'Existential Crisis' by Stan Usovicz

This week we have two brand new pieces from Stan Usovicz. If you're inspired by Stan's fantastic work please send us your submissions to either creativewriting@thetribeonline.com or to our Creative Writing sub-editor Olia Kuranova at ok6@st-andrews.ac.uk.  Existential CrisisHis eyes flitted quickly hither and thither, scouring the room for something which was not there, nor ever had been. His outstretched arms and legs flailed desperately like a novice swimmer in the deep end of a pool, looking for a solid foothold – a familiar dry patch of land – a sanctuary or a savior, a solution or an answer.He had yet to learn that this world –when stripped of its attributed meaning, when demolished of its social constructions, when it is unencumbered by the occupations, professions, expectations, and regulations that comprise this thick façade called society- is something awesome and unintelligible.Yet, he could not fully appreciate this message. Like a dyslexic researcher scanning the page of an ancient Aramaic text, he held the answers only inches from his nose, but could not even begin to interpret the shifting sentences or the jumbled characters, and perhaps never could.He had lived his whole life in blasphemy: worshipping false deities which he had been told acted in his best interest, condemning practices which others called bad, striving for that which was called success, and seeking salvation in the shade of a money tree.“Be happy.” They told him. “Stay focused”. They warned. Play the game and if you’re lucky, success will be yours. They accepted this message as if it were an innate fact of nature, something that exists and always has existed.But, what of the banal bunny? What becomes of the common coyote? They are unaware of social success, these inorganic trivialities. They can’t climb ladders, they don’t hold grudges, and they possess a complete disregard for the concept of reputation aside from the manmade demarcations of herbivore, omnivore, and carnivore. In this game they are poor players. Few rabbits are remembered forever, and no tears are wept at the death of a deer, yet they soldier on regardless and irrespective of this reality - and in death - they leave their progeny with no inheritance other than the gift of life.  Yet they continue the cycle, season after season, just as their ancestors had done, and as their children will.These thoughts pulsed through his head, bouncing from one firing synapse to the next, subsuming him. It had been quite a journey for him to get to this point.  Stan Usovicz