Stories

Life or Death, First Installment – Patrick Pineyro

I

Of Smith’s existence the fundamental mood is survival, which is to say that by embracing death, Smith ignores death. By immersing himself in the avoidance of death, by immersing himself in the avoidance of death in the same manner by which someone who wishes to ignore rain can only achieve ignorance of the rain by walking naked in the rain, in such a way Smith ignores death. Because how else can one ignore the rain? One certainly does not ignore the rain by submitting to the rain, or, in other words, by allowing the rain to relegate one to the confines of one’s home, or by allowing the rain to relegate one to the local library, for example. No, one ignores the rain by running out into the rain in the same garb given one on that most traumatic of days, the day of one’s birth.

Another point regarding Smith which at this point in the story must be mentioned is Smith’s reverence for the word or. Certainly an attempt to rank in importance or utility the words in the English language would prove to be a pointless endeavor; Smith is the exception to this rule, as Smith is the exception to many rules in this Universe, as will be seen in time. For Smith, the most important word is or, and for Smith every word in English is secondary, and for Smith, or is the only word which is both its own meaning and a description of that which it is meant to denote or to describe, the latter being why Smith places or above all other words in the English language, or being the embodiment in language of possibility, and Smith, as has been stated already, existing almost exclusively in a state of survival, which said another way is a state of avoiding the possibility of death, which for everything in the Universe is not a possibility but a certainty, which brings us to the second reason why Smith puts or above all other words in the English language, again related to the way in which the word or embodies in language the concept of possibility: Smith, being a visualizer of possibility, believes there is a possibility that some day, someone will survive, someone will live forever.

Smith believes Smith can be that person. Smith believes Smith possesses a choice, and Smith perceives this choice not as a choice between life and death, but as a choice between life or death.

 

 

II

Prior to taking a step, prior to taking a breath, Smith explores the infinite space that is possibility. Smith explores the space that is possibility, and if in exploring that space that is possibility Smith perceives a threat to his safety, Smith does not jump. The road leading to possible disaster is paved with or.

 

 

III

One day, Smith wakes up. Around breakfast time, his grandmother, know that she will be hungry for a Cuban sandwich later on at lunch, around breakfast time Smith’s grandmother tells Smith that she shall be requiring a Cuban sandwich from the Cuban restaurant around the corner from the apartment.

Smith’s completing this mission of obtaining for Smith’s grandmother a Cuban sandwich from the Cuban restaurant around the corner from Smith’s grandmother’s apartment requires that Smith enter the infinite space that is possibility exiting Smith’s grandmother’s apartment. Exiting Smith’s grandmother’s apartment is the first of and at the same time just one of many obstacles that Smith must surmount in order to complete this mission of obtaining for Smith’s grandmother a Cuban sandwich from the Cuban restaurant around the corner from Smith’s grandmother’s apartment, the most significant obstacle for Smith to surmount in completing this mission of obtaining for Smith’s grandmother a Cuban sandwich from the Cuban restaurant around the corner from Smith’s grandmother’s apartment being, of course, Smith himself. Or maybe the most significant obstacle for Smith to surmount in completing this mission of obtaining for Smith’s grandmother a Cuban sandwich from the Cuban restaurant around the corner from Smith’s grandmother’s apartment is not Smith himself at all, maybe, actually, the most significant obstacle for Smith to surmount in completing this mission of obtaining for Smith’s grandmother a Cuban sandwich from the Cuban restaurant around the corner from Smith’s grandmother’s apartment are the prophecies generated by the mind of Smith himself.

A question: Does Smith himself = the prophecies generated by the mind of Smith himself?