He’s in my bed, frozen feet warming on my belly. This morning he woke early and rushed to join me.
Happily, since I woke even earlier and was fighting a mounting sense of panicked emptiness.
“Really? But you kick her all the time.”
“No I don’t.”
“Yes, you do.”
Strangely reassuring this tit for tat with no significance. After spending a lifetime questing for meaning, tracking signs, I now will endeavor to Insignify: to make nonsense not meaning.
Yes, its an invented word and no, I don’t care.
“She’s still young, you know, Noah. She’s nowhere close to dying. Right now she’s like a large but healthy middle-aged woman. Like your principal.”
“Noooooo…she’s nasty. Ouaga is nice. She loves me! Dad? Do you think she loves me more than you, because like… you kick her.”
“But I feed her.”
My mind reflexively casts for patterns… for… for… for MEANING!!. Oh no!
“Dad, where will we like bury her when she’s dead?”
“We have no land, maybe we could stuff her and keep her by your bed.”
“That’s true, she would pick up too much dust.”
“Daddy, we have to respect her so that she you know, travels to somewhere that is like cat heaven. You know? Do you believe in a cat heaven, dad?”
Metaphysics is dead, Noah! After having destroyed generations of thinkers in ceaseless, useless searches for deeper meaning outside of themselves, I declare it dead!
“Nah, I don’t.”
That gives him pause. He turns and kicks me in the origins of his life.
“Sorry dad. Are you ok?”
I grimace and play dead.
“Hah…is that what they called face contortions on TV yesterday?”
I say nothing and continue playing dead.
“Dad, stop, you’re freaking me out now.”
I’m freaking myself out, too. Too easy to imagine the moment of my death.
I roll onto him and smother him. He laughs, giggles, hollers.
Beats being afraid of death…or feeling that the meaning has gone out of my life because people and things and long-held beliefs are disappearing. What’s the point of decades of living if nothing remains?
Insignify! Insignify! Insignify!