Life, The Universe and Everything

Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash

I often quote my favourite author Douglas Adams, The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy was a seminal book as I was growing up, I read it not just because my mother recommended it to me but because the title intrigued me, I also wanted to know how on earth they came up with the answer 42 when they didnt even know what the question was. Looking back it was my first foray into thinking about quantum theory, to this day I don’t really understand quantum if I’m honest but the principle of a large computer churning out answers quicker than our current computers ever could is fascinating.

The mice created earth to find the question to go with their computer ‘Deep Thought’s’ answer of 42, it was part of a 10 million year research programme, the irony being it was scheduled for demolition because it was in the way of a hyper spatial express route, you can almost imagine that happening in real life, an experiment cut down in its prime because the scientists had failed to check the planning permission.

In a world where irony is like goldy only silvery we can but hope that the world is not destroyed because we didnt bother to check the planning permission.

War

He sat at his tiny writing desk in the officers mess, looking across the exercise yard he knew it would be a sad day, the young ones had all gathered waiting for their awards. William had seen it all before, war in the governments eyes was a necessary evil, there were evil humans which needed to be kept in check and there were innocents which needed protection, they wanted peace no matter the cost. If lives were lost they were merely collateral damage in the scheme of things, lose one to protect the many.

The misapprehension that military presence is necessary to keep peace is supported by the evidence whilst they are in situ, once the military have gone it seems that most go back to their old ways, forming new improved factions and organisations, fighting recommences and they are supposedly back to square one.

William knew the war would go on, their leave was scheduled for every 6 months, they would go home leaving their fellow soldiers in post hoping that they too would return home at the end of their tour. The new recruits were just starting, he had been in post about 18 months, with two trips home since he started he was desperate to see his new baby girl, the weekly satellite meetings were great but no substitute for be there in person. There were times he wondered if he had made the right decision his partner had discouraged him but he had decided to go anyway, he wanted to protect the world he was bringing his children into and that was that.

Game, Set & Match

Life is a series of games we play, we live, we love and we work. One way or another there will always be work involved because nothing comes for free, you might not be physically paying for it with money but you will be in some way or another.

Letitia knew that she had to play the game, it pissed her off but she knew that fighting the system was not an option, she had seen many try and many fail, Changing the way she played the game however might be the answer, the monotony was becoming too much for her, everyday life was boring, she craved more and more. All Letitia wanted was to be unique and to be respected for that fact, her peers ridiculed her inexperience her desire to be unique was so outdated, nobody thought like that anymore apparently. Having a clone now the new thing, you sat back whilst they worked for you.

In her desire to be unique she had tried a lot of different activities assuming this would satisfy her adrenaline rush and her desire to be interesting at the same time, she would have plenty to talk about with all the adventures she was having and she felt sure the world was interested in what she had to say. What she hadn’t realised was that people weren’t really that interested in her adventures, they made her unique purely through circumstance, no one else had bothered to go and do the things she did. She had life in a quandary on the one hand she had failed to make herself interesting but on the other she had bothered to go and try, touche my friend life thought, touche.

About 6 months in to Letitia’s journey she stopped and looked around her, most of the people she knew even her friends were far behind, she was alone but succeeding at life, she knew they would catch up eventually even if they didn’t know it yet. Her peers eventually began to understand her drive and determination, the instilled old fashioned views eventually died out, but life continued to test her, because there was one thing she hadn’t quite worked out yet.

Super Hero In the Making

Some are born superheros others become them, the traditional definition of a superhero is a fictional character but the name is now banded around for those who have done something exceptionally heroic. Does it demean a ‘real’ person’s actions to be called a ‘superhero’? It shouldn’t, I don’t suppose for a minute many people give a second thought to the definition of a superhero being a fictional character their actions and results are real, they just want to congratulate the person for their achievements.

There is a saying which makes my point much more succinctly which is ‘not every hero wears a cape’. I am unsure who actually penned this originally but it is widely used across the internet by many from fire departments to people describing their own personal heroes.

Which brings me nicely to my next point which is ‘is a superhero defined by their cape?’ Internet sources say not, there are several comics and films in which wearing a cape is avoided like Watchmen, personally I think a cape completes the dramatic look if your preferred transport as a superhero is flying its not so practical in cars and on public transport. For a more extensive discussion on the subject of capes, superheroes and super villains check out ScreenRant.com’s article.

Changes in awareness levels mean that more and more of us are doing great things and being acknowledged for them. Whether it simply be going the extra mile and staying an extra half an hour or if its saving someones life, the definition of a superhero is simply whatever you want it to be.

Faster Than a Speeding Bullet

The average speed of a bullet is 2500 feet per second, anything faster and you are looking at rocket grade. So when Calvin saw the gun fire he knew there was no time, he started running knowing that at best it would hit him and at worst her, he threw himself into the path of the speeding bullet. The bullet hit, his stomach taking most of the force. It was messy he collapsed onto the ground still in shock that he made it in time, people started running over to him and the world started to look strange, his focus swam in and out faces kept appearing and disappearing, he closed his eyes hoping it would slow everything down.

The ambulance arrived and took him to the hospital, they just about managed to catch the bullet before it travelled further into his system and he was set to recover in ICU until he was stronger. His strength grew slowly until he was back on his feet, life was never normal again.

People asked him how he survived, he explained his will to live was more than his desire to die.

Fear of the Unknown

To fear is something all of us do, whether it be rational or irrational the feeling can be crippling. Henrietta knew that her fear of spiders was irrational, they barely scratched the surface of the skin and never really got much bigger than a side plate. It didn’t stop her feeling terrified anytime she saw one, at least now she didn’t scream she just thew things instead. It was a relief not to have snakes in the country as well, she really wouldn’t have been able to cope with that. Another irrational fear to be consigned to the back of her mind, hoping she will never go to a country it will be a problem.

Fear of the unknown is something most of us experience at some point in our lives, Henrietta felt it most of the time, she struggled in a constant battle with herself. Confronting herself was the only way of progressing she knew that but she also avoided confrontation like the plague, a paradox you might cry, she knew how it sounded she should be standing up to herself every time. Vowing to sort the problem out one way or another she sat down with paper and pen and wrote out her conversation with herself, she confronted herself using questions she wouldn’t normally ask, at first she shied away not wanting to admit her short comings but then the answers came flooding through, she noted as much as she could, it would need re-writing no doubt.

Life would challenge her again, her fear of the unknown was as irrational as the spiders.

Death Becomes Real

Death is inevitable the how the when the where seem to be details to be confirmed at a later date. There are inherent negative connotations with death but really once someone has gone there is little chance of them coming back so it’s best to make the most of time you have with everyone in your life if you have something to say then say it and if something needs doing do it you may never get that second chance you were waiting for.

Katherine walked as she often did across the moors with her family and friends, they enjoyed the countryside and the peaceful feeling that it brought, half way round her usual route she made a distressing discovery, a half eaten animal, she wasn’t quite sure what it had been, the remains were pretty mangled. Such a shame she thought, then wondered what could have done such a horrible thing, further along there were some items of clothing scattered around, nothing particularly unique, a few moments further and there was a dead body. Face down in the dirt it was not clear how long they had been there possibly only a few hours maybe a few days. Approaching it was difficult the smell had already become quite pungent she found a stick and poked it to see if she could roll it over. To her horror she recognised the face, how had she not realised they were missing, she quickly moved the stick back and fumbled for her phone. Calling the police was difficult and she spent the next few days explaining her side of the story, they were suspicious but the evidence was there to back her up. After the investigation died down she reflected on why she hadnt called and checked in with them knowing their situation, she vowed she would never make that mistake again.

The Time For Us Now

The world is in a transitional phase, we look to everyone else to enact change in our own lives. Permission to be you does not come from anyone else bar you. Colette thought about this statement, she knew it was not that easy but she saw the point though, why would you need permission to be yourself, it only impacts everyone else through her interactions with them.

Colette also knew the importance of being herself, a lesson she had painfully learnt the previous night, putting on a front is what most of us do, its not good but its more common than not, life is something we all have to deal with, her protective front popped like a balloon when she got too close to someone. The shock of her forwardness alarmed even her, maybe this was her, the front she put on was the thing she was trying to mask.

The time to re-evaluate and embrace was now, she needed to sort her need for a front, there should be none, she was happy in herself and loved herself (mostly) it was a definite work in progress. Life hadn’t been kind to her but she was ready to turn the hourglass upside down and take charge of the time she had lost control of. Moments had been lost but they will be regained in more effective use of the future.