The Whole World Is Dark and Funny

photo by ben

The whole world is dark and funny since the sky melted. I know you know, but there are some what don’t. A man, a famous case—it was on the news, they made a movie about it, or a documentary—thought he was sleep-walking, that the sun never came up ever again. I think probably he ended up not being able to adjust and killing himself. Sad, but there wasn’t a place for him. If there isn’t a place for you, maybe it’s just as well.

That’s not what you’re supposed to think, but that doesn’t affect the truthfulness of the matter. I almost didn’t adjust, and maybe the whole place would have been better without me, if I couldn’t. But I did. I like it now.

There are still some people what don’t know, but it’s rarer and rarer.

The sky melted, and it turned out that the universe was just an illusion. How the way we thought was wrong. Or, not wrong, but different. Really the sky is like a giant tree. We’re like on one of the outermost branches, dangling from a stem at the North Pole. The universe isn’t actually a tree, or anything like it, but it’s the best explanation, of how things are different now. There aren’t planets and asteroids and comets and satellites. Or: there are, but we understand them differently, now. Everything’s local. I don’t even understand, how everything has changed, but I know that it has. You only need to look up, or over, to see it. How the sky’s not there, anymore. The sky was a good part, and I miss it. But now that we know we’re not alone, it seems to not matter as much. Everyone’s so close.

The sky was a thing what protected us not from like cosmic rays but from our own inexperience.

There’s not as much light, anymore.

You only have to think of a place, and you’re there. A lot of things are the same, and a lot are different. There are some new religions, now. Some old ones, too. Astronomers are like idols now, never mind how wrong they were. They’re the ones what run this place of ours.

I went to Norway for the weekend, though it’s not Norway anymore, and the days are different. We call them 1day, 2day, 3day, 4day, 5day, and on and on. Nobody really knows when they stop. It feels like it doesn’t matter.

Every once in a while you’ll see someone suddenly realize how the sky’s not there. Like, they were in a bubble of their own. You’ll be walking down the street and see a person fall down to the ground, crying. Or laughing. Everyone’s different, but it’s always the same. Always preposterous. You can see it in their face, how it’s so absurdly funny to them, when they realize it. Like they read the news but didn’t understand it. Or thought it didn’t apply to them, somehow.

There were signs, beforehand, of something strange. The street theater. The signs, rallies, bands of musicians. People set themselves on fire, just stopped what they were doing and burnt. It was an ugly, unhappy stage. If they knew what was next, maybe they could have waited.

Admittedly, it was bleak.

There was an endless tension in the air. War was on everywhere, and it was creeping into peoples’ lives, ordinary people, uninvolved people. There was information, people would pay their entire savings for. Some people had always thought it was the end, and it didn’t seem any different to them. They just kept going. Figured, why not. Maybe that was the point. They didn’t know about the sky, then. How— They couldn’t imagine that we could talk to the billion points of light.

Collectors dumped their collections into the sea, which was oily and rank. You would say fire was the overarching element. Burying earth, filling the air.

The expectation of the sky being there, that wasn’t a thing you could have predicted. So basic you don’t know how it could ever go away.

At the time I felt like my head was collapsing. Which, you know wasn’t uncommon. The food supply was tainted, untenable.

There were maybe cures—now we know of course, but then they were only concepts, things tried on the desperate. I was one of the first, before the sky melted. The pressure was a monster, inside my skull.

First they said, this will not feel quite right. There will be some discomfort. I’d been accustomed to what I thought was discomfort. But: imagine being eaten from the inside out. I would have killed for that. I hoped the world would end, and it would all be over.

If it really was the end of the world like they were all saying in the air it would have been stupid for me to have the procedure. Idiotic, going out in a blaze of excruciating pain while the historians and the runners sit on rooftops and watch the sky melt away.

It wasn’t even a new technology, probably. It wasn’t the nuclear warheads or the space (“space”) lasers or the engineered killer viruses.

It was Greek fire, remixed by a frantic, cornered despot with nothing left. It started with a dead blue spark, but then something different happened.

Nobody knows if there’s another world behind the one out there now.

Some say we’re all dead, that this is purgatory or whatever, a waiting area. Some say we’re still burning.

I’ve felt pain, though. Real pain. I’ve felt pain that I know could not be worse. The sky melted, and now the world is dark, and strange, and different, and real. We know we’re not alone, and we’ve visited other worlds, and eaten their foods. No one listens to music anymore. It feels unnecessary. On 4day Rina and I are going to what used to be 1843. The world is a funny knocking place. I love it. I’ve never been happier in my life.