» Chapter 29

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---- [T -> J] ----

J: What kind of conversation are you having over there???? This is supposed to be a house party?????
T: "I don't have a problem with it if it's two people in love. It's some sort of expression of, you know, kind of..."
T: "It sounds like you don't think women should do that."
T: "If it's not gonna be that and it's not gonna make us any money, then why..."
T: "And those are your two polarities?"
T: "Polarities?"
T: "Priorities or whatever."
T: "Money's just money. You gotta take that out of the equation. Now what?"
T: "Well, that's what I was saying. It's not just..."
T: "No, no, you can find a reason. And I wanna find out what happens, too!"
T: "So, no money. What have you got left? You've got... other people. You got Clara, you've got time. Time's a big one. But you've got about as much as anyone else, give or take. What about God? Maybe you've got God. Do you?"
T: "What? Have God?"
T: "Yes."
T: "No."
T: "Okay. Well, here's how I'll break it down. A writer writes a novel. A songwriter writes a song. A symphonist writes a symphony... which is maybe the best example because all the best ones were written for God. So, tell me what happens if Beethoven's writing his Ninth Symphony, and suddenly he wakes up one day and realizes that God doesn't exist. So, suddenly all of these notes and chords and harmonies. That were intended to, you know, supersede the flesh, you realize, "Oh, that's just physics." So Beethoven says, "Shoot, God doesn't exist, so I guess I'm writing this for other people. It's just nuts and bolts now." He didn't have any children, that I can recall, but if he did-"
T: "He had a nephew."
T: "He had a what?"
T: "A nephew, he had a nephew."
T: "Okay. Great. So he-he writes it for him."
T: "Or Immortal Beloved."
T: "Yes. Or for whoever that was. But let's leave love out of this and let's wrap this all up under the blanket of someone thinking, "This is something that they'll remember me for." And they did. And we do. And sure enough, we do what we can to endure. We build our legacy piece by piece, and maybe the whole world will remember you, or maybe just a couple of people, but you do what you can to make sure you're still around after you're gone. And so we're still reading this book, we're still singing the song, and kids remember their parents and their grandparents and everyone's got their family tree, and Beethoven's got his symphony, And we've got it too. And everyone will keep listening to it f... for the foreseeable future. But... that's where things start breaking down, because your kids... Do you have kids Wait, who here has kids? You? Your kids are gonna die. Yours too. Yours too. Hey, just sayin'. They're all gonna die, and their kids will die, and so on, and so on. And then there's gonna be one big-one big tectonic shift. Yosemite will blow and the western plates will shift, and the oceans will rise, the mountains will fall, and 90 percent of humanity will be gone. One fell swoop. This is just science. Whoever's left will... go to higher ground and social order will fall away, and we will revert to scavengers and hunters and gatherers, but maybe there's someone... someone who one day hums a melody they used to know. And it gives everyone a little bit of hope. Mankind's on the verge of being wiped out, but it keeps going a little bit longer because someone hears someone else hum a melody in a cave and the physics of it in their ear make them feel something other than fear or hunger or hate, and mankind carries on and civilization gets back on track. And now you're thinking you're gonna finish that book. But it won't last. 'Cause by and by, the planet's gonna die. In a few billion years the sun will become a red giant and it'll, uh, eventually swallow Earth whole. This is a fact. Now, maybe by that point, we'll have set up shop on some completely different planet. Good for us. Maybe we've figured out a way of carrying with us all these things that matter. They've got a photocopy of the Mona Lisa out there, someone sees it, mixes a little bit of alien dirt with some spit, paints something new, the whole thing keeps going. But even that doesn't matter. Because even if some form of mankind carries some recording of Beethoven's "Ninth Symphony" all the way into the future, the future's gonna hit a brick wall. The universe will keep expanding, and it'll eventually take all matter with it. Everything you've ever strived for, everything that you and some stranger. On the other side of the planet share with some future stranger on some entirely different planet without even knowing it, everything that ever made you feel big or stand up tall, it'll all go. Every atom in this dimension... will be pulled apart by force as simple as... And then all these shredded particles will contract again... and... the universe is gonna suck itself back into a speck too small for any of us to see. So, you can write a book... but the pages will burn. You can sing a song and pass it down. You can write a play and hope that folks will remember it... keep performing it. You can build your dream house... but ultimately none of that matters any more than digging your fingers into the ground to bury a fence post. Or... or fucking. Which I guess is just about the same thing."
J: Hey OP? What the fuck?

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