tagRomanceThe Meaning of Life

The Meaning of Life

byrisgrynsfisk©

This story has been very stubborn about being born. I published a part of it some weeks ago, just to find I had to change things around and had to withdraw it. Well, finally, this is it.

If you have read a few of my stories, you may have noticed that they take place I the same city (basically my hometown Örebro) and that people from other stories tend to pop up. Isabelle was a minor character in "Ho Before Bros", which was mainly about Ho and Marie. Peter was one of the protagonists in "Mate". Lukas is new.

I hope you like this. Comments are appreciated.

Risgrynsfisk (Ricegrainfish)


*****

BOOK 1 - LUKAS

Hi everyone. I don't know if any of you out there are interested in reading my story, but I'm going to write it anyway and get it out there for you. Someone very dear to me has accused me of being a "fucking megalomaniac" and maybe this imagining I'll be of interest to you is a sign of that. The story starts about five years ago, when my then-life got so sick of itself it puked me out in a big nothing I had to try to fill.

1 - EXIT; PUSSY

"This is shit!" I thought. It was. I was bored and I didn't care that a lot of guys would have loved to be me right then. Hell, they would have loved to be me at all times. I was sitting in an exclusive rich-boy night club glaring morosely at two lines of cocaine meant for me and at a stripper between my legs trying to wake up my surly dick. No go, and I didn't even care about not getting it up.

I petted the stripper's blond head.

"Not your fault, doll." I gave her a hefty tip and she disappeared.

My friends...no, not really friends...but the guys I came there with, seemed to enjoy themselves. It was all incredibly depressing.

"I'm going home." I said. They were shocked, or something.

"What the fuck, Lucke, we just came!"

"And I just came...ha ha ha"

"Come on, the night is young!"

"Don't be such a pussy, Lucke!"

But just such a pussy I was. I pussied away (and pussy-paid their tab up to then) and pussy-footed it into the night. Walking home might clear my head, I thought, but it did not get all that much clearer. One thing that was eminently clear was that it was meaningless to have fun when it bored me out of my skull. The guys would be sore but I didn't really care, I didn't even like them.

The walk was short since I, of course, lived in a luxurious apartment in central Stockholm, not far from the rich-boy playgrounds. The night was full of people desperately yearning to get in where I just got out and I felt a little sad that they thought it was so important. Did that mean that I was one step less confused than them? Maybe, maybe not. Didn't really matter.

I just wanted to sleep. Sleep and preferably not wake up for a long, long time.

2 - EXIT; EXECUTIVE PUSSY

"This is shit!" I thought. It was. Again – lots of people literally would have given an arm to be in my place, but it was not where I wanted to be. I realized I had not been paying attention and did not know what they were talking about. I made an effort but nothing registered. All I heard was meaningless business catchwords and phrases. Someone showed a power-point with a lot of diagrams, about what I did not know.

My friends...no, not my friends (except for Karl)...but the people I work with, seemed to be enjoying themselves. It was all incredibly depressing.

"I'm going home." I said. They were shocked, or something. No one quite called me a pussy, though.

"Call me after the meeting." I told Karl, who nodded.

I went to my office, but I couldn't bear being there, either. I wanted to get away from everything but you cannot just get away without going to something and I had no idea where I wanted to go. Home? No. My home was all about making an impression I no longer wanted to make. Bar? Double no. Out? Not really, but better than home. Out, then.

The weather was terrific, which I thought was very inconsiderate. I had preferred fog or a gloomy drizzle, but the sun shone with the demented jolliness of a mall Santa on crack showing up for work in the middle of summer. For about five seconds that image made me feel slightly better, that and the thought that I was not wearing a cap and a polyester beard in the heat.

A tailored suit and hand-made shoes (made from the skin of whichever dead animal currently was the most prestigious, anteater maybe) were perhaps not all that much better for a depressed walkabout, though. It was certainly not good for blending in, that much was certain. Just about everyone I met had an opinion of me, or so it felt, and I tended to agree with those (and they were many) whose silent judgment was "Yuppie scum!"

3 - UN-EXECUTED EX-EXECUTIVE

I met up with Karl in the park. When he arrived I had been sitting on this park bench for a long time, watching people passing by with or without dogs or kids or partners or balloons. Or friends. I was damn sure that none of them had my advantages and right now I was also pretty sure that very few of them were as lost and meaningless as I was.

Pathetic! Maybe I should get a balloon. Or get a grip.

Karl sat down and handed me a hot dog. I vaguely remembered that he had asked me if I had eaten when he called. Nice of him. Way more considerate than the weather.

"I can't take it." I said.

"I know."

"I'm just not good enough."

"I know."

"I don't know what to do."

"I do – get out."

"I can do that?"

"Of course. I've seen this coming. You're smart enough, you know enough, you have the people skill

– but you don't want it bad enough."

"I don't want it at all anymore."

"Matter of fact, I've been looking into some options. We need a solution that leaves the company strong without shafting you."

"That would be nice."

"The Olsson group are willing to take over. You would never have to worry about money, and they would be excellent owners for the company, we would continue to build on what your father and grandfather built."

"We. I understand. Well – it's good to know that you would be there. That is a must."

"Thank you."

"Were you thinking of kicking me out?"

"If I had to. But softly."

"Good. Only thing that worries me is what I shall do when I don't have to do what I thought I had to do."

"Whatever you want to do you. Money is no obstacle. But I can't see you just playing for the rest of your life."

"No, I'm sick of that already. This is probably the most extremely first-world problem in the history of man, but I really don't have a clue what to do with myself. A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do but I ain't gonna gotta do it no more."

4 - ENTER; HAT'N FATE

Become a Buddhist? Run marathons? Do heroin? Walk the earth and do good deeds? Become passionate about art? Play an instrument? Get a dog? Ten dogs? Buy a boat and sail round the world? Climb Mount Everest?

The possibilities were depressingly endless. I didn't think I was particularly artistic and I couldn't see myself as much of an adventurer. But I didn't know, did I? I had spent all of my life trying to fill my preordained role. And now I had failed.

I decided I would have to embark on a journey of discovery, to find out what I liked and what I was capable of. Or I could just keep up my recent activity, to lie in a depressed heap feeling sorry for myself. No. Better then to write a lot of little notes with activities of potential benefit, put them in a hat and let fate decide where to begin.

A week-long course in tantric veda meditation? Thanks a lot, fate. Yeah, I know, I wrote the note and I put it in the hat. I had checked a magazine and written down all those ads about courses and activities. There were some I was less keen on than others but no cheating. A bit of tantric veda was, perhaps, just what I needed. I looked up tantric on Wikipedia, but the explanation didn't explain anything, far as I was concerned. I read "The universe is an aspect of the godhead," before my eyes glazed over. Old. Hindu. Well, all right, I'd give it a go.

They wanted me to show that I had been tested for STDs with my application. What? What kind of "head" are we talking about here? Back to Wikipedia and this time I asked it to please enlighten me on the combination "tantric sex". It promptly told me that this was mainly a western, new age kind of thing, sex as a spiritual whatever. Divine sex sounded like an interesting thing to have a course in. At least there was no glazing of eyes while reading about it.

I had things to keep me busy while waiting. Tons of papers to sign, and yeah, I read them first. I may be sick of that world, but I am not stupid. Everything was okay, like I had expected from Karl, and when the last papers were signed I had an obscene amount of money. On paper I had been a lot richer when I owned most of the company but I had never had as much money as now. I will not give you any figures, since I find them somewhat embarrassing but it was enough for just about anything except buying a Premier League football team and make it successful. Fine with me, didn't want that anyway.

I felt no inclination to play with the money and try to make it grow as fast as possible. I put it in safe but boring places and decided to not touch it, just live on the interest. I still could afford just about anything I wanted or, in the case of the meditation course, not all that much wanted.

5 - THE LAIR OF GURU GAG

Guru Gag was talking again, our illuminated course leader. As yet I had never managed to listen to more than two sentences without tuning him out. He was like a board-meeting, only worse. Meaningless catch-phrases stapled upon each other like ugly clothes in a trendy store, cheap and bought by those easily impressed.

But who was I to pass judgment? Most of my co-coursers seemed happy enough with Guru Gag's words of wisdom and I did not want to do anything to lessen their enjoyment of this course. There were elements of it that I, too, did enjoy. To my surprise I actually enjoyed meditating, as soon as I stopped bothering about that silly mantra Guru Gag had given me. I entered a state of passivity that was restful and interesting to me. I even thought passively. Thoughts and memories and whatever were welcome and I let them pass by without doing anything active about them, no judging or grading.

The food did not pass by without me grading it. It was terrible. In fact it was so abominable it was amusing. Several times I very nearly laughed out loud when they had managed to cook something even viler than last time, which I had thought was impossible. It probably was healthy, though. Vegan, of course. Salt was bad for you and so was most spices, except ginger. Buckwheat was the king and queen of all foods. Both king and queen since it was the only food which was perfectly centered, equally yin and yang. Now, I don't mind buckwheat, but saltless buckwheat porridge twice a day will not be a part of my future life.

Then there was that tantric sexual aspect. We were encouraged to touch, if we were both comfortable with touching, "if our auras meshed". One red-headed, slightly plump but pleasant-looking woman named Bea definitely thought our auras meshed. The first time we met she complimented me on mine, which she said was attractively orange. I have often been pursued by women but never because of my aura and it made a welcome change to being pursued because I was rich. She was a bit older than me, which also was a pleasant change.

Bea was new age-ish of course, they all were. Some were new age in a silly way, like Guru Gag, but Bea managed to be far out and down to earth at the same time. It was fun to never know if she would say something profoundly sensible or profoundly dizzy. She rubbed herself against me when the opportunity offered itself, which it often did. I was in no way opposed to a little rubbing and on the third night we made love.

Tantric sex was slow, almost as passive as meditation. In a way it was a form of meditation, being present in the now and the soft, warm togetherness. She smelled good, un-deoed female bodyscent with a hint of incense. The window was open, the night was warm and the moon was full. Mosquitos fed on our slowly writhing bodies where we lay stroking each other and it was okay that nature got some of our blood. At first I worried that I would soften when not so much was happening, but no. I was harder than ever but softer than ever in the rest of me.

We never mentioned a future, we both knew that this was it and that was fine with us. We had a week, we would let our souls mesh and fertilize one another, and then we would part. We didn't make love every night, but almost. Bea was totally different from every previous sexual partner I had had and she taught me a lot. The course as a whole taught me a lot, too – not the least in the things that I didn't like.

6 - SOME HOME-GROWN GROWING

So, what did I learn from the tantric meditation course? I learned that inactivity is not necessarily a bad thing. I also learned that I kind of liked when circumstances were less than perfect. I had eaten horrific food, slept in an uncomfortable bed and made love to a woman who was, not ugly, but less than fantastically gorgeous. And I had enjoyed it, even the food, knowing it was for a limited time.

Maybe I should travel the world. If so, I would do it backpacker style instead of richguy style. I remembered something I read once, about a girl who was allowed to hang with the cool kids in school, but got out pretty soon because it was so boring. As un-cool she was allowed to play or to be enthusiastic about things. The cool kids were just hanging around being bored.

I had always been one of the cool set, and God had I been bored. It was time to see the world from other perspectives now. Hat'n Fate decided that my next learning experience would be a weekend of oil-painting for beginners, taking place in three weeks time.

In the meantime I decided to do some home-grown growing too. I initiated a throw-away-at-least one-thing-a-day-that-I-don't-like project, and it was depressingly easy to find things – and people – that I wanted to get rid of. I realized that the only person I knew (apart from Bea) that I liked was Karl, and he was busy. Except not depressing, really. Instead, with everything or everyone I threw away/donated to the thrift shop/lost contact with, I felt less depressed. Maybe I should rid myself of all worldly goods and just walk the earth. Yeah, right.

I had taken up jogging, since that was something many people were enthusiastic about. I had read a book "Born to Run", which was all about people who ran obscene distances every day which made them peaceful and full of energy to be crazy. That was in the vicinity of what I was aiming for; passionate, peaceful and nuts.

I was still very far away from that, my jogging was hard, painful and embarrassingly slow. Everyone was faster than me. But I stubborned it out, I would not give up that easy. Even if it would turn out that running was not my thing to be passionate about it would still be good for me. And there was something satisfactory in doing something very publicly that I was really bad at. The old me would never have agreed to be so uncool. I had ugly running clothes, too, I felt that it would be presumptuous to wear those very professional-looking outfits that most joggers had. I had good shoes, though, didn't quite buy that barefoot running thing that "Born to Run" preached.

7 - DAUBING

Oil-painting was not my thing. I was so incredibly bad at it the only thing I could compare with was the veda-vegan crapfood at Guru Gag's. And, like that food, my attempts at painting amused me. It seemed to amuse everybody else too. When people realized that it was okay to laugh they did. Heartily.

It was a beginner's course and all were unsure about their abilities and shy about showing their efforts. They were considerably less shy after seeing my first masterpiece; "Hedgehog By Blue Door", though. It seemed that people liked you when you were unashamedly lousy at something. Perhaps I should play guitar and sing in the subway, with a sign saying; "I know it sounds like crap, take some coins."

The leader of the course was ten thousand times nicer than Guru Gag. She was down to earth and did not pontificate on the immense importance of art or something. Her name was Lena and she was a teacher at the art-school where the course was held. Tall, blond, willowy. She had always a nice smile that was obviously real and I soon got the feeling that the smile got even realer when she spoke with me. When she saw my second epic painting; "The Greenest Cat on Earth", the smile became a laugh.

"I think you're my sweetest pupil ever," she said.

"And the most talented," I boasted.

"Yeah? At what?" She made a little dance with her eyebrows. She was flirting with me. Wasn't she? Probably, but not certainly. Bantering, that's it.

"Alternative art. You know, earthy yet sublime."

"Sounds intriguing. You really must show me some time."

"I would be delighted to."

This bantering thing was fun. Maybe we had just agreed to have sex, maybe not. And if we had and either of us changed his/her mind no one could complain. The more I saw of the world after getting out of my old life the more I understood what a limited existence I had had. There was so much I did not know. I felt like an innocent with wide open baby-blue eyes, gazing at the wonderful world and its wonderful people. Lena, at least, was pretty damn wonderful. Incredible to think I used to think I had seen it all, when I hadn't seen shit.

Lena had called me sweet. Others had called me nice. Was that was I was turning into; a nice guy? Did I want that? Among my old rich-brat acquaintances, nice had been an invective, and it certainly was not seen as an asset in the world of business. So; fuck yeah, I wanted to be a nice guy. A bit scary to have that for identity though, since it leaves you open to criticism. As an official bastard you just don't care. You also do not improve.

Lena stood close to me – very close to me – and talked about my green cat. She talked about shading and about warm and cold nuances. Apparently it was good if a green cat was more than one shade of green. Lena smelled good, she smelled of Lena and linseed oil. I watched her beautiful lips while she talked about color and wondered what they tasted like.

"I never have sex with my pupils," she said, abruptly veering away from her instructions. "Never."

"Well, this is the last day of the course. In two hours' time you won't be my teacher any more."

"In four hours I must get my kids."

"So. Two hours?"

"Two hours."

I couldn't think of two hours of my life I had enjoyed more, well, one and a half, really, because of logistics. Willowy blonde somehow does not sound like a primordial force of nature, but that was what Lena was when she got going. We had a sharply limited time and she sure intended to use it. So did I. When we finally got to her house, which I have no idea what it looked like since I had eyes only for Lena, we wrestled the clothes off one another and somehow ended up in something soft which may have been a bed.

With those other girls, the ones in my previous life, I had always been meticulous about wearing a condom. No telling what un-private places their private parts had been. About the same as mine, I guess, I'm not judging. Well, perhaps I am, a little, but at least I realize I'm double-standarding when I do.

With Lena, or with Lea for that matter, the thought of condoming myself never entered my mind. I knew I was clean and I trusted them. Being without a condom was kind of symbolic for how sex was for me with them. It was unprotected sex physically, but also mentally. I was there, all of me; the wild and urgent first fuck on the maybe-bed, the from-behind standing sex in the shower, the tantric-ish slow and tender love back on the yeah-it's-a-bed.

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