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Perspectives on life, Rants

The Collapse

There is a wall in town, a brick wall.

On a daily basis passers-by barely even notice the colossal structure. They walk by, ignorant of what is on the other side. They don’t care, really. John Doe is different. John knows exactly what awaits beyond this wall. John has heard countless rumours of people who just ran through it.

Everyday John walks by the wall, knowing what awaits beyond it. Knowing what promise it holds. He dreams, every waking moment of his life, as he has always done, dreaming of one day seeing the greener grass of the other side.

It takes John years and years of mental preparation, until one day, under the cover of darkness, he walks to the opposite side of the street where the wall is. He lowers his head. Assumes “the position” and shoots off the ground as he starts running. He runs as fast as his legs can possibly carry him. The wall glowering intimidatingly above him. John brushes off his fears and threatens the wall in his mind.

The last thought before John slammed into the wall was “Please, God!”

17 days later John wakes up in the hospital. His bloodied body was found by a passer-by who also did not notice the wall. John then notices the doctor monitoring his vital statistics. “You’re awake”, the doctor says. John feels at his forehead and the dried blood is still there. “You fractured your skull”, the doctor says, “you were in pretty bad shape.” John’s head is still pounding.

Another few weeks pass by; John is still in a haze. He walks by the wall everyday. The only discernible sound John can make out of the from the other people as he passes them on the street is: “Happy Groundhog Day!” So content… Yet he is not. By now, John’s skin has healed. His skull hasn’t. The superficiality of his recovery is complete, but it’s what happened beneath his skin, that hurts and what really matters.

As the days drag on, walking by the wall, John’s skull has fully healed, except for the, now-weird shape of his skull, just below his hairline.

One day, a thought jumps into John’s mind. He wondered: “I wonder what would happen if I ran head-first into the wall?” “Would it break?” He thought.

One night under the cover of darkness, John approaches the wall. As he says a rusty colour on the wall, he is reminded of his previous collision with the wall. His skull suddenly starts pounding and he lowers his head… “Please, God!”… “You’re awake!”… It’s groundhog day…

But this time, things are different. The doctor reprimands John for running into the wall. The only thing John hears, is “No more groundhog day!” Another thing has changed. John’s brain has been damaged. He now fully believes that he can break the wall.

John goes back a few months later, under the cover of darkness, of course. As he lowers his head, somebody taps him on the shoulder… John turns around, to find an ugly old man with a disfigured head behind him… To John it feels like hours are going by as he faces the man.

The man then says, “Son, let an old man tell you something.” “If life packs like bricks against you and your insecurities or inabilities hold those bricks together like cement, no amount of ambition will make you succeed.” “You will never be able to make that structure fall.”

John’s brain damage replies for him: “I know, but if only I can make a crack in that wall…”

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