Alternate Explanations – Perry Powell

Perry Powell

An old man stumbles around in the night. Maybe he is drunk. Maybe his knees hurt. Maybe he just misses his wife.

But then, the dinosaurs had no space program. They wouldn’t even have known what one was.

When the asteroid struck, they were unprepared and almost all of them perished.

The rodents, of course, were another story.

It can’t really all be about survival, can it? Charlie, I mean I can’t believe it.

The sound of the washing machine. The sound of the keyboard. The sound of the wind outside.

And a long green cord hanging from the curtains. What can it mean?

Gradually, over a period of many years, they sank into each other. Siamese twins joined by their entire skins. Until it seemed one could not be without the other. Until the boundaries blurred.

And he thought they were invincible.

Like gods.

Would you prefer another story? The one about the two brothers? Who slew who and why? Or maybe the death of the father? And how the siblings divided up the remains by bloody war?

There are so many to tell.

E pluribus unum, you say. But who has the cash for that?

If the butcher brings down his cleaver, it will slice through the meat with ease.

If the hammer strikes, the nail has no choice. If I could die without effort …

Sometimes survival is a conscious choice. Sometimes it is simply inertia. But no one is invincible.

Not even God.

But they are all the same story. We are born. We age. We die. The Sphinx’s riddle revisited day by day. History is bunk. Progress is bunk. Ask Ford.
“I love you,” she said. “I love you,” he answered. And he saw the light and it was good. And the evening and the night were the next day.

What if all the nonsense were true? What if there were life after?

What if there were life in the first place?

The little hairs of her skin were electric. To touch her was transport to a new heaven. Falling into her eyes was like falling into sky, like losing himself, like knowing it was all for a reason. And time ceased to be real …

It was underground, in caves, wherever they could find enough water, enough vegetation remaining to survive.

Time always has its revenge. But “kissing the joy as it flies,” is that enough?

Shouldn’t something last forever?

Thousands of years from now, will the machines sit around in their modules and consider us? Will they think us dinosaurs or rodents?

An old man forgets. An old man does not, cannot, regard the future.

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