• Styles Yugen

Sisyphean Disappointment

I once knew someone who reminded me of Sisyphus--from that old myth from the Greeks that never seems to go out of date. The person I knew wasn’t being punished for being crafty, or even machiavellian, they just saw the boulder as their life. Forever rolling it up a hill, for it to come crashing back down as soon as they neared the top. The boulder was their life, nothing existed beyond it because they refused to try and understand; they couldn’t take the first step of living their life because they couldn’t tell what mattered.


It was a sad trainwreck, really. A far cry from who I thought them to be at first. I saw someone willing to step out of their comfort zone into the incredible, just for the sake of feeling the wind on their face. A kindred spirit, perhaps.


I was wrong. Very wrong. They were damaged, terrified, unadventurous, and narcissistic.

Damaged, I can work with. Life damages us all with its twists and turns, upsets and downfalls, but that’s the nature of things. The question is how fast do you get back up.

Terrified, I can empathize. The world is scary, just look outside your window at any time of day. There’s going to be something you don’t understand going on, or if you do understand it, the terror is for the implications.


Unadventurous, I can understand. Why step out your front door when it’s easier to stay in the realm of the known, the realm of the comfortable? For many, comfort is enough. There is no reason to push yourself, to grow by experience and tribulation.

Narcissistic, I can rationalize. You only are one person in a species of billions, trillions even; why should you put any of them before yourself? Your experience in life is determined by your experience, make it the best you can, right?


But, and I saw this only as I grew to know this person better, the combination of all is insufferable. They’re a child with no logic. They’re a person lacking any understanding of how the world works beyond their own perception. They have no grasp on reality.

It was disappointing to realize that they had so much potential, just to be stymied by their own inhibition. Call it what you will, but as much as these people need help, there are some who aren’t worth it. Those are the people who actively fight back against you, refuse your kindness, and live in a reality of their own creation.


And while some of you magnificent bastards would go to the ends of the stars for such people, I would not. There’s a time when one has to weigh the risk and the reward, the effort and the return, and decide whether the basket case is worth their time. I decided it wasn’t worth my time when they couldn’t take the smallest step towards reality.


I wish more of these basket cases lived easier lives, but wishes are pointless. So I say this: when you bastards encounter poor Sisyphus endlessly rolling a boulder up a hill, please have more patience than I.


Styles Yugen, signing off.


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Science Fiction and the pursuit of escapism, 2020.