PRISM, Volume 1, Part 3
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PRISM, Volume 1, Part 3
Dangerous Dwarf Proudly Presents
George C. Chesbro's
PRISM: A Memoir as Fiction
Volume One: "Dark Engine"

Published by Apache Beach Publications

Click here to purchase Prism

Copyright © 2001 by George C. Chesbro. All rights reserved.
Reprinted here with by permission of the author.

Installment #3
ii

He has come to view human life as a disease that is always fatal, a brief bubble of sentience in the boiling soup of the universe, a marvelous accident that will run its course from birth to death through a gauntlet of bushwhacking genes, biochemical storms, betrayals, soul-rattling disappointments, and crushing loss.

He has been an atheist since the age of 13, when he had been sifting in church one Easter Sunday morning and realized with a start that he didn't believe any of the breathtaking nonsense ministers, his parents and community had been trying to stuff into his mind since he was a child. His view of God as a self-contradicting absurdity, a kind of cranky Santa Claus for grown-ups, and religion in general as a collection of childish fantasies metastasized into mass psychosis, served to alienate him from his mother and father, clergy, local community, and most other members of his species, but it was precisely this disbelief in supernatural Referees or an arbitrary, magical rulebook that filled him with a sense of awe other people might have described as redolent of the religious. He apparently experienced in a world without magic the same sense of wonder others found in a world ruled by gods, but without fear. In his view, if humanity was not alone, or at least not seriously isolated by time and space from other forms of sentient, self-referencing, story-telling creatures in the universe, life would not be the great gift he considered it to be. In his view, life was not a road to a better place, but a journey from nothing to nowhere. The point of this otherwise pointless journey was to make the most one could of one's self along the way, which meant constantly trying to get at the truth of the sights that appeared, determine the true colors of the landscape whatever time of day or night. If there was a paved road that made the way easy, if supplication to deities could suddenly erect bridges or cure snakebite or save us from ourselves or others, there would be no challenge or mystery, no opportunity to distinguish ourselves from a patch of pumpkins or swarm of aphids.

He perceived most humans as plodding along, squinting in the glare of a phantom sun that isn't there, oblivious to the wonders around them and in their hearts as they stare with sore, red-rimmed eyes at useless religious recipes, maps and guidebooks concocted by the spiritually stunted who do not wish their followers to go further than they have traveled or to see things they haven't seen. Others actively search for grace and meaning, sometimes find love, experience awe, and even occasionally find themselves capable of being much more than they could have imagined. But nobody on this trek remains undamaged for long, and only the hopelessly psychotic inside and outside of our churches and mental hospitals believe they can.

Read the next installment.


Copyright © 2017, Hunter Goatley. All rights reserved.
Last updated 14-NOV-2017 09:33:48.12.