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Amanda

 

            She found what she had always been looking for; Barnslig Djur cushions, only $9.99, available in metallic teal and metallic cranberry red. She stared silently at the pillows attempting to visualize which cushion would make a proper companion for her living room sofa. Metallic teal or cranberry read, metallic teal or cranberry red…. teal or red, over and over in her mind. She thought of how trivial the decisions in her life had become. Amanda didn’t know how things got to this point. Her thoughts made a series of connections leading her away from the cushions towards a realization that she had chosen to live this life. She remembered a time when she was in deep sleep, something very different than the walking-dead state she was in now. The series of events that brought Amanda here began with a meeting with God.

 

In her youth Amanda befriended God. She was draw towards him by the acceptance he demonstrated, the love that he assured her as the answer, and the surreal state he brought her into by simply staring into her eyes. By design, he armed himself with enough charisma to camouflage his faults, allowing their relationship to develop untroubled. It was all very romantic in the beginning; filled with wide-eyed revelations about the faithful path humans were meant to take. As there relationship evolved God was beginning to look awfully human for her liking. Day by day troubling truths were revealed. The answers he gave her were intensely satisfying, but they were no match for the doubt that would emerge. The doubt seemed to materialize from nothing; it kept quiet somewhere inside her until it sensed it was forgotten. She began to question God and any idea of a higher power. How could he allow evil? she thought. For all the wisdom he spoke was unfortunately accompanied by a harmful amount of intolerance. He was not a God, he was a con man. He had cloaked his self-serving politics with the intelligent words of a stranger from the past. Her rude awakening was the beginning of a journey she wasn’t sure she wanted to take. She felt deceived and betrayed, and eventually left the man of faith. All Amanda could conclude was, if God existed he must have left the building. She kept the mercy, the love and the understanding, and  then moved on

 

After her breakup with God, Amanda found a rebound in Science. He was exactly what she needed. Science was practical, hands-on, what she saw was what she got. At the time he was the accepted model, he was predictable and certain with a reasonable margin of error. And most importantly he was safe. Despite his positive qualities, Amanda quickly grew bored with Science, citing the monotony and spiritlessness of their interactions as her chief justification for that break-up. Science reluctantly admitted the inevitability of this outcome as repeatable experiments in the past demonstrated the break-up as the only probable outcome. In quick automaton fashion, he said goodbye and continued his life inside the box. Amanda kept the logic,  and the beauty in numbers, and moved on.

 

Amanda, frustrated with her recent failings, took in anyone with an answer. History, Anthropology, and array of Psychedelics only built up the confusion. It was more then Amanda could handle. She hasty married Relativism. The ensuing loneliness forced her into the arms of Scepticism, then into a near fatal rendezvous with Nihilism. In what some would call a nutshell, this was the last seven years of Amanda’s life, a series of relationships with valuable, but ultimately incomplete beings. Amanda could not medicate her ambivalence. She needed to make a decision. Amanda concluded she could either amass all knowledge of the universe and finally be satisfied, or accept that naivety was a force as strong as gravity and throw in the towel. Amanda knew she was bound by uncertainty so she kept the indifference and moved on.

 

Metallic teal or cranberry red was the first decision she had been confronted with since her acceptance of indifference. Looking at the cushions Amanda became aware of how much she coveted her time in sleep. She set aside the Barnsling Djur cushions, walked to the bed section of the bed-bath-and–home department store, and made one last decision.

 

 

- Daniel Embaye