Millions of miles from home, a lonely space dragon yawns, setting the cold darkness alive with gentle streams of purple fire.
It pauses to gaze in wonder at the weightless motion of the flames, tilting a head the size of Pluto before turning and darting deeper into the pockets of the universe. Folding translucent wings close around itself, settling comfortably into the starless space between two planets, its sings itself to sleep in a nameless language.
This post isn’t even about dragons—it’s about, among other things, an odd species known as humans. One such human is a lovely friend named Rebekah, who is incredibly cool and makes life on this planet at least seventeen times better. In addition to putting up with me, she makes amazing art and writes lovely words and has an impeccable taste in music. We decided to mutually ramble about everything and call it a collab, so thanks for being part of the chaos, pal. I’d give you my last virtual pretzel any day. :)
*slides around on the hardwood floors in my striped socks and ponders existence*
How come every time you think you’ve found the best song to ever exist, something new and equally beautiful comes along? “they found your wallet in the cemetery / you told your daughter she was ordinary” has been echoing in my head ever since I first heard those words while curled up on an unforgiving couch in the corner of a hotel room. At the time, I was positive that I’d never hear anything else that stunning, but I’ve found so many stunning songs since then. I just think it’s pretty neat, how we’re so sure that we’ve reached some sort of finality, and we always prove ourselves wrong. It’s both exciting and terrifying.
The duality of everything is astonishing, really. My precious little brother was wandering around the pond with me a few months back, and out of nowhere he piped up in his small cheerful voice, “There’s something good and bad about everything, even getting hurt. I been thinking ’bout that.”
I can’t wait to call him in ten years and listen to his thoughts about the universe, because his mind is something remarkable. I’m also going to murder anyone who ever so much as thinks about hurting him, but that isn’t the point here. The moral of the story, kids, is to always listen to small children, because they know what’s important and they also give great hugs.
You know, the perfect example of this duality is the human species. People are hopelessly terrible and surprisingly wonderful all at once, and I wonder a lot about how we manage to balance the two. Do you guys think, in a horrible twist of reality, if every single person looked the same, and laughed the same, and saw the stars the same, that we’d still find some tiny distinction to separate ourselves with? I think the world would quickly and predictably come to view one inconsequential nuance as superior to another, and we’d be right back where we started, because we’re eternally desperate to feel better than the rest, aren’t we?
Maybe that’s too hopeless of a perspective, but… I can’t help but notice that we, as a human race, seem to hold this belief that we’re somehow getting better, morally, than we used to be. The truth is, our collective moral code is just as messed up as it always has been, it simply finds different ways to manifest itself as the world continues to change.
And! Yet! Despite it all! We so deeply believe that there are good things worth fighting for even if we’re completely incapable of achieving them! We look back at thousands of years of horrible mistakes and… still try for a better tomorrow. I can’t decide if that’s the most astonishingly ignorant or beautifully hopeful thing to ever exist, but either way, you gotta admit it’s pretty fascinating.
The good news here is that I don’t have to worry about humanity, because I’m going to inherit a large and mysterious fortune from my nonexistent great aunt and buy a mansion deep in the forest. I shall live there alone with nothing but a supply of good snacks and maybe my violin, and I will sleep in different random corners every night and slide down the banisters and open all the windows and climb onto the roof whenever it rains and trick the mice in the attic and the birds in the rafters and the ghosts in the basement into being my friends.
Eventually I’ll get lonely and go to Walmart at two in the morning just to talk to the cashier, and as I walk home with three cartons of strawberry ice cream melting in a plastic bag, I’ll remember why giving up on the human species was never really a good idea in the first place.
That being said, I was standing in the empty post office for the first time since March, golden sunlight pouring through the dirty glass doors, being stunned at how quickly the ordinary became the extraordinary, and it was beautiful, and then a guy came striding around the corner directly towards me, whistling cheerfully without a mask on, and I ran for my life, and the grammar police appeared and arrested me on the spot for my appalling overuse of commas. Humans really are undeniably captivating, but I am so glad I’m not one of them.
*sits outside with a backpack on and waits for the aliens to pick me up*