The Beauty in Life
- AUTHOR: Senai
- TITLE: The Beauty in Life
- CATEGORY: Drama
- RATING: PG
- SUMMARY: Admit it, you’ve always been an obsessive fan. A blue pill story.
The Beauty in Life
Admit it. You’ve always been an obsessive fan.
You saw the first movie in theaters with a few friends, or perhaps on your own– maybe they ditched you. Maybe you didn’t even see it in theaters, but were too young at the time. Did you see it some time in the years between, or were you caught up in the hype wave of the second movie? Please excuse me– I’m a little fuzzy on the details. We all recruit, yes, but the job of observing belongs to one of my colleagues.
It didn’t matter who you were at the time, but only who it caused you to become. You couldn’t leave the concepts alone, the utter mind-bending philosophy behind it. You might have waited a few days– hoping to get over it?– or you might have rushed home the moment you could grasp the scarce beauty of what you just saw– but, in the end, like all others, you gave in. You visited the forums, you picked through various theories. Various interpretations. You searched for the religious messages, you studied the numerology of it, you bought the film and maybe a t-shirt or two, if you had the money. You read reviews, beaming like Christmas had come early if they were positive. You didn’t give a damn about the criticism, for those who gave it were just that– critics. They had gone for the action, that kick-ass kung fu you had seen in the trailers.
What had you gone for, though? Like I said, please excuse me– I don’t remember the stats of every kid we check out. Who knows, maybe you were one of those who had seen it for the action, although you saw so much more than just action.
You know the stories, I’m sure– the ones that fascinate you beyond belief. The ones that snag at your heart and make you want to do something, explore something. You have such trouble letting go that there’s only one solution– you don’t.
Maybe you’ve heard one, or maybe you’ve heard ten. It doesn’t matter. What DOES matter is what makes them pull and tug at us, what makes us want to be worthy of watching them.
It’s that they could be real. They could be real and you’d never know, you’d never have a clue, because it’s all hidden. It’s all swept behind the veil.
You really didn’t know any better than the rest of them. You used to lie awake at night, sometimes, or perhaps you daydream your way through your classes. You wanted to be a part of it– yeah, there are hardships, but anything would be better than what you were in, wouldn’t it? You were lonely, and it was eating away at you. Maybe you were silent, maybe you were angry, maybe you were a mixture of the two. Maybe you just never knew what to say. Maybe you grew up in an artificial sort of family, growing but growing on no faith or stories or games. Maybe you were the sort of kid who stopped the red ants and the black ants from fighting to their deaths on the sidewalk, and longed to rescue the baby birds fallen from their nests– although, of course, you knew you couldn’t, for then they wouldn’t have a chance in the slightest to survive on their own. Maybe you grew up strong and alone, but with someone inside who simply longed to lie in the grass, your body folded into someone’s arms and your heart in their hands. Like me.
That’s getting of subject, I believe– this isn’t about me. It’s about you.
As I was saying, you were lonely. Maybe you still are. You’re lonely but not alone, for you see friends, you see family, you see dogs and cats and birds and schoolteachers. But no matter who you see, there’s still an ache in your heart, because they don’t see you.
There isn’t anything wrong with you.
There’s something wrong with the world.
That’s where I came in. You were desperate when I met you. I had given you a clue before I just showed up, of course. You were on your computer, as always, where everything’s so artificial. You don’t mind, because you know it’s artificial– it was meant to be. You can control it, you can control what you think of it, you can control who you meet and what you do. You can twist the rules– you hacked.
But, hey, to an artificial mind, all reality is virtual– right?
I contacted you, when had made sure that no one could have. I saved your life, right then and there, even if you didn’t know it.
Your screen when blank and your lights flickered slightly. Your power went out and thunder roared, but your computer flashed a luminescent white, before fading to black again.
There I was. There were the words you had been waiting your entire life for. You don’t believe it now– you’ve never been recruited! It’s a movie, it’s not real. You’re thinking about that, I can see it in your eyes. It breaks my heart to tell you, it truly does, but now that we’re free, the truth has to be told. I’m sorry, honestly.
You see it now. You remember the words, you remember my voice.
“The Matrix has you.”
You didn’t need to be told twice– we arranged a time and place, and you came.
Here comes the part the film screwed up for us– Neo, bless his heart, had nothing to let go of. Let me explain.
I saw you doing everything in your power to keep from acting like an excited little kid– like Popper. You tried to keep your cool in front of me. I was a rebel, it was natural, i know, but that set off a pang in me. It always had. I had a job to do, though– so I told you the story, and you soaked in every word of it. I had laughed, for you had rushed me– you already knew the whole speech, you had memorized it.
I had held out my hands, and you had smiled. Red or blue, truth or lies.
It didn’t feel right, then. Maybe I was paranoid, after the Cypher incident– do you blame me, really? I had hesitated when you were so eager.
“All I’m offering you is the truth,” I had said.
You hesitated right along with me. You had looked straight into my eyes, through the shades. I looked back, and you had dropped your hand to the arm rest. You looked away.
“Yes?” I had inquired, although I had known exactly what the answer would be.
Your lip had trembled. That’s the great thing about sunglasses, you know– I could cry and you wouldn’t know it. That was one of those times, for I had felt the same.
You had been thirteen, fourteen, fifteen– somewhere around there. Where I had been. It’s blurry now. You were young, you were frail– near emaciated. I had seen myself in you and, just then, I had seen the other path. You had seen the light.
You told me everything, you told me what you had gone through. I’m not going to bother repeating it back to you– you know, you remember. You cried, then. You had struggled not to, but you then you told me that you would miss the way the sky glowed during a lightning storm, if you left. You’d miss looking out your window and seeing some neighborhood first-graders playing on the street– you might have had that in your life, you might not have. I didn’t ask, but I did see that it affected you.
You felt selfish, but I didn’t blame you for your actions. It’s the way things go sometimes.
Still, I was a rebel, not a therapist. I told you that you’d be fighting for them. I also told you that I wasn’t sure what a difference you would make. You told me that you wouldn’t be the one, you wouldn’t live up to Neo or Morpheus, Niobe or Ghost. You wouldn’t live up to me.
I told you that every free mind matters.
You’d miss pixie sticks. You’d miss puppy breath.
You chose the blue pill. You woke up the next morning with a wet pillow and a bouquet sitting on your desk. That’s a tradition of ours, for those who choose the ignorance-is-bliss route. We want you to know, even if you only realize it subconsciously, that we don’t blame you.
You didn’t know how it got there, and you didn’t ask.
I know you’ve had a fondness for red pills ever since then. You didn’t like it when your father bought the liquid Dayquil for you when you had a cold. We laughed about that, on the Neb.
Did you regret your choice? No, not consciously. You didn’t remember– that’s another good thing about the blue pill, you can’t beat yourself up over your choices. Your fate was to stay and live life as it should be lived.
I’d like you to know, I’m not sorry for what you missed out on. I’m not sorry you missed the war, you missed the hunger, the stress, the thought that very person you loved the most could die the next day. That the others you loved were enslaved.
I am glad, now, that you are free, and free without cost, as I am not.
Would I, having been given the chance, have done what you had?
No. I had the future to fight for.
You can fight for the present. You can fight for the beauty in life.