A dark night, a child cries in bed. He’s had a nightmare. Crows of sorrow are singing in tune, a smirk of vanity tattooed on their giant beaks. Mutilation and incests for breakfast, he sees aunts and cousins shredding their families apart with meticulous dedication. Sitting in a desperate chair, the dark clouds of justice frightened the lightening out of him. From this lightening, an unintended spark of love caught his world on fire. Lost in his dream, reality collapses. The solid foundations of the temporary images crush his soul with pride and certainty. Now he knows that the truth is drinking wine with knife and fork. Semi-conscious of the paddling, he tries to stir water slowly to move around him. Ordered and purposeful, it marches like battalions of blue siamese twins. The more awake in his sleep, the more asleep he repeatedly wakes up. With a dream in his left hand and nothing on the other, there is no choice but for his eyes to follow the invisible path between their sockets and his hands. It is a race never to be finished that he’s engaged in. Electrons storm his eyes like a herd of frightened bats. A well trained cattle owner, his brain leads the frightened bats to restful caves. They settle peacefully in the darkness of his mind, not to be disturbed until the next adventure in the depth of darkness.
One eye opens after the other, for two things can’t happen simultaneously. The ceiling greets him and asks about his night “it seems like you’ve been very active on the other side: where did you go?”. Before he has time to reply, the caring wardrobe intervenes “give the prince some time before you harass him with questions: where did your manners go?!”. A row started between the two. Too confused by the unexpected normality of his wake up, he crawls under his sheets to a secret passage that takes him right into a public bath.
This big Turkish bathhouse made of solid thoughts was his favorite. The steam rooms had so many rooms that the steam would chase you tirelessly for hours and minutes. The slippery floor was excellent to practice his figure skating, and the judges sitting at the corner of room 2 and C were more often than not, fans of his classical performance. He lacked originality for his mum and cat were both very traditional. His upbringing was more than strict, according to the norm of these days: three days a week, religious duties were forbidden, while the other three days were profoundly faithful. They rejected the post modern asymmetrical 7 days week. It was ugly and offensive to the eye of any classical artist. Three days in one extreme and three days in the other. Life was designed this way and the human body is a demonstration of this normality. Predictable was the key word at home: every lock was made to open at this command. This kind of keys were very common amongst their neighborhood because socially, they were on the upper crust: the crispy part of the bread at the top end of the baguette. It was by far the most peaceful area to live in and his mum and cat were proud of rising from bottom of the yeast. The recipe for the flour used to build their houses was a secret kept for generations. It was truly the most amazing thing about their neighborhood. Everything else was just so, so predictable. His family was important in keeping the flour symmetry of the part of town that they live in.
His mind wondered around the house, shining light in dark corners while his body performed the daily cleaning ritual he had been taught to follow meticulously. The practice involves only the physical body, so his heart often took advantage of this daily break to smoke on the balcony. As soon as it stepped on the sun heated balcony’s, its feet start sizzling. Within a few minutes of hanging out there, the bottom of his heart’s soles start smoking. With a fresh breathe coming down its coronary artery and the light smoke coming up its veins, the heart relaxes with a deep sigh of umami. The sun displays a Piccaso inspired sunrise, which brings a modern touch his parents don’t like: too asymmetrical for a good family like theirs. The heart struggled to agree: nothing was more perfect than this moment yesterday. And every day, it thought the same. He couldn’t wait for tomorrow to enjoy today. The magic of this timeless experience was still his favorite.
The cleaning ritual was over before the sun he set fire to itself. The child had done absolutely nothing with its body for a half of an almost full hour, and as a result symmetry was achieved. All lost parts were recovered after the mind returned late by 2 or 3 meters with its usual basket of somber thoughts to explore the day. The heart had finished smoking and the day was well on its way: it was now time to get off at the next stop.
The bell rang and the doors opened: the child stepped out of the bathhouse. He walked to the desk and picked his assigned name for the day. Something went through his head as he reflected on today’s name. It was a seagull. Not his name obviously. It was a seagull that went through his head, and kindly left a few feathers for him to plant behind his ears. The seagull gone, he looks again at the name he was assigned: Marcus Aurelius.
Most children were given that name much later in their education. There was no error because the name giving ceremony was completely random. A team of experts worked for years to develop this marvel of a system: all name were first organized in every single possible pattern until all sequences were exhausted. The genius of this method is that the only sequence left was completely random. This was know as the Theory of Exhaustion. This theory invented Professor Bob who explained it to the world after years of conflict with its inventor. Like the chicken and the egg, the two couldn’t quite come to existence simultaneously because that’s not only impossible but also a ridiculous idea. For centuries of hours, they alternated between inventing and invented. The alternating flicker eventually got so fast that it appeared to be real. A child noticed what wasn’t there and the problem was solved. Since that day, children are assigned in the most perfectly random order, their name for the day. Since that day, nobody had trouble with identity and knowing who they are. It was a better world because it was a more random world, and a more symmetrical world.
Marcus Aurelius liked a lot this practice: his shoes changed with his name and he liked to discover new ways of walking. Each pair of shoes had different soles, and colors, and path underneath them. As Marcus looks down at his feet to watch the shoes form, he has a flashback of the day that he got these most uncomfortable shoes with the name “Marie Antoinette”. As soon as he put that tag on, his toes got chopped off and he spent the day falling forward and back. He never understood that name, and he knew that it left someone in his heart that wasn’t there before. Little did he know how much this detail would change the course of his otherwise so normal, so predictable life.