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A Chat with Sisyphus

 

I asked Sisyphus, who was taking a little rest, in between treks up the hill.

Why do you do it?

Do what?

Well, push that slab up the hill.

Oh, that.

Yes.

Well, its like this.

Yes.

It’s coz I fell for the old hype.

What hype?

You know the nursery pap: if at first , you don’t succeed

Oh.

Yeah: they told me , in school, I could be anything , do anything.

You went to school?

Sure : the School of Imaginary Studies. It’s famous, and has a branch in every major university. Professors vie with each other to teach there.

Ok; but, now with some practical experience under your belt.?

Yes, after the first 100034567898278796543298765 times pushing it up, one starts to wonder.

You’re a fast learner.

I pride myself.

*

So, now what?: now that you know.

Now that I … actually, I’m sorry. I lied.

What?

Yes, ok: here’s the real truth.

Finally!

It’s not that I chase after chimera.

You know words like chimera?

I’m no dummy. So here it is: I do what I do coz we all live in an inscrutable world. We’re all pushing rocks up slopes, every day. And we’re all delusional. So it doesn’t matter , really. Doing this , or doing that , are about the same. The only real choice is between being and doing.

Sorry?

Yes: whether to be , or to do.

Oh.

Yes, and Hamlet might have also said, far more usefully, to do, or not to do, That’s the real puzzler.

Ok: but , despite all that, you still intend to go up that slope, again, with that rock?

I guess so.

Why?

Because there’s a slightly higher chance of that rock staying put at the peak than realising our favorite latter-day idylls.

Oh.

Besides, I do only what we’re all doing , across the board, across history, every day. It is become our existential fate, now. To do, and say, meaningless things. And take pride in it.

Such as?

You know guff, like ‘and justice for all’.

Oh.

Democracy.

Ok.

The Second Coming.

Yes.

World Peace. Shall I go on?

No, please: stop, I get it.

Ok: so now go out and tell the populace – since I’m tired of all the gratuitous derision across millenia – the plain truth:

We are All Sisyphi.

Except, I am now way ahead of the rest : I know it’s pointless. They don’t.

 

[©R.Kanth 2023]

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by the authors are their own, not those of LitVote.com

Professor Rajani Kanth, is Author of Coda (A Novel), A Day in the Life (Novel), Expiations (Verse), and Farewell to Modernism (Political Economy Tract).

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