“I love circles, man. I don’t even believe in straight lines. I talk circles, walk circles, all circles, concentric circles, Cevian circles, pseudocircles, semi-circles, circumcircles, never sick of circles man. Do you know any meaningful mathematical manipulation of circles involves an irrational infinite number? Every circle and ellipse in existence is crossing chaotically in three dimensions like a fucking gigantic fractal gyroscope in perpetual motion. Think about it: moons orbit planets and planets orbit stars and stars orbit galaxies and galaxies orbit universes and orbits orbit orbits or better yet, orbits are bits of God spinning his ellipses into eternity. Dude, there’s no graviton, gravity’s just universal centrifugal force. Every time I leave I always come back, I can’t escape the circles; I tried that and came back by accident. I walk circles, talk circles. I don’t even believe in straight lines. I love circles, man.”
Pin Head plops down curbside and stares at the stars for a few seconds then offers Asbestos a small, black flask saying: “insouciance juice makes you loose, man.” Asbestos accepts and swigs a swallow then reads the silver engraving aback the flask:
Man in frustration
Manning front station
Pin Head grabs the flask back, then drinks to humanity saying: “People who don’t both wonder what they think about and wonder why they think what they think about, wonder why thinking seems so productive for some people.”
“I wonder why you think that.”
“Think thinking is so productive in a world without absolutes. Wonder’s not an intellectual activity.”
“That’s circular, dude. You can’t say absolutely there aren’t absolutes.”
“We’re subjective beings condemned to relative knowledge. If there were objective beings they’d be condemned to absolute knowledge. Without an omniscient being telling Us, Our only accessible truth is the sum total of human opinions. So the only thing I believe absolutely is if there are absolute truths, I’ll never know them.”
“And what if there is an omniscient being? “
“If there is an omniscient being out there purposely remaining outside Our perceptions, I don’t trust him."
“Me neither, man. If God exists, he’s hiding from Us, or hiding Us from him. Either way, he’s got something to hide and I don’t trust him.”
Asbestos snatches back the insoucience juice and says: “The way I see it, people have created languages, religions, sciences, and mathematics in an attempt to discover a method that can both find Objective Truth and make it undeniably so to all subjective interpreters. The catch is Our subjectivity allows for skepticism even in the face of Absolute Truth. If God comes to me and tells me all the ultimate answers, I may still choose to disbelieve what He says or that He’s even God. The only way He could prove it is to make me omniscient like Him so I’m unable to disbelieve Truth - But in creating another omniscient being separate from Himself, God’s own omniscience is compromised, and Objective Truth rears its subjective limitations.”
“Exactly. If We’re separate from God in any way, everything He stands for is a useless thought-experiment. But I suppose if God’s omniscient, He doesn’t need to speak Truth, He just snaps His fingers and makes you believe.”
“No way. I believe a component of genuine knowledge is the ability to express it in any medium. I say if Truth can’t be spoken, We can’t claim to have knowledge of it, and anything said to be known without the ability to be expressed, holds no meaning for Us anyway.”
Asbestos sips the sauce. “So do you believe in God?”
“I don’t know, dude. What does it even mean? Do I think there’s some omniscient super being? Not really. But, I don’t know there isn’t one either. I think I can’t know - that’s what I think. And as for belief, I believe anything I think I can’t know isn’t worth just blindly believing, because that kind of faith is misleading. Any belief that’s empirically unsubstantiated creates a rift in your reality. Your brain becomes a mystical maze where physics and metaphysics are on an even keel, where faith flies in the face of reason, and anything inexplicable is resultant of God’s unfathomably mysterious ways. Personally, I’d rather keep it simple and stay skeptical about anything nonempirical.”
“That’s what I believe too. But what is it We’re believing? We’re placing faith in Our partial, subjective senses and logic.”
“We’re operating within those constraints anyway, man. Believing your own reasoning is better than faith in God or people who say they’ve seen Him, right? Your own reasoning evolves every time you think and it’s ultimately the only thing that makes sense; placing faith in other peoples’ or trying to guess at God’s is impersonal and impossible. It’s like people who say they believe in ghosts but have never seen them. What is it they’re believing? Other people’s accounts? All the people I’ve met that say they’ve seen ghosts or God come across a bit crazy, and I’ve never heard anyone’s account of encountering either that truly satisfies my nagging inkling that underneath the fear, faith, and ego, they’re full of shit. And even if they aren’t, second-hand explanations of other’s transcendental experiences hold little benefit for me. He wipes his lips with the top of his arm. You know man, I’ve been thinking. If We were created for a purpose, God sure hasn’t made it known to Us. But if We weren’t created by an intelligence and instead by some coincidental physical phenomenon, Our existence is just a fluke anyway and Our lives are completely meaningless.”
Asbestos smiles. “You know what I’ve been thinking? What supreme purpose could God impose on humankind that could magically de-trivialize Our existence? What possible reason would God have Us exist rather than not exist that would give genuine meaning to Our lives? I find it a much more hopeful notion that the derivation of meaning in life is Our choice and not pre-determined. Learning and appreciating your own purpose becomes the perfect existential challenge.”
“Remember what you were saying about circles?”
“Let’s take a walk. I want you to see someone.”
“Good I gotta change moments anyway.”
“What do you mean?”
“Inertia determines my moments man. Every time I sit, talk, stand, walk, drive or fly, my moments last until I switch verbs. I’m living life like a thesaurus here, memorizing synonyms, studying dictionaries, expanding my vocabulary, trying to stay entertained, but inertia keeps catching up and boring me to death.
“And reading dictionaries keeps you entertained?”
“More words means more meaning, man. Or needing more meaning necessitates more words. I can’t tell if I mean what I say or I say what I mean because what I mean to say or say to mean just seems to say itself simultaneously."
"I see what you're saying. Maybe there's even more meaning beyond language."
"There's definitely more meaning beyond language but I don't know how or where to look. My brain’s a big bag of mush that condenses my senses into English and never shuts up. I’ve already got a dictionary, thesaurus, grammar reference, and pronunciation guide hardwired to my hardware. I can’t get them out or even access the source code because my programmer hid the files. I tried learning new languages but that doesn’t help, just adds more books to the brain and makes my speaker sound funny. There’s no escape. I was born already involved in language, man; I blinked, remembered what I saw, then screamed my surroundings are all around me! And haven’t stopped thinking since.”
They leave the library grounds and continue down the sidewalk. Pin Head rants on about the limits of language and the importance of circles, then subtely segues into a recent personal realization involving relationships. “I figure, since all you know is learned, you might as well begin by laughing at everything and then figure out why.
Like one day I walked in to see some guy balls-deep banging my wife and laughed my ass off. I’d never been in that situation before so I didn’t know how I’d react, right? In movies I’ve seen people burst into rage or tears from feelings of jealousy, inadequacy, or betrayal. But in reality, I saw their faces change from money-shot preparation to deer in headlights, and the tension was hilarious. The guy stuttered something then fell headfirst over the nightstand. I looked at my wife and even she chuckled a bit, either about him or my laughing fit.
I didn’t feel jealous because there’s plenty of love to go around. I didn’t feel inadequate because everyone likes different people for different reasons. And I didn’t feel betrayed because I like having sex with other people too, dude. I was happy she was having fun and that she wouldn’t have to lie to me anymore. Lying about her feelings and her relationship with this guy was a burden on her, which We realized was imposed by Our exclusivity. So after that We openly saw other people and became closer Ourselves.
We either shared completely comfortable silence or filled each other’s ears with honesty. We found unconditional love lurking beyond the labels and taboos of traditional relationships. We discovered when two people open honestly to each other and share their lives together, their joined thoughts and experiences mold their minds and hearts as one in the same. We learned that soul mates are a process, not an end in themselves. Then lived happily apart or together until We died.”
Asbestos interjects. “What do you mean until We died?”
“It’s just a dream I have sometimes, dude. My soulmate probably lives in China and doesn’t believe in souls either. I wouldn’t even know her if I saw her and what I figure she’ll be like changes as I change. I’m constantly involved in this process of self-discovery so there’s no solid criteria in soulmate selection anyway. I look for someone just like me then get bored of myself or look for my opposite and can’t handle that. I give specific characteristics and assign agreeable adjectives to someone I’ve never met, set up cookie-cutter designs and hope to stencil my mind’s eye into existence, but every time no one quite fits the alignment so I hold it against them until they squeeze through and come to life. And before the paint dries I hate the design because it’s no longer in my mind where everything was ideal, you know?
What if there’s an odd-number of people in the world? Does that mean someone doesn’t get a soulmate? How do you narrow the choices anyway? The world population quadrupled last century; I’m telling you, overpopulation’s becoming a detriment to my love life. There’s over six billion souls running around searching for each other. No one’s ever gonna find their soulmates, man! There’s too many fucking people fucking! If reproduction is truly an operation in survival of the species, people are gonna be turned off by sex soon. Beneficial reproduction is a parabolic curve from too few to too fucking many where We are today, destroying Our ecosystem, emptying Our resources, endangering all other animals, and forcing people farther from their soulmates! It’s not right! We’ve had to revert to forms of mass communication to keep people company, mass transportation to keep people moving, and mass hysteria to keep people sane. All this technology and these superhuman institutions We’ve created are distracting Us from each other and We’re getting too good at being lonely. I say multi-child parents in today’s overpopulated mess are being trans-generationally selfish. Humans are one hundred times more prevalent than the next most species in Our weight-class. The exponential population growth We’ve seen in Our species mimics the same relationship as many others throughout history, ending in a drastic decline. Mathematicians approximate Our asymptote is within this generation. Tuck your children in and sleep tight tonight.”
As the two turn a corner, twenty televisions staring out store windows blare obnoxious sights and sounds onto the street like a bright spectre of impending entertainment. Pin Head's voice is drowned out by twenty digital, decorated, green berets, screaming into the evening streets:
“Are your kids out of control? Has your negligence and lack of parenting skills gone too far? Is your child a freethinker with no respect for authority? Then send him to military school where We’ll inject respect through fear, intimidation and violence. Your son will acquire valuable skills like hospital corners, hiding emotion, firing weaponry intended for human targets, surviving on freeze dried foodstuff, taking a good beating, and standing up really straight. In no time your son will become tacit and reserved, his life ordered and meticulous from months of arduous brain-conditioning. He’ll learn values like obey supposed superiors, and it’s okay to kill for your country, all while playing the position of a powerful political pawn in international chess. He’ll soon think the secret of life is structure, instead of acceptance; and he'll know his life’s purpose is enforcing his structures on others then defending them to the death, instead of staying Present, passionate, and utterly acceptant. Meanwhile the mother structure will instruct him to kill in defense others instructed to kill him in defense continuing the world-wide proud patriarchal patriotic cycle. Also don’t forget he’ll come striding home twice a year in those sharp, army-issue formals. Watch out ladies, he only looks polite and apathetic on the outside. Inside he’s searing with repressed rage, looking for someone of his own to control through fear and violence. We encourage you to travel the world, see new sights, meet new people, and kill them. For freedom, for country, for fun, sport, realistic video game training, or as a creative outlet for post-teen angst. Join the American military, fighting to sustain the cost of capitalist freedom and enforcing it overseas.”