“Jack! Bob! Where are you?!” There was no response to my screaming. Hmm… let’s try my luck on top of the hill. An endless flatland appeared as I walked up. God almighty. So this is it, being all alone in this godforsaken world. I stared at the Outback in total awe. The void was so bizarre that it gave me a pounding headache. I stood frozen in time with shortness of breath and goosebumps that electrified me. Gravity pinned me down on my burned knees as I tried to extinguish my dry throat. Mother Earth has no mercy. There’s no demolition- and construction-frenzy in this barren piece of Earth. No overpopulation, Uber or Uber eats. Just scorched bushes and deafening silence. Lost outsiders should watch their step here. They would fry like a broiler chicken once the tricks of modernity fail. I wanted to seek our safe haven for a brief moment. But my rising sunstroke kept my feet firmly on the ground. It also made me face some existential questions head-on.
Why are we here?
Where are we going?
And plenty of similar blah-blah-blah questions…Yawn.
Suddenly I saw my mates in the distance. I rushed towards them with a sigh of relief.
“Where were you guys? I’ve been searching like hell!”
“Us? Where were you? We were walking together, and suddenly you were gone. Spacin’ too hard, I guess?” said Bob.
“Oh, for sure!” I said as they laughed. “My god, what a place, huh? You guys made any remarkable discoveries?”
“Yeah! Come, I’ll show you” Jack said with relish.
We arrived at a nest moments later. Huge emu eggs lay in it.
“Great. But I don’t think the father is going to appreciate this”
“Yeahnah, he won’t be around, mate. They’re so light… feel for yourself.
I stared at it with a sense of doubt. What would the Aboriginals think of such misbehaving? My curiosity displaced that question straight into the Dreamtime.
“Alright, why not … we’re on holiday anyway,” I said dryly
I felt the universe expanding as soon as I held the egg. I was so lost in this brilliant speck of stardust for a moment. Lost in an intimate moment of inconceivable and all-defining connection. Fuck yeah! This – is – it!
“Guys… This is the meaning of life… Hatching eggs on acid!”
I put the egg back as my stomach ached from laughter. A previous clash with an emu was still in the back of my mind. Not to mention all the snakes that live here too. Plus the spiders, scorpions or other Ozzy killers.
Bob moved on and grabbed his notebook. I sat next to him and instantly saw a crystal-clear pattern on his blank page. Then my Flemish mate started drawing. I looked at it with ever-widening pupils.
“Bro… Believe it or not… But I can see what you’re going to draw before it’s on paper”
We looked at each other for a brief moment.
“Really?! But…. how?”
“No idea. I don’t get it.”
I still didn’t get it after torturing my brain for a bit.
“Well… I guess not everything has to be measured or labeled. Typical labeling and box thinking of man”
“Exactly. Nice isn’t it” he replied as he stubbornly went on drawing.
“Still, it makes you think. What do we really think to know? About life, this reality or whatever?”
He shrugged and looked at me with a big smile. Right. Just let go and accept not knowing.
After sunset, we walked back to our all-terrain vehicle. My starved henchmen started cooking right away. I had the honor of starting a fire and handing out lukewarm beers. Once dinner was finished, I let my thoughts run wild.
“That egg was similar to those fossils on Maria Island. Holding them up and honoring the ancestors was so… epic as well”
“Yeah man… intense shit” Jack said
“Now what, what’s next?”
“How to ever go back to a soul-crunching and lifeless career after all these experiences? To something that lacks passion, connection or purpose?”
“Ah, the real life. Well… just don’t” Jack said with a loud burp.
“The world has so much more to offer. What’s all this urge of hoarding, controlling or boosting the ego for? So much meaninglessness for a shitty buck and so-called security”
In silence, we gazed at the stars and the campfire.
“I don’t even know if I’m going back to the Netherlands” I continued. “Back home, everything is so tight and boarded up. Everything is done by appointments, jobs come with a whole list of requirements, people stick to their trusted herd (even while going out) and everyone is always busy. Busy with the busy-therapy, corporate attendance or whatever. No wonder I had such a hard time coping. It’s all so unimaginative and clinical… Sigh. I think people have lost something essential in this system. I don’t want to be sucked into that shit!”
“You don’t have to. Take advantage of modernity and just do your thing. The right choices and attention, that’s all you can do”
I briefly stared at the Belgian number plate of Bob’s motorcycle. I wink at him.
“Totally true. But don’t you ever feel that reluctance? Don’t you wonder what your life will be like after this trip?”
“I can’t be fucked now. I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it”
“You know, you’re right. We’re just monkeys on a floating rock in the end”
We roared like apes and cheered to that. A well-deserved treat after another profitable day in the office.
After hours of frank chatter, I processed another normal day in my sleeping bag. I also thought about that very pressing question:
Now what, what’s next?
God knows. Sleep tight.
Besides rest and insights, not knowing also gives a reassuring feeling of letting society slide
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