I am man and you are not. This is your world. You belong to it. You are sated by it, happy of it, and none to your fault. But I am an accident. This is not my world and I am not happy of it. I'm not meant to be here. But I am stranded. I am made myself the butt of a woeful cosmic joke.

In eternity they gambled, "What do you think would happen if we took one of us - a spiritually developed being; a consciousness who desires meaning and virtue, life and love; whose goals would not abide the comforts and trivialities of a life lived only for the sake of living still... What would come if such a being, unawares, were bore upon a planet of hairy, tick-eating ape, and left there to believe in it his natural home?"

The pot must ever grow among my kindred, casting bets on how it all shall surely one day end for me; or yet how it must one day still begin. For it can not be fairly said that my life has much begun, though false-starts do amount in me aplenty.

But what should happen to a spiritual being set among the squalor and feces of a race of primates? What mechanism might he find by which to cope amongst a peoples dedicated in every proposition to acquiring the largest bunch of bananas readily available, be they either on the tree or in some fellow other's apish paw. To always seek and take the largest cache, by lawless force as needs shall be, and spiting every meal come them of the un-bunched abundance budded, budding freely over and about.

Then to guard the loot's the thing! First to heap up treasure, then to lay aground the thicket, sharpen claws, beat chest, howl thunder. For peace among apes is only come of sinew's fear; of the one's supposed death and loss upon the other's much labored image of insurmountable virility.

And last to gorge! When gathered and preserved, to overwhelm the senses with the excess of the ill-got gains. To have as much and more as can be had, that some be lost to vomit. The primate's life: to live for sake of living. Every carnal comfort bought to ease the road to death, and nothing more pursued.

What becomes of man as born to ape? So decrees the cosmos to test the supposition and I am born. Though true the pool slows growth as I grow older. The odds, at first predicting a romantic teenage suicide, have long since turned to favor natural death, as there to be preceded by long and pitiful, unlikely, apish life. Such even that the parlour of heaven's gamblers has turned from roguish curiosity to the laments of guilt and despair.

They expected more of me. I am one of their own and here they find me lived amongst the apes; choosing here to stay. The suicide was much preferred to this. They would have found it just and right and beautiful, and I'd returned to my compatriots to cheers and laughter; the multitude's hands rapped upon my back. But fearing death too greatly I taught myself, instead, how well to suffer and remain. And heaven suffers with me for it.

They meant to see me killed - a god amongst heathens, man amidst ape. "A flame too alighting of the truth to be politely tolerated must be squelched at hands his own or otherwise." So they thought and right they were. But I have out-stepped their suppositions, hiding what alights of me beneath a bushel. I have thinned the air that feeds the wick and learned to breathe in shallows. I am a disappointment to my gods. So do I apologize. I must be putting on an awful show.

I am a man set among apes and I have likened it to a great cosmic wager. It is nothing less! though at once it may be more. Perhaps the ancients planned that I'd alight in these prosimians a thing or two before my passing... before they killed me for it, or I myself. Perhaps it were a task to come and do and die and then go home, and be again among my kind in joy and love and laughter of the trip; failure no disgrace so long as prodigy return me home to kind.

Oh fear of fear that heaven is not something I must earn my place among but one to which I first belonged. Fear of fear that, here beneath the bushel, walked among the monkeys, my posture doth decay. Fear of fear of fear that on that day I die, I die too monkey to go home.


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