The Wheels of Justice

‘Should I continue to go along with it?’ I ask myself, ‘should I continue to pretend that it is all real, that I am real, and all of the rest of it, or should I just stop pretending?’ Suppose that it were possible somehow to get time out from your life, so that you could go off and make a fresh start and do something less tedious this time, something that doesn’t take quite so much grinding effort – would you avail of this unexpected opportunity (and certainly it is unexpected, for how would it not be?) or would you stick with the rigmarole of your habitual existence and ignore the moment of freedom that has just dawned? We pretend that our daily rigmarole is real, do we not? We tell ourselves that it is both real and very important. We’d get upset if someone said that it wasn’t. ‘If you don’t tell then neither will I…’ I say quickly, seizing the chance to avoid being crushed by the wheels of justice as they grind inexorably on. The least said the soonest mended – or so I was always told at any rate – and the thing is that I’ve said far too much already. I’ve said it all and there’s nothing left to say. It’s no good me trying to take it back you see; it’s no good me trying to take it back because it’s already out there. As large as life. Everything’s already been done and so there’s nothing left to do apart from taking a seat on the sidelines and watching. That’s the defining moment of my life, you might say – the moment where I get to watch everyone else have a great time. Or not, as the case may be. ‘Why does life have to be like this?’ you ask yourself, ‘why does it have to be like this and not some other way? Some other better way.’ Our lives grind on, do they not? Our lives grind on and on, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, whilst in the depths of our being we can’t help wondering what it’s all in aid of. It’s the Force of Entropy of course, that’s what it really comes down to. We never spot it until after the event, as it were. We never spot it until it’s far too late. It creeps up on us over the years, it creeps up on us with the greatest of stealth and then – when there’s exactly zero chance of us being able to do anything about it, it wallops us. It lands on us, it crushes the life out of us. The crushing force of precedence. I did it once and so now I’m going to do it again. I did it ten thousand times and so there’s nothing for it but do it again. I’ve started and so there’s nothing for it but to carry on. I have to see it through to the end. Only it never does end, does it? Be honest now. Just this once. It never finishes (which would at least be something) but rather it drags on interminably. It doesn’t have the decency to end itself, as I believe Sartre was at pains to point out.  It just degrades. It winds down bit by bit, getting slower and slower all the time, but it never stops. Will we ever get there, we wonder? Will we ever get to where we’re going. Only of course we weren’t actually going anywhere. We were never going anywhere. The bus has run out of petrol and so we (the disgruntled passengers) have to complete their journey on foot. We’re disembarking from the stranded vehicle and we’re milling around aimlessly, unable to orientate ourselves, unable to keep up the pretence anymore, the pretence that we know what we’re doing, the pretence that it actually makes sense to us.






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