Brutalist Stories #79 — Righteous Inevitability
As he rose that morning, he saw a vision of his death. He sat up straight in his bed, the room with a wash of pale light brought in through the small portal window by the desk, where a few books and papers sat. He swam in the sun for a moment and tried to shake off the spectre.
It was sticking, and he shifted his torso and placed his feet on the cold concrete floor, polished and smooth. An element of tactile feedback ran a shiver down his spine as he squinted his eyes and tried to find something in the moment. What had he seen? That idea of death. What had brought it to him, and what guise did it take.
It wasn’t a moment, it wasn’t a direct visage or specific time or place, it didn’t display before his mind’s eye a single time that would allow him to avoid the inevitability of the human condition. More a feeling, intrinsic and fundamental to his being, or nonbeing.
He rose and walked out of the room, he was naked, and the air was fresh, a slight draft sent a wave of sensation over his skin standing hairs on end and shooting bubbles up his spine. Walking over to the counter the digi-screens turned themselves on and said hello and good morning to him and the domicile’s AI began making him coffee and scrambling his eggs.
He sat on a stool and leant his elbows on the marble countertop and placed his chin in his hands and waited for the computers to perform their tasks. “Johnathan, your breakfast is now ready,” one said in a soft female voice.
“Thank you,” but he didn’t move over to the table. He sat there at the counter, soft pale light pouring in, the hum of the computers and mechanised servants in the background, the draft and tickle of air brushing over his skin, the blood running through his veins, the thoughts racing through his mind. That vision, that dream or idea, ephemeral but grand swimming through him, toying with his soul. What did he have now? What could he have now? He was 35 years old, and it was only today that he had woken up. Today was the day that something, whether within him or beyond him had chosen to highlight to him that which he had never avoided but had never truly embraced.
His death was so apparent to him now. His inevitability was there, in front of him, he knew and saw it for the first time. A reckoning, an epiphany, an awakening. He blinked and stood and stretched and yawned and walked over to the table where his coffee sat steaming and the smell of the scrambled eggs rose of the plate to meet his nose.
He sat and started to eat and blinked and breathed, and the screen embedded in the table began to flash the news and weather and all the rest of the usual information it fed to him and after a while, he finished his coffee and eggs and stood to get ready for the day.
He passed into the bathroom, and stood and washed and brushed, and then into his bedroom again and before the wardrobe picked out his clothes and then finally, stood in front of the mirror looking at himself, checking everything was in place he squinted and leant forward and peered into his eyes. Wasn’t there something he needed to remember? Wasn’t there something that he had been told? Wasn’t there something that had come to him?
He shook his head and grinned, and thought, it’ll come back, he was sure it would come back to him.