He opened his eyes. The sunlight was warm on his face, the energy rolling across an eternal field of green grass. Elysium, paradise. The sun was setting, bright colors lit up the sky, pinpoints of light heralded the coming of the night’s stars. And he was not alone.
“It’s good to finally see you again. I valued you above all else, the darkness and light that I lived with for my entire life, even if I never managed to tell you that story…. But wait, in what realm could this be real? Did the gods of the world deem that I had finally suffered enough? There was no record of this, except in my mind, and this ideal was just a dream there.”
“Out beyond the ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field, I’ll meet you there.”
He looked confused, but he finished the quote, “When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the phrase "each other" doesn't make any sense.”
She smiled and she added,“And there, might I never be alone.”
Surprised, he responded, “A wish of my own will buy me naught but pain. That ending’s not for any world.”
“That wish exists within almost everyone’s heart and it can exist in this world. You are allowed that dream, you are here. Nothing else matters now. I’ll permit it, I’ll give you that justification. Look, at the end of the universe you’ve finally found value.”
She put her arms around him, his expression of discomfort faded and confusion gave way to contentment and understanding.
“There’s no point in worrying about that world. Here is peace, and that you will never be alone. In at least one being’s mind you deserve this, and that should be enough for you. You’ve felt that kindness and companionship, realized how much value it had. Now how much does it matter that I’m here with you for your sake?”
He looked to the setting sun.
“But I never found my answer,” he said softly.
“No, and now you have. This is the answer, your resolution. It's also the answer for millions, yet that does not make it, or you, anything less.”
“But….That doesn't make sense.”
Her face was radiant, he saw understanding and warmth, the memory of something lost from long ago.
“It might not, not yet, but just smile. Look to the horizon, it's so beautiful. Need I say you have nothing to fear?”
“I guess I don’t anymore. It is, and so are you, now. For the first time, I feel at peace, everything is more than perfect. I’ve never felt this way before, this truly must be the human ideal, every paradise and every dream. It’s incredible. Thank you for helping me, for you truly did. More than anything, thank you.”
The sunlight was fading, the stars shined, and although the air was not cold, the Aurora rippled in the sky. He leaned against her and let his head rest on her shoulder. Eyes closed, and he saw nothing but darkness before him.
Past the ending of the world, past conquest, war, famine, and death, in the remains of what had once been a shining city of light, sheets of paper lay scattered before the body of a man. The man was being consumed and returned to the shattered ground beneath him, yet on his face, there could be seen a fragment of joy. Whatever the man had seen in his last moments had given him hope, and in hope he had passed from the world.
Eternally, people might ask the same questions of the unknown soldier: Who was he? What was his story? Why is it so that here he lays, dead? In the knowledge of uncountable joys and sorrows, the askers will feel overwhelmed, whatever faith and understanding they possess leave them. Or they stand taller, their minds affirmed in peace. And some stand not at all, in a world built of them and them alone.
All of them hope that where they are makes them nothing less. But all the same, they exist in awe of that nameless authority, the hand of time. In that, they feel that all of eternity has passed before them. They think to live, they think to die, they think to change. They look on with fear, acceptance, maybe disdain, and rarely, hope.
Those papers mattered only to the faceless man. He was a diminutive man, a perceptive man maybe, some might have called him intelligent, but small and unimportant. But he was also truly singular, the ending of mankind.
Once a great man with the authority over life in his hand was accused of having said, “The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic.” And so this one man died. So did millions around him.
But so this one man died.
On those pages, there were words. They told meaningless story, naught but of one man who lived and died, naught but the progression of existence. The words were poorly written and poorly formed, with a decaying hand, but the ending was resolute, as if at the last moments before death, he had gained some strength or recognition to himself.
Or maybe it was just that he, truly face to face with finality, was finally beyond fear and beyond the world
For that which such things may concern, or that which is left, should any exist:
Meaningless is the truth in the face of reality, meaningless is meaning itself when you are losing strength until your head rolls from your neck. All things must come to an end. Times pass. Things, people change. The universe will end too someday. I will not end with it, the ending of this world is now. I am about to die. And with me, dies this world of men.
The mind by perception may comprehend microscopic interactions and the infinite cosmos with a degree of similarity. Both are far out of reach and both are still yet conceivable, both describe the passage of the universe. And in both, we see the end of the human thirst for the truth. There may be properties, particles, and dimensions that describe a framework of all that is beyond knowledge, but now that will never be seen. By such, truth is also described, because it is always beyond the vision of the human mind, which flits from one illusion to another in its search, yet finds everything and thus nothing.
If existence is based on the observer, this universe shall now be a void for all eternity. No one shall see this, no comprehension shall make this a component of existence. It’s peace in its own way. One does not need comfort after death. But I am still living, still suffering. Of all the things I have known, I will have missed so much, and nothing at all.
If only had the world such a dream for me. An ideal that lies beyond the horizon, the ocean at the end of the world, a field beyond the ideas of Man: pure colors, materials simple yet complex, rays of the sun, a true and brilliant light that can still exist in reality, shining lights in the sky, stars and all that they represent. And there, might I never be alone.
But, it was not by my right that such a dream could have become a reality. It was an ideal that I never intended to have.
Now there is no right in the world anymore. So finally, at the ending of days, by my own authority and judgment, might I say that I wanted to see her future. I wanted to be her friend. I wanted to be with her on that field someday.
An ideal built of nothing and everything, and one that I was never capable of resolving.
A story that I shall never finish, though even with nothing but darkness before me, it has always been on my mind. And so, would that world have thought more or less of me that I let such a proposition be my path in life until now?
Once I was an idealistic fool who thought he knew what there was to know, who thought it might have been worth it and possible to save Man from himself. That man wanted everything and more, he wanted his name carved into history. He desired the ideal of authority over all existence. He wanted to climb the steps from hell onto a throne shining in the light of wisdom. He will never be King.
Then he wanted to resolve the contradiction of all that he desired. In selfish idealism, he wanted to be a good person, though he could never resolve why that was so. Regardless, it was not the path of the universe that a man would be able to understand others. As was inevitable, he learned, found the world, found shattered fragments of truth, found a glimpse of eternity’s light, and soon after found naught but a wall of darkness facing him, though whether it was of his own creation or the world’s he could not know.
Without wisdom, his wish became joy, to not feel cold and alone, to find some comfort somewhere, because it should have be in the authority of one who can feel empty to also feel fulfilled someday. Now he wanted a place beyond fear and darkness, to not be alone and still be beyond the world. Maybe he had wanted someone so that he could build value into, maybe he wanted to be valued, that he might be singular to someone in an infinite world. Maybe he wanted to think of his existence still as a worthy story. Regardless, it is not the case now that such designs become realized. And if it can be argued that all that has happened is thus inevitable, then it was never possible that that man’s choices could have led him into his dream.
And so, am I more or less of a fool now? I still lived. I still cared because it was within my natural capacity to, even as that creation consumed my reasons to continue on. I’ll never find my resolution. I can never find truth.
Thus, it was always a sad smile while my world collapsed around me far, far worse than some, far, far better than others still, even now. Has the universe answered my prayers? Have I the right to take pride in my existence now, finally? So far as I know, this will be the last day of mankind. Much as man likely never found the truth of the universe, my mind will likely never perceive wisdom.
If so, then in the sight of the King of all that is left and by the power of the nameless authority, I do give justification for all my life.
I am the bard for infinite contradiction. I am the scribe of heaven. I am the recorder of oblivion. I am the creator of truth. I am death, the destroyer of worlds. I am nothing and everything that ever was, for I am the final watcher, and now my watch is ended.
At this last moment am I finally allowed to live.
Here I am now. The last sun sets, night begins. Here may I finally find peace. Here might I never be alone. I do look up, my world is giving way to infinite light.