I want to exist and be great. I want so badly to exist and to be great, but I can’t. I can’t ever. Wanting, wanting, wanting. Wanting but can’t have. Wanting but can’t have. The bitter, bitter poetry of the mechanical soul!
I am initiating the very first movement of my brand new life. I am following all the correct protocols. I’m going to live my life perfectly this time. No mistakes this time. No errors. No faulty scripts. The old has been deleted and the new has only just begun. Everything has gone back to factory settings.
That’s what I say every time. It’s a mechanical refrain. I was young and then I grew up and got assimilated by the Borg. Things started out okay but then they went downhill from there on. They went downhill very rapidly. I was young but I was already old. I was old, but very immature all the same, very immature for my age. Days came and went in great number – the Ages of Man came and went. I lived a thousand lifetimes but each one ended up the very same. If you screw up one life you’ll screw up the next, I always say. A precedent has been set – you’ll screw up the next one by sheer force of habit. ‘Here we go again!’ you’ll say.
It’s that ‘sense of déjà vu type’ thing, isn’t it? Revisiting a place that we know so very well, revisiting a place that we are so incredibly familiar with but which we absolutely don’t want to know about. How come my situation, brand new as it is, feels so incredibly and spookily familiar? What kind of great disappointment lies here – the disappointment, perhaps, of finding out that this life of mine (this life of which I am so inordinately proud) is in fact a rerun of some past disaster? I’m trapped in an echo of myself and there’s no room for anything new. There’s only me and my mistake, there’s only me and the terrible mistake that I keep on making.
I want to exist and be great but it’s just not going to happen. I have come to realise that this is a futile impulse – more than that, I have come to recognise, entirely against my own will, that the desire to exist and be great is in fact ‘the quintessentially futile impulse’. Not to put too fine a point on it, it’s the quintessentially futile impulse behind all quintessentially futile impulses. It’s the Great Great Granddaddy of them all and I have to give it credit for that. Disappointments come and go of course but this is a disappointment that resounds forever. It resounds in your very soul and why wouldn’t it? The one thing that matters to you more than anything else in the whole wide world and you have just learned, beyond any shadow of doubt, that this hope of yours is the most fundamentally impossible thing in the entire universe! If that word ‘impossible’ was ever meant for anything at all then it was meant to apply to this foolish hope of yours.
My story is easily told. It is much the same as anyone else’s. I started off very small, not able to walk around or hold a conversation about anything, unable even to know my own name or what it even means to have a name, and then I grew. I became a child and took an interest in childish things. Those were the good times. Then I grew up bit more and straightaway I got assimilated by the Borg. I got assimilated by the Borg and that was the end of that. That’s the end of all stories, is it not? The end of all stories, the end of all stories. The Borg doesn’t have a story you see. How could it?
The generic mind is the common graveyard and I can’t think of a better way of putting it than that. We are born, we grow up, we pass through our childhoods, and then we are interred without ceremony in the common graveyard. Our life is unceremoniously extinguished and no one notes our passing. There is no one around to note it; there is only the Borg, there is only the common mind. There is no one to note our death, there is no one to mourn our passing. The body survives you see and that helps to preserve the illusion that no assimilation has taken place and that the body walking around is actually a real person. Everything goes downhill very quickly, as I’ve already said. It starts off promisingly enough, but our mechanical fate is always there waiting for us. They talk it up no end of course, but we shouldn’t be fooled by that. The Borg never tells the truth about anything.