[Abject Hope, 1,016 words, Genre: Experimental]
* Image courtesy of Dirk de Bruyn
There is something about hope. A refreshing state of mind and enthusiasm enters one’s stolid life every time a glimmer, or flicker, of hope is achieved. Hope is important and necessary to the continued existence and happiness of one’s life. If one has no hope, then a future cannot be realised and without that realisation of the future, the future ceases to be.
Edward was in a world without hope. Nobody was willing to give him a job and those that were, were as detrimental to his life and character as having no job at all. Former friends had abandoned him. They had seen their own opportunities for a better life, and this life that they had been offered didn’t include him. As he lay in his bed chain-smoking cigarettes he stared up at the ceiling, dreaming about this life they had all gone on to claim that didn’t include him. The dinner parties, the smiling pleasantries of conventional gossip and that silent agreement of mind to abandon those they saw as useless for personal gain. What wonderful fun they all must be having now that he and others like him were removed from their existence. What value they must place on human life to treat it all so fleetingly. Oh, Edward had his faults, he could afford them that in agreement. He was human and knew that every character had his or her flaw. His mind ruminated with bitterness. In a world neglect of hope, bitterness is all that could be afforded as a motivational force.
His surroundings were a mess. Cigarette butts lay scattered upon one of his shelves for the tobacco he had to pinch from the ends of cigarettes that had already been smoked. Rubbish lay scattered on the floor that he saw no need to pick up. Dirty dishes with barbecue sauce stains from meals that had already been eaten.
It was true. He had one form of hope. The form of hope afforded to himself. This he placed on tasks that required no outside measure of his skill. His physical fitness and strength could be measured in the weights he lifted in the gym. There were many activities such as this one which did not depend on the recognition of others to admit him into the sacred halls of success. Activities such as these gave way to a spark substantiated by his own mind in which he could measure his own progress as an individual. However, that progress was not given to him by others who denied him hope with their lack of recognition concerning his achievements. Just as Gods cease to play a central role in the fates of human beings if they are not recognised and worshipped, so too are human beings given over to oblivion when hope and recognition are denied to them. The disgrace in which his fellow human beings had denied him an existence was a measure to how they viewed him. He had been allowed a hopeless appointment by the designation of assigned tasks. This he battled with, through the advance of his skills to which only he could be the ultimate judge. Yet, without recognition of accomplishment there was no due given to the mastery of these skills. Without due, there was no hope, without hope, bitterness and depression flowed through his veins. That is, the only position of existence that could be afforded was that of a depressive and miserable one. He understood this predicament all too well and cursed the rest of humanity with a plague called idiocy as recompense for his own curse. Ignorance be bliss for those that do not understand this appointment.
He smoked another cigarette. The same curse that created idiocy and ignorance was the same curse that befitted his own predicament. How could talents be recognised when others did not possess the ability, through ignorance, to recognise them? His curse was a result of the curse he had placed on mankind. Only in solitude, free from others judgments could he perfect his talents and as a result of this recognition was in scarce supply. He was a genius, but only when no one took notice of him. That way he was free to define himself. This was the case with many acute mind, they developed solitary habits for the profit of freedom of definition and imagination.
Edward would once again make the attempt to break free from his predicament by browsing the job advertisements through the internet. He clicked on the internet from one ad to the next. Then he found one that took on his attention. It was a unique pilot role. And he did believe he had the qualifications. Of this point hope entered the core of his being. The world had a place for him. The rest of humanity hadn’t forsaken him in obscurity. There was hope and with hope positivity vibrated from his inner core, a smile spread across his face and an overwhelming understanding and peace saturated his being. Previous explanations of his mind faded away as he assimilated his being into the hope of this promising vocation. He was no longer the genius, he was no longer contorted in bitterness and misery. Humanity was not cursed with ignorance. Humanity was bliss as he had been included in the future that they had planned. He investigated the role, called up chasing leads and presenting himself as a likely candidate. There was a query concerning the qualification involved. He followed up and investigated this. Upon initial research he had found that his qualification superseded that of the one they asked for. Then, upon contact and communication, it was not the qualification that they wanted. The world had once again denied him access and validation into their vision of the future.
Edward was once again without hope. The bitterness seethed. Humanity remained plagued with the curse of idiocy. Depressed and miserable, he broke free from such definitions and laughed in joy. He had been driven mad by the world, yet in these conceptions his madness brought clarity to the madness of the world.