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The Symbiosis of Life & Death - Prologue

Posted 14 October 2019, 6.45 am by Green Mamba

CAN YOU SEE THE MAN IN THE MOON?



In this world of pain and suffering, one thing still prevails above all else.

Looking up at the soft glow of the full moon balancing on the edge of a fading cloud, the girl turns to her lover and whispers, "Tell me, can you see The Man in the Moon?"

The Man in the Moon stares down at them and then turns away from the window to cast another log onto the fire.

"Tell me Semjaza," he asks as the embers flare up in the fire. "What is the purpose of it all? Why do these human beings cling so desperately to this thing called life?"

Semjaza places the tray with tea gently on the table. They've had this conversation before, a hundred times over and he always plays his part without failure or enthusiasm, in a typically disconnected servant manner

Without the slightest variation in his tone of voice, he replies, "I honestly do not know master. Please do tell?"

"It's all about love, my servant friend," The Man in the Moon continues. "They stare up at the moon and look for me in its shiny surface, but whether they see me or not is completely irrelevant. All they care about at that moment in time is the warmth of each other's bodies, the sound of each other's voices and the beating of each other's hearts. Regardless of how far humanity has come, regardless of how much they think they have achieved, there is but one thing that governs their lives. One insatiable desire and that is to find a soul mate, a companion with whom they could travel down the path of life, multiply and die."

Semjaza had finished pouring the tea and hands it to his master. As his master carefully takes the cup from his hand, he looks at him absentmindedly.

"Then tell me, master," he asks as if this is the first time. "Why is it that they complicate things so much?"

The Man in the Moon's face lights up as if that is the exact question that he has been waiting for all along.

"Ah, therein lies the riddle," he says smiling.

The Man in the Moon moves back over to the window, takes a careful sip of his tea while he stares down at The World a moment longer before he continues.

"Yes, my servant friend." He replies in answer his own question. "Therein also lies their downfall. This complication of things. This entangling of their lives. They weave fancy webs, but the more they try to perfect it, the more confusing it becomes. So much so that they have become entangled in their own webs while the flies just buzz all around them, out of reach and leaving them hungry for more. Tell me, Semjaza, why does the spider weave a web?"

Semjaza was already tired of this game but continues to entertain his master nonetheless. Besides, it is not his place to argue so he utters his next line in perfect monotone, "In order to catch flies, master."

The Man in the Moon finishes his tea, turns away from the window and hands his servant the cup.

He nods slowly, "That's right my servant friend. "To catch flies. It has nothing to do with beauty or boredom or creative energy. It is not a diversion to steer it away from the pointlessness of its existence, but rather a tool to assist it in its survival. As long as it continues to perform this function without failure, then there is no need for the spider to try and improve on its own design."

Semjaza lets out a long sigh as he takes the empty cup, places it carefully on the tray and then for the first time, there is a hint of emotion in his voice.

"Just like me," he mumbles as he walks away.

The Man in the Moon looks up and follows his servant with his eyes as he leaves the room. "He's been a good servant," he thinks. "All these years he's never complained, never once failed in his duty, without instruction or fear of prosecution and yet the sadness in his voice is unmistakable."

He calls after his servant friend, "Semjaza! Come here for a moment, please?"

Without question or hesitation, Semjaza puts down the tray and rushes back, waiting with his hands respectfully behind his back, ready to do whatever his master requires. For the first time in his afterlife, Semjaza is unable to read the expression on his master's face. His master looks uneasy, disturbed almost and that frightens him a little.

After a long pause, The Man in the Moon asks with true empathy in his voice, "Are you happy, Semjaza?"

The magnitude of the question takes a while to settle in. Semjaza rolls it around in his head while The Man in the Moon looks at him expectantly. After carefully evaluating all the possible answers, Semjaza calmly replies with what he believes to be the right answer.

"You have been very good to me master and in gratitude, I do my best to serve you well" he answers. "In that, I am perfectly content."

The Man in the Moon shakes his head, places his hand on his servant-friend's shoulder and looks deep into his eyes.

"Yes, but are you happy?" he asks again with more intensity.

Only now does Semjaza realize the full magnitude of the question. Only now does he understand that his master is not asking him to confirm something that he already had his own answer to. For the first time since Semjaza became his servant, he is asking him a question that he can't answer for himself. Semjaza looks at his master, the smooth silver surface of his eyes impenetrable as it reflects only your own obscured face back at you. For a moment Semjaza dwells on the possible consequences of what he is about to say, but then he says it anyway.

"No master, I am not" he replies as he lowers his head in shame for waiting this long to tell the truth. "I have been your servant for a very long time now and every day you stand at that window and you judge everyone and everything you see. You talk about love, about the purpose of life and all of humanities failures, but in all the time that I have known you, not once did you bother to go down there to spend even a single day in The World with them. I have. I spent an entire lifetime there. Laughing and crying while fighting to survive the onslaughts of both humanity and nature. Finding joy in overcoming all its hardships. Not only that, but I have loved. I have slept in the comfort of my mother's arms and I have bathed in the sweat of my lover. I have raised children. Watched them grow and made every effort to prepare them for the worst and the best that The World has to offer. No, The World may be broken and yes, maybe the human race failed, but I wouldn't think twice about trading the last two thousand years of my afterlife for a single day back there."

The Man in the Moon pulls his hand away and turns his back on his servant. For a moment, Semjaza thinks that this is it. His master is about to banish him to The Abyss for speaking out against him, but when he replies it becomes obvious that he is crying.

"Why, Semjaza? he sobs. "Why have you never told me this before?"

Semjaza lays a hand on his master's shoulder to try and comfort him. "Because it is not my place to be ungrateful for the honor of being chosen to be your servant."

With tear-filled eyes, The Man in the Moon turns around to face his servant. "Then why now?" he asks. "Why tell me all this now, after all this time?"

Semjaza lifts his head to face his master when he replies, "The End of The World is upon us. All the signs are there. I can see it reflected in your eyes and I don't know if there will be anybody left to tell you this after I am gone. Besides, if there is even a small chance for you to experience life as I have, then it is my duty as your friend to tell you this before it is too late."

Semjaza turns around and leaves his master standing by the window as he walks towards the kitchen. Just before he leaves the room he turns around and in his typical servant manner asks, "More tea, master?"

The Man in the Moon continues to stare out the window at The World down below, wondering what it would be like to walk amongst these human beings and experience this thing called life.

"Yes please and pour yourself a cup while you're at it?" he asks politely.

The boy looks up at the silver glowing disk in the sky, stares at it for a moment and smiles at his lover.

"No, I honestly have to say that I don't," he replies.

She smiles back at him and rests her head on his shoulder.

"Neither do I," she says. "Neither do I."

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They were done for an exhibition a couple of years ago . They asked for something to so with the summer. They are mixed media and oil paint on metal advertising boards - for ice cream.


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Props to Green Mamba for bringing the weirdness

Hmph

80s candy bars were pretty good

only because i traded it for a candy bar in the 80's.

lol we all know you don't have a soul ghoti

my soul for some carbs...

But of course!

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