Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Nothing Man

In 2014, Mr. Samuel is overcome by a strong desire to read Lolita. But Mr. Samuel is accustomed to these strange and sudden whims. And so he decides to wait it out. A few days later, as he predicted, his need to read Lolita is not as strong as it was and Mr. Samuel finds it easier to move on. He pats himself on the back for his ability to triumph over a ‘temporary mindset.’

Then in 2015, Mr. Samuel feels a strong urge to own an SUV. It is quite possibly the finest car a man can drive! But again, Mr. Samuel reins in his ‘unnecessary indulgence’ and by the end of the month, gets over his desire. He congratulates himself and he realizes that he may be on the path to nirvana, the state of wanting nothing, and this idea appeals to him very strongly. Why, of course, it is the logical end to everything! The panacea for the worlds of disquiet within him!

And so, Mr. Samuel starts to train his mind to detach itself from all desire, to achieve a state of contented ‘nothing’. He relinquishes sex, meat, alcohol, gambling, gadgets and even masturbation. Initially, Mr. Samuel experiences mind-numbing withdrawal symptoms, like a drug addict whose secret stash has been hidden from him.

But over time, Mr. Samuel’s resolve strengthens and by 2022 he manages to rid himself of all desire. Mr. Samuel becomes famous in his neighborhood as the man who renounced materials in exchange for peaceful contemplation. People come to pay homage to this powerful bastion of anti-materialism who sits sanguinely in his rundown sofa in his rundown home.

But something has started to bother Mr. Samuel. In trying to achieve a state of nothing, is he trying to achieve something again after all?

Philip John

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