The great machine

He walked towards office, his feet kicking up the cement laden dust, his heart mirroring the painful boredom that surrounded him. He thought about his office and the mundane day ahead of him. An empty void meshed in mediocrity and lazy innuendo. The charm of the women there was fading fast and all he could see now were slivers of sunset against a dark sea. His mind was filled with temporal thoughts of excitement that flitted in and out like a cool breeze teasing the chimes. Every breath was an effort.

12,375 days. That’s how long I’ve been alive. That’s a big number. Even if you discount the first ten years of childhood, that’s still 8,723 days. Nearly Nine Thousand days — each day a lost moment of my memory. I don’t even have 9000 memories I can think of. Not even half of that. Not even a quarter or a fraction of that. Right now I can think of maybe a 100. If I’m lucky. That’s 8,723 days that I've wasted. I heard an ad on the radio today. They talked about how life is all about creating wonderful memories. I think the real tragedy is that we are unable to remember memories. Our brains are wired to top ten lists. We remember our memorable moments like a top ten or top twenty list. Which makes it difficult for the memory of me having done simple and subtle acts relegated to the farthest corners of my mind. It’s also the reason I’m terribly unhappy when I look back on my life.

I once read about a study that said people who keep diaries are usually happier than people who don’t. And that some of the ways we can elevate our happiness quotient is by doing simple yet selfless acts every now and then, preferably every day. Having tried this, I can safely say that I’m back to square one. I still feel like my life is being wasted. Being selfless or helping someone just doesn't do it for me. I’m not saying that one shouldn't be selfless or help others. In fact everyone should try to do this once every day till it becomes habitual — like brushing your teeth or using sunscreen. It would make us all better people.

The great machine must keep running. It matters not whether the parts are worn, the raw materials impure, the process inefficient, the product useless — it must continue to run, without pause, without thought. The furnaces must continue to burn, workers continue to maintain and repair, products rolled out even if they are not sold — for consumed they will be since there is nothing else to consume. Produced they will be since there is nothing else to produce.

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