This One Life

This One Life

A Story by Apebble

I’ve wasted so much time in my life. Too much, I think, sometimes. I forget where I am, but time always remembers. So many days I have sat in a chair in front of  a screen, hoping to distract myself until something interesting happened to me, but it never did. I guess people assumed I knew. They assumed that I was aware this life was it. All I have. They didn’t think to clue me in as to what that really meant.

Each second is a fraction of everything I will ever get. Was it used correctly? Justly? Usefully? How many were dedicated to being mean? How many to being nice? How many were subject to sleep, and how many to being half awake? Was I angrier than I was compassionate? Was I happier than I was sad? Did I create more than I destroyed, or did I hate more than I loved?


I suppose how I feel, in this moment, is the ledger of everything that I’ve done. Each second adds up to who I am now. I guess I have to be happy with what resulted, or I need to change. But no one can ever change the seconds I’ve spent. God, have I spent them. Have I spent them? Is it worth changing, even?


I think I have to change, for whatever time I have left. These seconds roll by - I see them - but I feel helpless to give them meaning. Who can I help? Who should I help? Are there some that don’t deserve help? And does their not deserving help mean I shouldn’t give it to them? I spend so much time thinking and debating about who deserves what, that it would be simpler to give, unto all, everything.


What does it matter if someone deserves a “thank you” or if it is just them doing their duty? Does it matter? What if someone deserves my anger, or my hatred? Or if they at the least do not deserve my love? Does this mean I should pay out exactly what is ascribed? Do all debts come due, and, if they do, must they be paid?


Does it truly help to call someone what they are, even if it hurts them? Will they improve because they are forced to identify as what they are? Or should I treat them as I hope they can be, and inspire them to become better? When should I hurt someone, and when should I help? Or is that even a choice that has to be made? Can hurting be helpful, or being kind be harmful?


What does it mean to treat your fellow man as a man, instead as foreign? Would it matter if he were not a man, but a monster? Am I entitled to treat a monster as a monster? If I am, should I? What if I could make a monster into a man by showing him a small gesture of gentleness? I have lost what it means to be gentle. I have been so rigid - so forceful and resolute in my resolve - that I forgot that behind my words and actions stood someone else, and in front of those words stood me.


Is there such a thing as humanity? If there is, what is it and have I done it? If I have done it, was it a good thing? If I haven’t, did I miss out? Is it being together with others - friends and loved ones? Or is it something more natural and instinctual? How do I know I am human, in the fullest sense of the word? I feel as though I am separate. I am separate.


Should I have felt myself at peace with the earth? Planted my bare feet into the dirt and reached my soul deep into the earth’s core? Or was it my destiny to grow apart from this rock? Was it my duty to defy where I came from, or to grow alongside it? I spent enough time ruining the earth, and enough time destroying what was built on top of it. I feel as though either side pulls and pushes me to its enemy, making me the enemy of both.


What does it mean to win at life? Is it by making the most money? Loving the most people? Being the happiest? Or is there any winning? If I win, does someone else lose? If my winning makes someone else lose, should I lose? If everyone can win, how much should I risk my victory to push another across the finish line? Or is there no such thing as this superlative-based idea of winning? Is everything just contentment with where I am? If I am content, does it mean I stop improving? If yes, is contentment worth achieving, or is it better to lose at life and win the best version I can be? Or is the contented me the better me, and I cannot see that fact through the lens of ambition?


What is ambition? Is it the desire to become better, or the rationalization and justification of greed? Is becoming better only from greed - the greed to devour myself? How can I stop myself? Should I stop myself? How many seconds should I spend debating whether I should become better or become content? When should someone be content? Should I be happy in the gutter, or should I sprinkle enough ambition on my contentment to spur myself into self-loathing that I become someone who is achieved?


Does improvement always come from self-loathing? Can it come from loving oneself enough to make oneself into someone better? Can self-hatred and self-love coexist? I hate parts of me, and love others, but am conflicted in my judgement of the whole. Is it worth hating yourself into someone you can love? How much misery must be spent to buy happiness, and is it a fair trade?


I feel as though I have too many questions, and not enough time to answer them. If I spend the time to answer them, then it may be too late to enact them. If I enact them, but choose incorrectly, then more seconds leave me. How can I be happy, or know if happiness should even be my goal? How cruel it is to be given only this one life.

© 2018 Apebble

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Added on November 19, 2018
Last Updated on November 19, 2018



Hi all :) I go by apebble, but you can call me almost any variation of apebble you wish (peb, pebs, pebbles, ape, etc.)...just don't call me apple :P As for myself as a writer: I write generally.. more..