man is to your right. You glance at them both, and they ignore you. Their gaze is steady and they seem to know something you do not. Uneasy, you too face forward. You shift your stance and your clothing feels uncomfortable. You feel no movement, and hear no sounds from your counterparts. Again you look left and right and they are like statues, with gazes cast in stone. You will find no reassuring words from these men. You close your eyes tightly, and slowly recite to yourself:
“Our nada who art in nada, nada be thy name thy kingdom nada thy will be nada as it is in nada. Give us this nada our daily nada and nada us our nada as we nada our nadas and nada us not into nada but deliver us from nada; pues nada.”
A voice calls out over a loudspeaker:
“You, in the middle. Step forward.”
You step forward.
“what’s your business here?”
“Nada, just un otro loco mas”
You glance again at the young man, and the old man. Still standing like statues, as you hear the voice call again from the loudspeaker.
“you’re free to go”
Your eyes are still closed. You slowly open them, and strain to adjust to the light as you reply matter of factly: