- Vol. 06
- Chapter 05
I was never one for milk and sugar in my coffee. I stirred the thin black liquid and watched the tiny heat bubbles dissipate against the silver spoon. Tiny heat bubbles in space; smacking against each other and popping into oblivion. A stir of a spoon causing a space storm violent enough to swallow whole planets.
I sip my coffee. I'm looking outside. A lady walks by, wearing tights and an oversized jumper, pushing her toddler in a stroller. A blue car chugs gently down the road. An elderly couple make their way to the greengrocer. It's a quiet Tuesday afternoon, and most people in my town are at work. A few passers-by have fallen victim to my blank-minded gaze, but nothing to write home about; the air is still.
I feel like I zoom out when I think. I press down on control-dash and the picture gets smaller. Or does it get bigger? I can see past the street I'm looking down through the window, the small pretentious dogs on leads, the wooden floors of this artisanal cafe. I'm looking at the block. I'm looking at the town. I'm looking at the state, the country. Everything gets smaller. Everyone turns into matchsticks, ants, pinheads, before they disappear.
I stare into my coffee and I'm gazing down at the world, studying the surface, observing the stillness of the elements. On one side, husbands are kissing their wives goodbye as they scramble for the front door; children are packing their school bags; lovers are stretching their legs out lazily across one another. On the other side, a family gathers around the dining table to share a meal; two friends laugh at a reality television show while they indulge in late-night snacks; an insomniac attempts to relieve his mind's pressures as he tosses and turns against his bedsheets.
I'm staring into my coffee, and I can visualise the emptiness of the space around the earth. The hustle and bustle of day-to-day living seems so irrelevant. We seem so irrelevant. The curse of the human condition: plagued by the significance we place on ourselves, doomed to fall short of expectations sown by our own hand. We are characterised by our false sense of superiority. We are arrogant. We are thousands of years away from another planet in another galaxy where a tiny man in a space suit is floating above his home, awestruck, as he zones in on the vastness of everything outside of his fishbowl world. He is struck by an immediate existential crisis. He is a speck.
I narrow my eyes and lower the spoon into the cup. I stir my coffee. Create a space storm.