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Can you see The Man in the Moon? (another extract from The Symbiosis of Life & Death)

Posted 5 September 2003, 9.40 am by Green Mamba

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 … 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 plays his part without failure or enthusiasm in his typically disconnected servant manner, without the slightest variation in his tone of voice.
I honestly do not know master, tell me?
It’s all about love, my servant friend. 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 have gone up the evolutionary ladder … regardless of how much they think they have achieved socially and technologically 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 … and procreate.
Semjaza had finished pouring the tea and hands it to his master. As he takes the cup carefully from his hand, he looks at him absentmindedly.
Then tell me, master … why is it that they complicate things so much?
The Man in the Moon’s face lights up as if that is the question that he has been waiting for all along.
Ah, therein lies the riddle.
The Man in the Moon moves over to the window, takes a careful sip of his tea and stares down at The World a moment longer before he continues.
Yes, my servant friend … therein lies their downfall … this complication of things … this interconnectedness of everything. They weave a fancy web, but the more they try to perfect it, the more confusing it becomes … so much so that they have become entangled in it while the flies just buzz all around them … out of reach. Tell me, Semjaza … why does the spider spin a web?
Semjaza was getting tired of this game, but continued to entertain his master nonetheless. Besides, it was not his place to argue, so he uttered the next line in perfect monotone.
In order to catch flies, master.
The Man in the Moon finished his tea, turned away from the window and handed his servant the cup.
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 … and 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 design.
Semjaza let out a long sigh as he took the cup, placed it carefully in the tray and then for the first time there was a hint of emotion in his voice.
Just like me.

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 … all these years he’s never complained, never once failed to do his duty without instruction or fear of prosecution and yet the sadness in his voice was unmistakable.
Semjaza … could you come here for a minute, please?
Without question or hesitation Semjaza comes rushing back and puts down the tray, waiting with his hands respectfully behind his back … ready to do whatever is asked of him. For the first time in his afterlife, Semjaza is unable to read the expression on his masters face … he looks uneasy, disturbed almost and it frightens him a little.
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 and then 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. 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?
Only now does Semjaza realise 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 an answer to, but rather that for the first time he is asking him a question that he couldn’t answer for himself. Semjaza looks at his master, the smooth silver surface of his eyes … impenetrable … reflecting only your own obscured face back at you in its curved surface. 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. I have been your servant for a very long time now and every day you stand at that window and judge everyone and everything you see. You talk about love … about the purpose of life and 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. I have … I spent an entire lifetime there … laughing, crying, fighting to survive the onslaughts of both man and nature and 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 … seen them grow and made every effort to prepare them for the worst and the best that The World has to offer. No, it may not be a perfect world and yes, maybe the human race fucked up, but I wouldn’t think twice about trading the last two thousand years of my afterlife in The Great Beyond for a single day back in The World.
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 punish him for speaking out against him, but when he speaks … it becomes obvious that he is crying.
Why, Semjaza … why have you never told me this before?
Semjaza lays a hand on his master’s shoulder to tries and comfort him.
Because it is not my place to question.
With tear-filled eyes The Man in the Moon turns around to face his servant.
Then why now … why tell me all this now after all this time?
Because The World as I have known it is coming to an end … all the signs are there. I can see them reflected in your eyes and I don’t know if there’ll be anybody left to tell you this after it’s gone. Besides, if there is a remote chance for you to experience life as I have then my duty as a member of the human race demands that I tell you this before it is too late.
Semjaza leaves his master standing by the window, picks up the tray and walks towards the kitchen. 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.

The boy looks up at the silver glowing disk in the sky, stares at it for a brief moment and smiles at his lover.
No, I honestly have to say that I cant.
She smiles back at him and rests her head on his shoulder.
Neither can I.

Kateifer
on 7 September 2003, 7.46 pm
Touching and thought provoking. Good post.


Rudi
on 7 September 2003, 9.11 pm
Thanx


news-
on 4 August 2004, 7.20 am


link-
on 4 August 2004, 7.22 am


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Doggybag/baggy_dog is an artist living and working in Barga, Italy. Click here to read about this piece in his own words.


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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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