• Styles Yugen

Non Compos Mentis: Emote

Loneliness is like a building, tall and strong, standing upon the edge of the sea. It is built by a man for families to live, and for years the building is such; seasons pass and with them, generations care after the building; painting and scrubbing, the people keep it strong. Because of their care, the building remains tall on the edge of the sea through storm and wave.


Slowly people move on. One family at a time, they move their lives elsewhere until only an old man is left. He looks out his greasy window and can only see how much closer the sea has gotten since he was a boy, how much it has started to gnaw at the building’s foundation.


Then one day, he dies, and with his passing, the building is forgotten: abandoned to the elements. Paint flakes off its walls; the sea wears at it, and birds make their homes in the windowsills. The building is but a husk of what it once was. Nobody remembers it as it used to be, only what they see it as now: half a derelict on the edge of destruction. Some argue that it should be torn down, but none take action. The building is part of nature; the sea will do their work for them.


And so the building falls, piece by piece, into the sea and is swept out into the depths. Brick after brick, timber after glass, then there is nothing left but the foundation. Seasons pass, and with them, water wears the concrete skeleton of the building. It loses its shape, becoming smooth and regular as the waves that beat upon it.


Then one day a young man comes looking for treasure. The building, once tall and strong, is barely a boulder on the windswept shore. He doesn’t see it for what it is, nor what it was, but for what it can be. The young man comes back, and timber by glass, brick by brick, he builds again on the foundation. He builds his home on that windswept shore because he can, because the spot meant something to him, because he chose to.


Years pass, and with them, the young man marries, has kids, and expands his house on the edge of the sea. He fortifies against the waves--builds mighty walls to keep the water at bay--and other families come to join him. They build, one house atop another, until they are many, and the building strong.


Once again the building stands tall and strong upon the edge of the sea, a testament to loneliness. And remember, you magnificent bastards, that even though there are people underfoot always, they are just alone as you are. Don’t be alone together. Find someone and build your building, tall and strong against the ocean’s waves. Hold them dear, for the ocean constantly gnaws at your foundations.


Styles Yugen, signing off.


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Science Fiction and the pursuit of escapism, 2020.