So Max Brunel contemplates existence. Straight to the heart of the matter: the sun, the orbit of the Earth. Whatever the Big Bang was whether it was the explosion of the sun itself or some other dense fiery mass it all ended up the same. The fragments of the solar system known as planets, found their orbits around the sun and the earth happily found its 93,000,000 miles from the star around which it circumnavigates. Sure it took billions of years before life began to become manifest. But Max pushes that aside. We’re here are we not? And not only are we here everything around us, anything we can see or touch, or hear which surrounds us including the dipper and all the dark matter enveloping us. We are all elements of the exact same source and its processes.
Max has the accelerator down to the floor. If the solar systems galaxies, constellations are the result of the Big Bang then the inter-planetary Small Bang has produced Shakespeare, Mac Beth, King Lear, Bismarck, Blochroeder. Doesn’t matter that people don’t understand from where he is coming. So he goes on. The same processes of the Big Bang the small bang , looked at it another way, produced evolution, produced Hyde Park.
Every so often he came face-to-face with his existence. Not only his own but the entire shebang. On that day Max just finished unloading the food truck for the church food pantry then finished shopping at Open Produce. He had just started riding his bicycle when across Cornell was this slow-moving bronze beavered Neanderthal. Max could not be sure it was Connie. Connie the great cold water swimmer and tester. At first he hesitated but then he queried “Why don’t I ask him? Yet it cannot be someone else though I have not seen him in ages. “
“Connie! Is your name Connie?”
The hairy slow moving brute’s eyes lit up. “Dr. Max! What are you doing on a bicycle? You must be close to an hundred though you do not look a day over ninety nine. That’s about your speed, isn’t it?”
“Connie. You don’t look half bad yourself though with all that primeval hair and sun on you, I am thinking how beautiful you’d look in some anthropologists glass case.”
Connie’s sturdy frame glowed. “I don’t know how you stay up on those two wheels. I wouldn’t try with my equilibrium. If I fell my pacemaker and my atrial fib would kick the bucket. Damn, I thought you were still making house calls, or punching out the medical society. Now I see you are not even dead. And those letters to the Hyde Park Herald about the University running the neighborhood like a plantation so that the rest of us serfs continue get cracking, bowing and scraping was really you. I just thought some fool had just copyrighted your name”
“You are as hairy a beast as ever I remember. Still plunging into the lake in winter?”
“Not in winter. In fifty degree May weather maybe. Still do 500 strokes now that it is August. Jeez, the lake was froze all over this year.”
“I know. The mergansers and scoters could not find openings and died.”
“I know. All along the shore by the hundreds.”
“Max, you still pushing those wild ideas about health which I kind of took serious. But you know, Max, I take walks along the Promontory and these ninety plus characters. They laugh at guys like you and me. They may be shuffling , scraping with canes or rolling in chairs barely. But you know what they love their fats, grease, fried, chocolates, ice cream, sugar. They’re like Evil Knieval. They fly from rim to rim over the Grand Canyon totally defying gravity with their fifth of whiskey every other day and maybe 1-2 packs a day for dessert. It’s all a crap shoot, Doctor. Don’t you think?”
“Well, Connie, when you come right down to it so are our parents and the DNA shaking of dice of our ancestor chromosomes. Them eggs and sperm do their own thing no matter you think you might somehow be at the switch.”
Connie was on a roll. “That’s it. The whole thing like that. Just like the animals. Their only purpose is to gobble it down and shit it out. We’re no different.”
“Sounds fundamental. Not exactly Thomas Acquinas, Isaac Newton, Milton, Dante, Galileo, Einstein, Dostoevsky. But nevertheless, universal. They were between cars. People were getting in them, backing up. They had to move. Something fundamental about that if they were to survive. In August, in the seventies, in their short pants, comfortable tank tops.
“Universal. It’s what I’m getting to, Dr. Max. A crap shoot. The whole Earth. Its orbit. Whacko. 93 million miles from the only star in the solar system. Perfect. Right on target. Go figure. What are the odds? One in a trillion. Are there others which have taken advantage and have found a way. Maybe in several billion more years something will evolve on Mars, Jupiter, Uranus. What is the formula? Long shots have come out of nowhere before. What about this guy who is walking a high wire across the River and between the Marina Towers? There is not a person on this street, in this neighborhood could. But he not only is sure he could. Bu t can. Some people and things know better how to gamble and win than to live or be ordinary.”