Today, the idea is twenty-three years old (he will always be, and I will perhaps tell you why) or at least that’s how old he feels. All that he knows now, all that he has learnt and grown to be can answer no call or query but the unrealised reality of existence – that no matter what, he must go on. It would take a lifetime, and perhaps more, to understand to what end, or for what purpose. In the hope of that realisation, he must go on. Life, like a road, lay before him, with little other to do than to follow it, on a path unto an unknown end, a journey within oneself.
Of the many questions that plagued the mind, each took credence in its own right. The whys, always in the plural, when the luxury of time allowed. When, when there was purpose, or lack thereof. How, the all-pervasive search, that seemed always to answer itself. Who and what were less exhausting, in that there were often simpler to ask, and consequently asked more often, with less pertinence.
Yet before we embark on this journey of exploring the idea, let us not raise our subject upon a pedestal and worship him as an ideology above our own, or above our selves. For he, like us, is but an idea. As beautiful as we are, as ugly as we can be. He too, can see himself in the mirror of the mind’s eye, and it is that consciousness of his existence, like our own, that allows him to be an idea, and little more. He exists solely because it his belief that he exists. When that belief in himself ceases to be, he will no longer exist, and fade from the world in that silent moment. At least, that is what he believes, as he does that we are all at some degree of fading. He smiles, to himself, deprecating the value of his thought as he relates it to a contemporary adage an old mate would oft quote – ‘old jeans don’t die, they just fade away’. Perhaps, he muses to himself, an old Levi’s ad. He finds himself now, with less satisfaction than more, that he relates more with such nucleonic wisdoms, picked up from hip commercials and off restroom walls, than with a philosophy he longs to hold dear. That is all he is, a big idea, a collection of such philosophical and commercial raindrops, a puddle collecting rainwater and drain water alike with each passing moment. A puddle of ideas, a muddle of thoughts, reflecting itself unto the sky above, with an aspiration so simple, it is perhaps noble – the yearning to be little more than a puddle in a crowded street, to be but a pool of dew drops in a silent forest. Another drop falls as he recalls the words of another mate, “does a tree make a sound if it falls in the forest, with no one around”. He smiles again, remembering how long that drop was discussed, a profound debate made possible by the mutual intoxication of natural mind-expanders. The rain pours down now, as written words flow in, and the pool draws upon the collective knowledge of the various related occupants of his library, Huxley, Storlie and Vonnegut (of the Mark variety).
See how we move on the path of tangents, circling away from our subject, as is bound to happen when one is occupied in the study of ideas. Our idea, let us name him Young - Simon Young - for convenience of reference, shall be the primary subject of discussion for now, that which we shall attempt to revolve around. We are apt to name things so, in order that we may easily identify, and more importantly, differentiate them from other entities of a similar nature. It is our way of lending other ideas an existence in our worlds.
Thus is born Simon Young, twenty-three years old, the day he died. For with birth, comes the necessity of death. As we give birth to Simon Young, he must surely die, for that is the ephemeral nature of the Universe as we choose to understand it. He was my brother, and he died so his brothers could be free.
They cursed my brother to his face
Go home outsider
This town's gonna be your buryin' place
He was singin' on his knees
An angry mob trailed along
They shot my brother dead
Because he hated what was wrong”
I no longer feel any shame while plagiarising poets greater than myself, artists in their own right. Every living moment, after all, while lending birth and death to itself, every idea is drawn from the poets that mould our awareness and the consciousness of our own being. Originality comes only from how we choose, when we deem the choice to be our own, to assimilate and draw upon their thoughts, drawn in their own cycle of birth and death, from that of countless others, greater than themselves. I think they call it evolution. This story though, is neither mine, nor of my evolution. This epic belongs to Simon and we must not steal it from him, for he had very little to call his own but the evolution of his ideology. It is as little, and as great, as we all have to call our own ideologies, tangible owning being of marginal consequence even in the overall materialist conception of existence.
Simon said, and I listened when Simon spoke, for he did not speak often, and merited listening when he did. Simon said we all needed love. I wonder know, as I did then, whether he meant that it is that the world, or us in it, needed more to love themselves, or each other, or if he meant that everybody needs somebody to love. It was not much use asking him. For Simon, as I have already told you, spoke very little. Simon needed somebody to love, as we all do of course, but more importantly, I think, as is again true for us all, Simon needed to be loved.
I know he needed someone to love. I am (or was, I am apt to forget which) after all, his brother. I know because once, before he caught the last slow train I saw him leave on, he gave me a flower. That is what he left me, an ideology to shape for myself, and an equally apologetic white daisy, heaven knows where he found either of them. I know now, as I knew then; watching his train shrink into the distance on the tracks that foggy autumn morn; that I did not know what that daisy meant. He knew as well as I, that I would not see what he saw in the blossoming bud. He was not the type to go about handing out white daisies, even to a brother whom I trust he did know he would not be seeing again. That is why, I believe, he needed someone to love. Someone who would understand his flower, and him, at least more than me, or the rest of his world did. His flower stays today in a manuscript left undone, its petals yellowed as the lined pages it lies between…