I’m holding a knife to my neck and the universe turns the other cheek unperturbed. The universe doesn’t stop me from killing myself. I knew it! The universe doesn’t care about what happens to me, or to anyone else. Then, what’s the point of living? What are we to the universe? What does the universe really care about?
Information; the universe only cares about the information that it holds, and governs. I am information, and so is everyone else. And the job of the universe is to store information, not to interfere. But I am conscious information. I am information that knows itself. I am information that asks questions, that knows it exists.
But every day, in this mansion, in this rocking chair, on the porch, I think, breathe, eat and live with the unknowns of life. I’m seventy now and yet to reconcile with any of life’s overhyped meanings. Forty years of failed marriages, forty years of chasing money round the clock, and this is what I have to show for it – my gnarled self on a rocker; alone and lonely.
“By all means, marry…” I read somewhere, and marry I did; infact, six times. Six marriages and I couldn’t get it right.
“…If you marry a good wife you’d be happy, and if you marry a bad wife you’d become a philosopher.”
My third marriage made me a philosopher faster than a kerosene wick flames up. Amaka almost wrecked me. She just kept needing and needing until my avarice wasn’t sufficient anymore. The divorce left me with scraps. Last I heard of her, she’s dead. Still, I didn’t learn my lesson. I married three more times after. Can you blame me? In a world where man is supposedly made for woman and vice versa, can anyone really fight evolution’s call? Isn’t it so convenient, man and woman? Imagine a world of only men, or of only women. I should have known better, it’s too convenient indeed. Woman sees man as her purpose and man sees woman as his purpose, and together they somehow isolate each other’s existential quandaries. No! It’s too easy, more like a trap, I know this thanks to six failed marriages.
Enough about failed marriages, I have a knife to my neck and I’m going to do it. The universe doesn’t care and I’m getting out. I’m getting out of this misery, this Pandora’s Box, to a place I know not. I sometimes imagine, to where do people go when they die? But I’m not thinking of that right now. Here I am, as tiny as an ant on a massive blue ball, holding a sharp object to my neck, and I expect the universe to give a damn? Maybe I’m the egocentric one, the bloated sense of importance I dawned on in my money-making years has seeped its way into my era of enlightenment. So truly nothing has changed, I’m still the same old egocentric me. Now I’m really going to end it.
“Dad, what are you doing?” A frail voice in front asks.
I tilt my head up as the knife drops from my palm. It’s Diji, my first son. His son, Somto, is standing beside him. I feel terribly ashamed as I look into my grandson’s eyes. It’s as if he caught wind of what I intended to do. My son looks worried. I want to reply Diji, but shame won’t let me.
“You’re a coward, dad,” Diji says and turns around with Somto.
I fall from my rocker and burst into tears.