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THE MEANING OF LIFE
To gather experience over countless lifetimes.

We Realize who and what we really are, and come to behave like That.

Ignorance of That and associated bad habits result in mistakes and consequential suffering.

The accumulation of experience eventually brings us to realize that we are not separate from others, which forms habitual devotion to the ultimate welfare of all.
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Why didn’t I think of this before? I love this private space of my own. Even if it is a chilly basement corner, it’s away from my brother, my mean dad, mean kids, and my mean life. If I were older than ten, I’d run away from home entirely. Though my bed is only a sleeping bag on top of collapsed boxes, it’s so peaceful waiting to fall asleep here in my own personal place.

The Face in the GrainThat bare wood of the floor joists above looks so dry and rough. Cool. One of those knots in the wood looks just like an eye. That curve in the grain could be a thick dark eyebrow, and that other curve a huge bulbous nose. Wow, there’s a whole face in that wood grain, in profile, staring straight at me.

Oh great, now I’ve given it so much attention that I can’t look over there without seeing it scrutinize me, giving me the creeps. It’s so realistic, with the strong sharp jawline, the dimples in its ancient cheeks, the bushy moustache and scruffy beard. Ah well, I’m too sleepy to keep looking. Good night creepy, staring, face-in-the-grain.

***

That staring wooden face was weird last night. I feel like I’m still being watched.

Sitting on this school bus, I notice lots of faces in random cracks and textures. The cracks in the red leatherette of my seat look like a baby gazing out the window, and there’s a dog-like face in the floor dust.

God, as if I don’t feel bad enough already about my hateful dad, I have to face another day with this bullying teacher. I want to punch him in the nose next time he picks on me.

***

Ah, the comfort and security of my private corner again, but the wooden face seems to have changed over these past weeks. It’s frowning with eyebrows bent in anger. It seems to glare at me nastier every night. I cringe at the sound of my dad upstairs, yelling. Geeze, now I’m afraid to fall asleep.

Hmm, I used to leave milk and cookies for Santa before I found out he doesn’t exist. Maybe if I give this face milk and cookies, it won’t exist either, and the butterflies in my stomach will calm down. I’ll just put some milk and cookies right here on the window sill under the face. Ok face? This is for you. Now please don’t scare me anymore. I’m trying not to look.

***

I hate this boring school. Everything here is so old and dirty looking, like those stains on the wall. Woah! They look exactly like the face in my basement! Not sort of like it, exactly like it. I’m so shocked I can hardly breathe. Last night I made an offering, asked it not to scare me, and now it’s following me! What if it gets me? I’m so scared I think I’m going to throw up. Maybe I can make it my friend by giving it something every night.

***

It’s always around me these days. I notice it watching me in the patterns of tree bark, cracks in pavement and sidewalks, clouds, and swimming pool waves. Even so, it’s not scary anymore. Somehow, I feel comfortable and peaceful, like my private corner is with me wherever I go. Making nightly offerings must be working.

***

I’ve been reading about offering rituals at the Miskatonic Library. Now I’m sitting on this Arkham city bus feeling so lonely. I wish I had some friends. I don’t see my face anywhere. Where the hell is it?

Oh no, those bad teenagers in leather and chains are getting on this bus. I’ve seen them before breaking into cars and beating people up. I hope they leave me alone. Oh, where is that face now? There! It’s in the shapes of that advertisement. It’s staring straight at me as usual, but it’s terrifying, like it’s going to attack me. Its mouth is stretched in a long, hideously silent scream. I’m so afraid. I can’t look away. What did I do wrong? I feed it every night, and last night I even sacrificed most of my dinner, while I remained hungry.

Those teenagers are drunk or something, yelling angrily and jumping on the seats. Please don’t let them hurt me. Oh god, that horrible screaming face is still glowering at me. I can’t take it. I’ve got to get the hell off this bus and walk. Tonight I’m going to try doing a ritual and give it the first and best part of my dinner. Maybe it won’t be mad at me anymore.

***

Hah! My old man face must have loved that offering ritual because this morning he’s just beaming with joy. It’s like he’s laughing with me from everywhere.

Yikes. I just heard those kids talking about a mugging and murder by some teenagers on a bus last night. They actually killed someone. Was I ever lucky, to get off that bus when I did. Oh yeah! He scared me away! Did he scare me to protect me? Oh my god, there he is in that classroom ceiling stain, still laughing, but his eye is closed in a long knowing wink. I feel awe-struck, like I’m floating. This awe-full being is following me everywhere, watching me. Am I crazy?

***

I was freaked out in my offering ritual last night because I was sure the wooden face was grinning at me. I keep telling myself it must have been imagination. This morning I woke with the troubled feeling that he’s invaded my dreams, telling me something terrible, but I don’t remember what. This much is certain though: I’m not afraid of my mean dad anymore, because he’s always with me, somewhere, my face in the grain.

The End

I’m shocked; reading this after a year has passed. How completely my life has transformed! My basement corner is now a sacred home to my Woden face. I’ve paid Him so much in faith, attention, time and tithe, that now I’m completely under His spell and he is my constant guide and guardian. He invades my dreams, and tells me things.

Being shown that life’s a dream, I don’t care anymore if people are mean to me, so my dad is no longer an issue. Inexplicably, I have dreadful knowledge of my new friends’ futures and unspoken thoughts. Things just mysteriously work out for me.

I’m terrified though, because He’s starting to show me ancient things, secret things, frightening things. Ia! Ia! Cthulhu fhtagn!

The End

Mer-Amun MerAmun

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