Entropy by J. Kuzmier --  photo by John B. at JohnBdigital.com     

At some point in time, there was a woman. What kind of woman meant nothing. If you thought about it, who cared if it was a woman, a man, or a child? So what? Seriously, it really was stupid to get bent out of shape trying to distinguish one from another. Even though everyone spent wasting a lifetime doing so, as they slowly wasted away.

You want to know why? All of them, whether woman, man or child, whether they’d been born that way or hadn’t, wound up in the exact same place in the end. One day, whether the day was near or far, all of them would be eaten by worms. All of them. Not much to talk about when that happened. So, one may as well get with the program that was going to take up the better part of eternity, and realize anything called meaning was meaningless.

The woman spent her days doing things. In literature, to use the word ‘things’ is to be called out as a lazy writer. As though describing in minute detail the exact comings and goings of any one particular activity would somehow make a difference. That it would stop the clock, feed the poor and all the children would be holding hands and singing through the meadows happy songs of mirth and joy.

And think of it, even those who esteemed themselves literate, how many of these people ever recalled the kind of tree on page 180 of any given story was talked about? Or any other given ‘thing’? The tree that was talked about on page 180 was probably dead, anyway. It probably had been milled so as to make the book that people could argue and parse away at so they had something that they could do to pass the time. Meaningless, and the tree was still dead, and the thing was still just a thing. Until it wasn’t.

So the woman did things. They were things that told her she was alive, and to symbolize all of this, she acquired things. Some of the things breathed, some did not. Some of the things that breathed died, and she buried them. She would cry, then she wouldn’t. Most people couldn’t care if she did or didn’t. They were too busy crying, or too busy not crying. Which was just as well, she was too preoccupied with her things to notice them anyway.

Things that didn’t breathe were in her life, until they weren’t. Where they went was no longer something that concerned her. Protests flew around in all directions surrounding her like buzz that things were being thrown out. They said these things, and people nodded. Things were still discarded, whether they were things, or ideas. It was all right, though. Things all worked out in the end, it seemed, no matter its shape or size. And the woman still had things that she needed to take care of, like everyone else she knew.

Many things were spoken by her and to her in the days she did things that told her she was alive. She was told to believe some of the things that were spoken to her. She was told not believe other things. She didn’t believe some of the things she was supposed to believe, she believed some of the things she wasn’t supposed to believe. Many times, she believed and didn’t believe, within colored lines of the daily protocol. But if you asked her what she had believed or not believed on any given day other than today, she couldn’t tell you. Which was all right, because that was true for just about everyone else she knew.

Cities were built and they fell and they were rebuilt. People like the woman went to these cities to do the things that told them they were alive, just because they could do them. Or they didn’t go to the cities to do these things. It depended on what they were told to believe. Trucks of things came and went to define them, the cities, or the not-cities that they occupied to create meaning. Sometimes there were dams built, which sometimes fell down and never were repaired. Factories churned out the bowels of the place that the woman and others called home. Then the factories would close, and the debris of its bowels would litter the streets and the minds of those around them. Some would notice this, others did not.

Some mourned the ends of times. Others said, we need to throw out the old to get the new. Fallout and debris resulted. There were wars, and rumors of wars, and wars of protests over wars. Bombs fell, far and not so far. The factories would come back to combat in war and peace, but they came and went too. Everyone would have ideas, and some talked but didn’t listen and fell by the wayside through slaughter, psychological or otherwise. Others listened too much and didn’t talk and fell by the wayside through ostracism. Sometimes both groups fell by the wayside as collateral damage. But that didn’t really matter, either. Debris was just that when it became such, debris.

Sometimes, the woman would sidestep debris as she walked the streets, human or otherwise. She sometimes remembered the psychological debris, but forgot it just as often. Then she would go to somewhere else, and someone would come to replace her, to repeat everything she did without either one of them aware of what they did. Or many times, that the other even existed. It all changed nothing, because the wars, rumors of wars and wars of protests over wars continued. What she did or didn’t do, where she went or left was irrelevant. But it was all right, as everything was going to waste away one day anyway. It was all good, except when it wasn’t anymore.

On occasion, the woman heard words to describe the world around her. Some would say that the skies above were becoming yellow instead of blue. Some said that it had always been that way and what was wrong with yellow anyway? We’re still standing so it isn’t broken. Others said, the skies are still blue and the yellow is in your mind. Which of them were right? Maybe one of them was. Maybe all of them. Or maybe, none of them. It didn’t matter, because it was all meaningless anyway.

As the skies changed in the minds of those who decided that they had changed, some of them said, we did this to ourselves. Others of those who decided the skies had changed said, we did not. Some said, they never changed and you should get a grip, as though grabbing the nearest random object would change something or maybe nothing. Many, like the woman, said nothing. Some said the world was collapsing in entropy. Some said, entropy was too fancy a word for their liking, so thus that meant it would never be entropy. Which was all right, because it all seemed in the same in the end. And the skies still seemed like yellow to some, while others ducked away.

The woman died one day. It was something that was going to happen anyway, no matter how many things she did or what things she acquired that breathed or didn’t breathe. When she died, there were flowers that were purchased to die along with her, and there was a casket made from trees that died long ago knowing one day they would be buried in the ground, but just not that way in the ground with a woman who was going to be eaten by worms. There were clouds in the sky the day she was buried, and some of them were yellow if you saw them that way. Or, perhaps they weren’t if you didn’t think so. Some were grey, and some were not. All the things that she’d had in her life were moved somewhere else from where she had gone or didn’t go. She was a thing that didn’t breathe now, so it was of no concern where she went or didn’t go. It was not her concern anymore what she had or hadn’t done, not that it had ever been her concern anyway. It was all good, and nothing mattered. The worms would be coming soon enough.

For a moment in time, on the day that the woman died, as some who watched as the dirt was symbolically thrown on the grave, one or two members that presided watched as another life was ended. These one or two wondered, what does all of this mean. One even thought, we are insane the way we live. We live in chaos, so busy with things that breathe and don’t, we don’t even see how we’re collapsing anything that is worth anything. Then this one person thought, well, we all die anyway, so maybe it doesn’t matter. There was a limo that drove the mourners away from the grave of the woman, and it had air-conditioning and a wet bar. Some of them cried, and others didn’t. Whether the skies were yellow, green, zebra-striped or blue was meaningless. There were still things that were needed to be done. Why? That was irrelevant. There was a wet bar.

The woman was forgotten as they went on. They cried, and then they didn’t. Which was as it should be, because she was no longer there. She was a thing that didn’t breathe. There were too many things to do, anyway. In the meantime, the woman did as she was supposed to do like everyone else, and wasted away.

In the meantime, some continued to say the skies were yellow, and others said they were not. People still said that the world was collapsing in entropy. And there were still others who said, entropy was too fancy a word for their liking, so thus that meant it would never be entropy. Some believed one group, some believed another, and others believed nothing at all. But that was as it should be, because it all was meaningless and would all waste away, anyway. It was all good, until is wasn’t anymore. Or perhaps, it wasn’t at all.

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