A Story by Nicolas Jao

A boy that can't live a normal life because of his existential obsessive compulsive disorder.


“We arrive at this rock-ball devoid of anything, remember? Through fate, everything happens until we are at this moment. Every single birthday, incident, experience, decision. We end up with each other somehow, unexpectedly yet expectedly, and find each other in this vast world. How come? No one knows. Your decision to let that ball fall on the street by itself, and the speeding vehicle past by? That was fate--you would not be here without that decision. Your parents’ choice of school, living area, all of it? They did it so we could meet. And it all is in effect of snowball--for everyone, fate affects them. If you imagine a string suspended in nothingness, that is what this so-called sentience force is. This was no mistake.”

When he was born, his mind was nothing but an empty void, sullen and dark, pitiful. He would continue to live to make that untrue. He would learn, grow, experience. This was the mere beginning. A beginning of a knowledge burden he desperately wanted to destroy.

Pieces of matter was what he was--and yet he knew that. How did he know that, if he was just pieces of matter? A majestic wonderment, it was.

But by who? We are all sundials--we could be, if we stood in the sun--and people did not understand that. Such jargon jargon--but Paris would never say that. Too kind, she was--he wished she would have a few flaws--there were thousands to choose from. Corruption would find a way into her heart one day--he wished. No, that would be a terrible wish--and it was not because he felt as if he did not deserve her--he actually did, in fact, he was not an unkind person--but he hated perfection. And at the same time, if something was imperfect, he would hate that too. He contradicted himself not because he wanted to, but because he was contradictory--that was obvious. Without a doubt, he wished he wasn’t himself--and then if he wasn’t, he wished he was, because he understood his way of thinking--that no one else in the world was like him. It was something mothers always said to their children, and that was no false encouragement--there would never be another Devan. If a clone, that clone would never be physically, him--it would be another set of cells, muscle, tissue--a dead weight carried by the same mind--the mind would not even be the same either, for new tissue was used for it.

No, if he was someone else, it wouldn’t be the same--if his personality was altered--to be that of a normal one--good grace, he would hate it. But then he couldn’t because he would be someone else. But he wished to be as oblivious as other people, it would calm his mind, give him true happiness--yet that would suggest sameness, and he hated sameness, so he was glad to be enlightened--yet being enlightened was utterly depressing. What a disappointment.

One day, he could not refuse the option any longer--the option of ending his universe manually. The minds of the depraved--they would ease, never--and one like his was not worth one at all. It was when he was three. The option was calling to him--it was peaceful, pleasant, delightful--and irresistible. His dear, sweet Paris did not know--no, she would never know--but it had been on purpose. Suffering was something no one wanted--his mother, his father--they would understand, wouldn’t they? But all it took was a dangerously close knife, and suddenly his wrist was bleeding--and that wail! That loud, vicious, ghastly and unpleasant wail! Was it from him? Yes, it was! His vocal chords annoyed his ears, the cycle of sounds reverberating through his chest, his head, his entire body!

“Stop!” she had said, his hero. She was always his hero. And there she was--so immensely braver than he, and though yet the same age--it was impossible to him, he could not believe as such. And suddenly the knife was away from his hands.

“You hurt yourself with that knife!” screamed she, grabbing a tissue to pressurize the wound on his wrist--a scar that would stay there forever (and truthfully, it did--he still had it to this day, and Paris would always remember). And he had waited--waited until she would ask why he did that. But he realized she never would--she believed it to be an accident. He was scared to tell her that it hadn’t been, it was purposeful--he could not. He just could not.

“Never play with these knives again, you dummy.” She had used a word he had so much hatred for--it was so childlike. His mind had done this, not him--he liked to believe that. To this day he still believed that. But he knew--he knew he wanted his mind to stop thinking. That was why he did that.

“I’ll take care of you, don’t worry. You are not a dummy.” She smiled--he hated the sight but did not want it to go. He did not know how that was possible. A laughing matter--this wasn’t even close to one--yet she smiled. He would never understand how happiness worked. Then, with a shout that would be considered powerful to many, “Missus C! Missus C! Devan needs help!”

It was because of that fact that safe hands were all the boy had felt throughout childhood--others weren’t so lucky. And that was it! The imperfection of perfection--how his world was so beautiful, and he knew he would not die because of its safeness and lovingness, that made him feel as if he was worthless. A pawn. But even the kings and queens that sat on their throne felt worthless at times. Even if he knew he was no king or queen.

The intellectuals--all of them--were like him--they believed they were, they pretended they were, and then they were. That was how it was--would be. And so he was in the middle phase, and the masses would govern his third. Their legacies were deliberate--they knew it from the start.

Time-lapse of the far future--so insignificant person creature sentience force is, meaningless, meanwhile the cosmos is eternal, timeless, and the clock-ticks are at a seemingly infinite number, numbering in the trillions of sun-encirclements when we only live a few dozen--saddening, nonetheless. With the tiny window of life and the possibility of existence--such small chances--and such a small window of time in the universe--it was impossible not to feel the entirely human emotion of depression--that is, if you were a person creature. But to everything else, even other living things--they never held the capacity to analyze this thoroughly, therefore never having the capability to shed tears along with us. No, they continued on in an emotionless state, carrying out the duties of grandmaster entropy, whose master plan was to wipe out all energy-inequalities.

When he was little all he did was wonder.

What was sentience force and what defined it? How did it work, how and why did it exist, why did it contain value and preciousness--why did his father and mother tell him not to cross the street before looking both ways--why did they not allow him to go alone in a dark road in an uncharted zone why did they not allow him to go rock climbing as the other tiny people why did they not let him climb a tree he did not know. Why, why, why? If he did and his sentience force came to an end then why was that such a tragedy?

What caused the redness in the face-sides? What caused the caterpillar-futures in the digestive organ? What caused the expansional, copulative procreation of offspring due to the undying desire to do so stemming from those red face-sides and caterpillar-futures in the digestive organ? Why is it that person creatures have a feeling in which they are self-conscious, feel shame and awkwardness, but in the end, they are one with descendants that will carry their name--then do so again with the same exact process? What drove the ultimate program that ran the intricate systems of the normal body? Why did this body change, why would it be so satisfactory at times, then so much of the opposite later? Why was it limited by a short amount of clock-ticks? Why why why why why why why, because because because because because because. Except there would not be the last because, because. And there would not be any at all, in fact, because the be-causes never came. Perhaps they came, but never in time--within the lifespan of the universe’s breath when it breathes sentience force into the creatures that solemnly own it. Only dignified reverence and honour was reserved for praise. Writhing, withering wilts when water-waisted wells wet with washed, worn winter-walking-warmers, wasted with wondrous wading. Aye! He was in no mood for them, no. He was rather in the mood for--well, supposedly, not them. But he knew they were necessary to stay in the zone of warmth needed to survive, supposedly--in the harsh realm of old man December-January-February snowflake season. Pitiful at times was his meander into his endeavours to achieve simplicity at a time when nothing was simple.

Yet, everything still was, for he was the most opposite to simple--and so, by comparison, was he so high above them all--he would be the one who would ruin their chances of glory by taking them.

Nothing would ever amount to the fact that desires that wished to be fulfilled would remain unfulfilled--the wants of which would only be granted to some and not all the time. And this was the case for those who had it all--yet through it all, gained a state of a lesser being, with the formalities of immorality woven in their tales. Those who would achieve fake spouses with their desired level of highness, only to gain it through materialism and not virtue. This was fake, and this was the utter form of melancholy for most.

Through emotional means was it accomplished to enact the regularities of a single lifetime. Without such simulation, no existence of trueness would occur, for how can one call a sentience force runtime valid and true without the validation of trueness?

What caused him to excite his suspicion at ordinary elements in a single today, one may ask? His dutiful bond to the excellency of normality ineptitude. For when he woke he saw such a gift of sentience force embedded so powerfully into his mind, engraved solemnly with not much reason to it. For, what he saw when he entered the room with a human child, was incredible crying, the work of the creator. And there, he saw it--he understood. That we are never infinite and we will never be, all our understanding of the universe is founded on a basis of person creature ideas and linguistics, we will never understand the true theory of nature without the capacity to do so in the conditions of a person creature. The chasms and rollercoasters would suit this recollection of thought to remind that such chaos was born from the infant’s incredible crying. Although abject was his own merit, he desired to remain stolid.

Now--married and sharing a dwelling, he believed so highly in this dome of perfection. And yet, in the vastly perfect imperfect syndrome he so heavily believed in, there would be those days when it was expected for Paris to break down--literally down. When checking the door lock would never be enough, and anxiety would be the villain arriving.

“It’s alright,” she said. The man tried to help her up. “I’m alright, in fact. I--I simply need to check the doorknob again. And the stove. It is a matter of safety, you must know that. You do know that. I cannot help myself. If I don’t check the doorknob and stove daily, when I come home, I’ll--I’ll die. Aye, I will break down.”

This was to be a scenario that would entail itself to be different, he suggested--and when he suggested to the universe, it complied. He used his object-holders and cupped her face. She looked up slowly and, as he expected, solemnly. There was nothing but the intense quietness, and the feel-good in the oxygen around the two individuals.

“Paris,” he said. That was all he said. That’s all. Except not, he said more. He did not know what to say next, yet he said more--he believed he did, and he hadn’t yet. He slipped up--of course, he had, he just did not at the moment, but he knew in the future he would look back and know as a fact that he did say more. The more was to come now, right now, at the very moment, and he was certain.

“You are tired.”

The droplets that he knew only came during sadness fell down her face now, and she averted those usually-bright and full of energy optic organs toward the floor, which she suddenly found such an interest in.

“I know.”

The man nodded. They both knew why--no need for telepathy. He sat next to her on the kitchen floor, cradling her physical embodiment and cherishing the other aspects. The once-strong creature laid her head on him--and he thought so highly of his earth’s tendency of perfection, that he aimed to believe it was merely his own doing and belief that it wasn’t. He could not have been more wrong--to think that others experienced the sadism of the one-above-all, or perhaps mother rock-ball. To think that the precedence that overclouded his past judgement in the favour of everyone not within their own vision of solipsism was an opposite-falsity, then he would have annexed and apprehended his actions throughout the years. But the intensity at which no words would be spoken was great. This troubled him--it also soothed him. Perhaps they needed a break. Perhaps they didn’t need a break. Perhaps they did--yet he knew they did not--yet he knew they did.

The universe is a sandbox of atoms reacting with one another. Some atoms try to understand each other. This was the case with all and he knew so. This was what he believed in. This was the very nature and core of reality--there was nothing less of the truth. All of existence could be explained with such a statement, it’s true, yes.

Then why did it feel more than that? Why did it feel, so heavily ingrained in his feelings as well, that it was much more? So much more? How can atoms try to understand each other, if they are not conscious, they do not contain a sentience force, they cannot think, they cannot feel, they cannot make their own decisions, they cannot understand. And yet, here he was, thinking, feeling, understanding this particular set of atoms that he so closely held to his heart, embracing it on the kitchen floor. And they--it--she, was also thinking, feeling, understanding the set of atoms embracing her. In fact, extending that further--she was loving them--it--him. How was that possible? How could such an innate connection exist, when they are merely lifeless constructs, lifeless parts, yet as a whole, they are enlightened to an entirely unique level?

Then the collection of particles looked up at him. Rather, they made a conscious decision to turn themselves in his direction. He gazed into sad optic organs. Rather, his own particles aimed themselves at her own. Thinking. Feeling. Understanding.

This was magical--exceptional. He only felt it now--how it was all terribly impossible to understand the complexity of the cosmos, how everything was the way it was. How time flowed and things on masses of rock fell toward them. How complex biology was and how things worked the way they did. How everything in the vast collection of empty space filled with pure elements was so grand, so HUGE, so MASSIVE, so INFINITELY BEYOND THE COMPREHENSION OF ANY MORTAL.

Yet here he was, a simple boy holding a crying girl, and experiencing a moment.

This ability was too great for him. It was too great for anyone. The ability to know all this. Why must he be cursed, since birth, to know this much about everything? Why could he not just be like everyone else, careless about any of these facts he thought of just now? Why must he be the only one who knew all this and suffered from it? Every day he wished to live like a regular person. He saw people in the streets walk without a care of the cosmos. He saw people in cafes drink their wake-up-juice without thinking about the particles their vessels were made of. He saw people having conversations in the park without wondering what sentience force was, the existence of it, the reason of existence for it. He saw all of these things happen, and he longed to be them--for every night, he would think about these things endlessly, and Paris, next to him in their sleep conductor, would not know. No soul would know. Gift or burden--either was a preconceived loss, for it impeded his yearned advancement into normality.

But Paris tethered him back to reality--she was always that tether, that was her role.

“I’ll be alright,” she said. With their optical sensors directly at each other’s, he decided that he’d be alright too.


© 2020 Nicolas Jao

Author's Note

Nicolas Jao
This story is actually a snippet of a larger piece, a novel with the same title that I may or may not have published here yet. The style is odd in the sense that it is supposed to simulate thoughts in a person's mind, how we think in bits and pieces, and quickly too. The main character, troubled by a complex syndrome of thinking too much which is perhaps due to his autism, is the voice of this story and we get an insight into his head.

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Added on June 12, 2020
Last Updated on June 16, 2020
Tags: literary, esoteric, mentalillness, odd, strange, literature


Nicolas Jao
Nicolas Jao

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

It's the cliche story. I've been writing since I was six, and it's a passion. I like to read, listen to music, watch the NBA, learn science and programming, and eat food. My favourite book is The Hous.. more..

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