Do you interact with the world giving everyone unknown to you the benefit of the doubt? Do you mix and mingle with people known to you with a smile that hides a sneer or sorrow?
When your eyes show you one thing and your ears are fed something all together different, which do you believe? Imagine trekking through the desert for years, your only canteen of water and pouch of nourishment long gone. Then, you see in the distance what could only be the shade from a tree or two, and in this environment, there is never a tree without water. Your steps quicken as you can almost feel a wave of water flowing into your parched mouth and down your throat.
But then, just as you are about reach your salvation, the tree decays and the water evaporates. In their place, a musty, black sludge permeates the air and the sand. Surely, your eyes had deceived you for how could you mistake an oasis with torment? So, you turn and walk away from that mirage. When you’ve gone far enough, you look back and you see exactly what you had seen the first time.
Life-giving water, shelter, and a reprieve from the unforgiving light of day. So then, perhaps the veneer of decomposition was the trompe l’oeil and not the oasis. You march back there, berating yourself for having fled so quickly, and yet, the moment you are within relaxing distance, the tree is dead once again and the water gone. This back-and-forth continues an astonishing number of times before you realize that you’re needlessly having a Sisyphusian experience.
You could stop this nonsense right now, you could dump all the lies onto a table and demand an explanation for all the chicanery. To what end, though? So you can continue on your way and mire in the absurdity of what you’ve witnessed? No, it won’t do at all. Instead, you decide to return towards the mirage and stay in the last range of steps before life becomes death. Rationally, it is the best choice. If you are going to die of dehydration, it may as well happen where you can at least look at something marvelous. When you have rested enough, or after your body has become as dead as the tree, you will walk into the middle of that black sludge and discover that the monstrous is the mirage. For beneath the appearance of morbidity breathes life waiting for the right time to emerge.
If only the monster weren’t so convincing, you could stop looking for it every time you get close.