I watch them entering the board room. They fall over themselves, keen to impress, keen to rise. They step on one another, desperate to show that they are the most committed, that the company means more to them than to any other. They work themselves to the bone, pouring in coffee to magically lengthen their days while being crushed beneath this thing they call work-life balance.
Graphs and charts and figures and commodities leak out of their folders and their pores. They bow down to the PowerPoint presentation and the flip-chart. They shake my hand with a grip that says their life depends on it, as though they might suck up a little of my influence through the only physical contact custom allows.
I am a Queen to them: their leader, their inspiration, their aspiration. In their eyes I am the pinnacle of professionalism, finely experienced and all-knowing.
I am not all-knowing. But I do know something they don’t. I know that none of this means a thing. None of it matters a damn.
Commerce is about as abstract a concept as the notion that we have a permanent spirit living within us. It is but a configuration of perception, that we buy into because it provides a convenient and comfortable groove in which to live. In our groove, we don’t have to think about our impending death because we have a goal to achieve, and place ultimate importance upon reaching it. We build our personal illusion around it, to sweep away the only truth of our existence. But what I know is that by not thinking about it, we are building a deep-set fear beneath the surface like a leviathan that drives our every move. It can and will rise from our depths to swallow us at any moment. Our death becomes us.
I see my death everyday, I am one with it. I live without expectations, without fear of being dropped into the ocean by my favourite lie. I manage a corporation knowing there are no real consequences to its failure or success, and that recklessness and order are just as absurd as one another. The future of this business and me as an individual are connected and inseparable, and yet I don’t cling to it. The worst that can happen is no different to the best in the end, so I simply allow the flow to take me. By doing so I act swiftly, I never feel stress and I never nurse my feelings once decisions are made.
Apparently that makes me great. This is a notion I find utterly hilarious, for if the people who judge me would allow themselves to break through their own illusions they would see that there is no such thing as great. ‘What is the secret of success?’ They all ask. My answer will never change.
Let go of life and you will have it all. Let go of death and you will have nothing.
Fragments of Void is an illustrated, hand-bound zine compiling short bursts of creative writing about nihilism and dark spirituality.