[The Gift of Nothing, 623 words, Genre: Realistic Fiction]
* Image courtesy of Dirk de Bruyn
There had been a lot of arseholes in Edward’s life. Arseholes that wanted something for nothing. Always holding their hands out, always taking more than what they had earned. Edward had attempted to accommodate for all of them. He had always been the nice guy, always willing to lend a hand and try to help out wherever possible. He had helped many in their individual paths. And all of these people gave him nothing in return. They considered that he wasn’t worthy of reward, wasn’t worthy of being paid what was his due.
So when Edward finally came to a difficult spot. He had given away all of his belongings. The things that did not matter were taken away from him. However, he did have an understanding. The understanding was more supreme than anything else that could have been given to him. And that was an understanding of life.
As all of these bickering arseholes slowly disappeared from Edward’s life, he was left with nothing. He did not have a job, but he was also free from attachment and desire. That was, he desired nothing. He had conquered desire. The very essence of being that was the want for more. The want for a shiny new car. The want for a woman with a voluptuous figure. The want for all the excess and more than that. He was free from it all. Free from the proliferated drug use, the drug binges that caused havoc in becoming something of greed for pleasurable experiences. He did not want for anything. He was given food and a roof over his head. These were the things that he had earned.
He had an activity. The activity of writing, the activity of composing the written word. He would compose verse and he would compose narrative. He would take care of himself by going to the gym to exercise and produce endorphins that would rush to his head, to have that feel good release. He would meditate. A practice that he had gathered from Asian aesthetics.
In essence, he was complete and whole. The arseholes that had used him during the course of his life had all gone their own way and built up no characteristics that would be self-sustaining. But Edward, he had built up the self-sustaining characteristics of an individual who was fully supportive of itself. In his spirit he had perfected the act of meditation. In his written work, he had built up the activity of a working identity. And in his exercise, he had built up the health of the body.
The arseholes that he had met through the journey of his life had not done these things. Whereas he was an independent figure of his own state of being. These other individuals were all dependent on something. Dependent upon their desire for lust. Dependent on their desire for wealth. Dependent on one another for their social activities.
Edward didn’t need these things though… Didn’t desire them. And the arseholes that had used him throughout his life were all gone now. Left to wallow in their own shit, where they had never built up the identity that supported itself. They had never put in the time or effort to develop themselves and so if they were confronted with the same isolation as Edward was, they wouldn’t survive.
That is when Edward realized what he had earned. He had earned the isolation. Most men would go mad in the isolation. But Edward, Edward would flourish for he had developed himself into a fully functional being, freedom of human autonomy. Yes, he was isolated. But through life he had developed the skills in which to survive the very isolation that was the gift of his Earthly work.