A Clip From #NaNoWriMo 2020

That night, after I got home, after dinner, I could not calm myself down. She knew, I could tell by how she looked at me. To anyone else, I’d look calm, and in control, but she knew. The way my fingers twitched, the way my feet couldn’t stay planted, and insisted on moving all the time. Not far, not a lot of movement, just a continuous motion of an inch or two.

My mind was running wide open, processing a million thoughts, moving from one to another faster than I could keep up. Had I done everything I needed to at work? Had I done everything I could at work? Did I have a way to fix the operating system on that one computer? Did I need to try looking up a solution to the missing WiFi adapter problem again, because I knew I’d run into that problem tomorrow.

At the same time, it was asking philosophical questions. Is there a reason God lets random events happen? Why does racism exist? Is it a normal biological function to believe you are superior to other people? Or to believe your breed of human is superior? Do we record history so we won’t forget what happened, or do we record history, and leave out the bad parts, so we can feel good about ourselves?

Then there were the social questions. What is the answer to the question, “How are you today?” What do people mean when they say, “You can’t be like that?” or, “You can’t be that way?” If there is only one God, why are there so many different religions for that God?

The questions echoed endlessly in my head, and I couldn’t stop them. I’d learned most of them didn’t have answers. I’d learned all the questions I had reduced down to one single question, with only one word.


That was the root question. The center of everything. Why?

Why are people the way they are? Why does physics work like it works? Why does electricity work like it does? Why do magnets stick to some metals, and not to others? Why is the sky blue? Why is the sun Orange? Why do people think the moon is hollow, and aliens live there, spying on us? Why can’t people figure out chemical imbalances in a person’s brain are physical problems, just like broken bones are physical problems?

Everything always reduced to that one word question. Why?

Why did people drive like insane maniacs in some strange stock car race? Why did people think murder was a crime, but sexual assault wasn’t? Why did people kill themselves by living how they lived, when they could change how they lived, and live longer?

And why couldn’t I turn my brain off?


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