“So, Biff,” said the fox, “you’re really taking this search for peace seriously. Do you really think this search is ever going to end?”
“The only time we don’t finish the search is when we give up on the search,” I said.
“I don’t think that’s true, Biff,” said the fox. “I know lots of people who searched and searched for things and never found them. I mean, what if you die before you find what you’re looking for?”
“Then your search is over,” I said.
“That’s a pretty grim take on life,” said the fox.
“Life is grim, fox” I said. “But I’ve always thought there was glimmer of hope somewhere in it. A pinpoint of warmth in all the coldness we create and surround our lives with.”
“So that’s where you’re searching next?” said the fox.
“Yep,” I said.
So I set off in search for hope. I went into a place with broken windows and ceilings and walls devastated by time and uncaring. In dark corners, the floor vibrated with the movement of things that would disintegrate in sunlight. I heard the labored breath of the half living and saw their eyes, clouded by the half tones of worlds they could never really escape to with their bodies so painfully entrenched in their lives. I called out: “Is there any hope left in this place?” I held my breath and listened. A layer of silence drifted down from the watermarked ceiling and choked the half living deeper into their half worlds, far beyond making any kind of sense out of my question let alone the answer. I wished them all a Merry Christmas and I went somewhere else in search of hope…that maybe peace could be found in that fertile soil we keep throwing cigarette butts and bullets into. Curtains surrounded a bed and the smell of death’s approach permeated the air with the stench of roots into the living world rotting and releasing fiber by fiber. A voice faltered from behind the curtains. I heard the sound of a great inhalation of air displacing the impossibility of such a breathing in. I sensed a wellspring of courage stirring up from a vortex the size of a pinhead, gathering momentum and assurance in the certainty of one last message: “Nobody finds hope. It finds you. Just like the end of a story.” And the vortex evaporated as the inhalation exhaled into oblivion. The stench of the roots drifted into itself and disappeared. I said, “Gee. Thanks for the clarity. And a Merry Ho Ho to you.”
“Little harsh, don’t you think, Biff?” said the fox.
“I think I’ve just been lied to,” I said.
“Sorry to say this, Biff,” said the fox, “but that sort of had the ring of truth to it. Like something you would write.”
“No, fox,” I said. “I would never write something like that. Hope doesn’t look for us. It’s the most uncaring thing in the world. It flies by us, ignoring us, until we reach out and grab it and make it care. And maybe that’s why my search for peace seems to be taking me further away the harder I look for it.”
“Hey look, Biff,” said the fox.
“I think a balloon of hope just floated by your ear…grab it!”
“Fox,” I said. “You’re so fucking weird.”
(To be continued…until it’s finished)
“Aw, c’mon, Biff. Just chalk it in and give it one of those questionable existential endings you love,” said the fox.
“Not this time, fox.”