[The man who had everything, 878 words, Genre: Experimental]
* Image courtesy of Dirk de Bruyn
There was a man and the world was built for him. The entirety of existence was built for his sole purpose. To enjoy himself, to not enjoy himself, to do with existence what he pleased. For this man, enjoyment was a factor. For this he gorged himself on the finest foods, participated in the most entertaining activities and subsisted his existence within a realm of pleasure. Everything was for his benefit. The other people who existed, the land that he stood upon, the animals and vegetables that he ate. All for him.
Then the day came, as it naturally would, that fateful day was an inevitability. The day when he would ask himself, ‘why?’ Why was he gifted with all these exotic foods, full of flavour, to appease the palate of the taste buds that lay on his tongue? Why were these entertaining activities that he was gifted with, all built on the purpose of entertaining him? Why was everything so damn good? Curiosity had given birth to itself in his mind and the spiralling tentacles of that curiosity spread within his mind to ensnare and encapsulate it. Curiosity was founded and with good reason, there had to be some reason for all of this, otherwise things did not make sense. And things had to have some logical order about them, for if there was no reason… If there was no reason…
He looked to his servants. Those that had brought him all this delicious food and he asked them, “Why do you serve me?”
The servant responded, “I do not ask myself such things. All I do is serve.”
This was madness, the man who was gifted with everything concluded. Why do they serve me with no other reason but to serve me. Curiosity had snuck into his mind and it continued to grow. He asked his friend, as privileged as he, “Why are we given these things while others suffer?”
His friend responded, “I do not know, nor do I care. All I do is enjoy, as should you.”
This was not a good enough reason for the man who was gifted with everything. Curiosity had taken a firm root within his mind and he could not stop asking himself the questions that it prompted. The man who was gifted with everything no longer took pleasure in everything that was given to him. Curiosity had put a halt to that. He could no longer subsist in a world where everything was built for him. He saw that others suffered and for one reason or another, they suffered for him. He went out and found a man in poverty. He was starving. So he asked the man, “Why do you suffer?”
“I do not know that. All I know is that I suffer and am hungry.” The starving man responded.
This confused things greatly for the man that was gifted with everything. There were no answers to this question or any of the others that satiated his curiosity. There were questions here, in his mind, that required an answer. And so he locked himself up in his room, away from distractions, in an attempt to ponder the questions and come up with some line of reasoning that would make sense of these inconsistencies within the world.
Curiosity continued to torment him still in his room, free from all other distractions. He did not release himself from his own self-created prison. He would not allow himself to do so without any answers. His habits became unruly. He would not leave his room. He urinated and defecated in a pan that he would occasionally take to the latrines. He took no pleasure from fine foods anymore, preferring the simple tastes of bread and water. They were all he needed. Even the servants now lived a more luxurious life than he. He supposed the servants could reason out that they were gifted with such luxuries because of their service. Things made sense for them. There were logic and reasoning to this line of thought. For him, though, the man who had everything. There was no reason and logic to his station and position. He did not do anything to deserve his station and position, did not do anything to enjoy all the privileges that were heaped upon him. The world did not make sense. And without sense, he was being driven insane. He was being driven insane with curiosity. In this way he suffered as all men suffered. Every question had an answer and he was driven insane in his attempt to find one.
He thought of the servants. Truly they were wise in their vocation. They lived in a world that made sense and did not have to acknowledge the problems of existence. The problem being curiosity and that all pervading question of why. Why? Such a question would drive any man insane. It was an important question, that was for sure. And the servants in their service had avoided the responsibility of such a question. Where the man who has everything is slowly driven insane in a world that does not make any sense. In service or task, this question can be avoided. And only the impossibly vain would be able to reason out such an appointment otherwise.