Features | a train named engineuity

Literary Supplement

“So you see it is not really the state of things that matters, at least not in the way you understand it. What is more plausible is the being that they possess, you know, the thingness of their being. That is to say, well, think of it this way. We have all got this essence to us, and so it is best to think of it instead of things that are in the state of being with other things; that it is instead one big essence that is being, and in this way all the things are…hm. I seem to have lost my train of thought.”

Claudia looked at Anders’s bewilderment. They had spent a great deal of time together up to this point but she was only just beginning to think that their May-December relationship wasn’t as sound as it had initially seemed. Anders’s train of thought had recently been running off its analytical rails rather often, and with increasing frequency.

Of course it wasn’t that Anders’s was old. With the vaults of medical science available it was likely that his earthly life would be prolonged beyond multiple horizons. Probably one day, Claudia thought, we’ll all just expect to live forever. With respect to Anders, though, this was irrelevant because he did not live in his skin and organs. Anders’ self dwelled instead in the body of his mind. And his mind had been worked so hard and been so consistently sharp that it had lived twenty lives compared to his physical body’s measly one. A consciousness that has lived twenty times, Claudia knew, would improve and then plateau before it began to fade, and it had begun to fade.

She had watched Anders well the past few weeks while he read, pondered and wrote in his study. What had especially tipped her off was the way in which he had begun to study Heidegger. Heidegger had been a general source of knowledge from which he could extract both anecdotes and broad concepts for his writing and discussions. Now Anders poured for hours over a single page of Heidegger, massaging the same sentence with the tip of his finger. He would then tap his finger on the book, pause, and write down several pages. Irked by the sudden volumes he was producing on Heidegger compared to his previous concise essays, Claudia had investigated and found them to be disjointed and inconclusive musings bizarre of his past ingenuities.

“Do you recall what I was saying?” Anders asked.

“No, I’m sorry. I wasn’t on board.”

“That would make two of us,” he chuckled, adjusting his glasses and picking up the book to his left.

“I love you,” she said.

“Have you read de Beauvoir’s The Woman in Love?”

“Yes.”

“Eh…that’s my girl.”

If his rational mind was not being replaced by an emotional one, she wondered, what could possibly be filling the void?


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