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Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

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Reality: a Fable for Our Times

I met a young man in the coffeehouse the other day and, while passing away the time in idle chitter-chatter, he quite suddenly asked me what I thought about reality. That came out of nowhere. He must have quickly deduced from the banter that I was a ‘recovering philosopher.’

So….after I had recovered from the initial shock of being asked a serious question, I replied: ‘Well now [stalling] depends on your point of view…..”

“I thought you might say that,” he said. ‘What perchance, is your point of view?’

“Well,” I continued. “On ‘A’ days I tend to see the world one way; on ‘B’ days, however, it looks much different; then again there are ‘C’ days…”

“Does that mean that there are twenty-six different kinds of reality?’ he queried.

“Oh, I would say more than that…” I added, quickly.

“How much more? One million more?”

This conversation was getting quite, quite interesting. I put on my best bemused [but non-patronizing] smile. “More than that…much more…,” I quipped.

“Like what?’ he lightly demanded.

“What’s the biggest number you know?’ I continued.

“Hard to say…I’m not sure that pure mathematicians even know that…,” he offered by way of explanation. “I mean there’s the googolplex – a digit followed by a googol of numbers…and then there’s always infinity….”

“Quite,” I retorted, firmly but obsequiously.

“That….reality…is BIG, then?” he stammered.

“And small. Depends if you are outside or inside it….” I conceded.

“Then is it better…?’ 

I stopped him in mid-thought. “Both. And neither…,” I insinuated. “But, I can’t figure that out for you…only you can do that…”

He pondered on all these things for a moment, then proclaimed: “Your reality sucks, man…… It really does.” Then, he got up and left.

“Where are you going?” I shouted.

“To think of a harder question….” Then, he was gone. As mysteriously as he had arrived. Just like reality…..

Moral: ‘Real education,’ the seer once observed, ‘should be reserved for those who insist on knowing…..’

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