It is true what they say about time seeming to dilate at the precipice of the unexpected. Imprecise writers often tout this as a manifestation of Einstein’s claim that the passage of time is relative, the proverbial instant of happiness juxtaposed with a seemingly unending boredom.
Gas lighting is too polite of a term to describe what is going on here. It is more like someone threw paint on you yesterday, promptly decided to reform their paint-throwing ways and forget their past life, and then asked you today why you’re going around marking the world in red.
Why did we so badly want to be in this place where god—Spinoza’s or another variant—had not prepared for us, a place where there was no grass we did not plant, water we did not unfreeze or bring with us, and air that was not carried in tanks.
Physics revealed to me a world which made no reference to who I was and all the random factors that could bend a life trajectory. It presented the world as one of structure and order and gave me many reasons to have faith in a life I did not completely understand.
People’s virtual avatars on these dating apps seem less like representations of people and more like non-playable characters in a game, characters with whom the player can do whatever he or she wishes because such digital avatars do not appear to have the full dimensionality of a real person.
Mid-life crises are like plateaus. It is possible to get past them but only if one abandons the foundational premises of work that allowed one to climb to the plateau in the first place. Only if one relinquishes the rule can one escape the place that the rule has led one to and trapped one within.
To say that the situation was unfair would be to misunderstand the situation or the definition of fairness. There was no arbiter to be found, no attempt at balancing according to an agreed upon rubric. The universe was, as it has always been, silent.