I entered a short story comeptition. You had to write 450 words on the subject of Celebrating What Truly Matters. Out of 4000, mine was picked to be published in a small collection of the best ones (as voted by the judges). Here it is!
Tea from a china cup does taste different. Smoother. Two beautiful chocolate coated shortbread biscuits grace the saucer. I reluctantly bite into one. Anticipation can be enough. A tsunami of tea gushes into my mouth melting the chocolate and splitting the biscuit apart. My teeth and tongue jump in for the kill. Governor O'Sullivan is staring at me. Not sure for how long. Time has long since dissolved away. It is a concept. Time is simply the mind trying to give structure to one moment appearing after another in infinity. This is infinity. This is the big bang. And it is always missed. Sensations in the mouth. Hand moving. Thoughts appearing. Sounds appearing. “We cannot give you back these years Tom....” The governor shakes his head from left to right. Thinking thinks about the first time this office appeared. Thinking happens by itself. Try and create a thought if you don't believe me. Breathing happens by itself. This now is eternity renewing itself with every breadth. “A lot of men don't survive what you have been through Tom. And on the outside, life is more chaotic than ever. People have no time for anything. You will need to make use of all the services available to you.....” Outside and inside. There is no inner and outer. There is only what appears. “You think they are all free out there. Well they're not. They live their lives in tower blocks high up above life. With that money Tom you have a chance to live more than people might do in their whole life. You will have time and money to really figure out what matters and pursue it.”...The cup is placed back down on the saucer. A black bird perches on the ledge outside the window. It looks through the bars. It does not try to be happy. It simply is. Why is happy better than sad. Happy is happy. And sad is sad. Prison has taught me, there is no prison. Everything just is. Despite all the thoughts appearing to the contrary, there is nothing bad or good. “Do you have anybody coming to collect you Tom?”. The thought appears about Susan.“My lawyer has said she will be here”..the words appear in reply. A biscuit appears inside the mouth again. The symphony of tea and tongue and teeth and chocolate and crunching. It is everything. I have no concept of meaning. Life has no meaning. It is its own meaning. Nothing matters. And when that is seen, then everything matters. Life as it is, is enough. A cup of tea is now all that matters. This now is all there is. Everything else is a story.