543 - Used Up


The knife in your pocket is so worn that it is nigh useless. You should wonder why you bother toting it around anymore, but you don't. Which isn't to say you know why you carry the dead weight metal in your pocket every day - it's just that you don't wonder why you do. It's a fact of life, a matter of course, one small part of a mindless routine you enact with each sunrise. A routine which long ago lost any practical meaning and gave way instead to slavish repetition, the worship of the false god of numb habit rather than a closer bond with the tough-won love of thoughtful purpose.

The knife has no edge and cannot cut. Its jagged edge is full of chips that would snag and claw at anything you dared run down the blade. Each break in the blade is a reminder of your callous treatment of a fine tool. Your lack of care has made sure a blemished face, rife with pits and crags, is all that remains of a once beautiful finish. The knife has no point and is pointless.

Maybe you will recover the lost meaning of this steel artifact. Perhaps one day you will need to cut a child, trapped in an overturned car about to catch fire, free from her seatbelt and drag her to safety. Some time you might stumble on a wounded fox tangled in paracord, too weak to gnaw itself to a freedom you'll be happy (and ready) to provide.

Maybe, but not likely. Men like you rarely see their moment of triumph. Men like you find themselves ill prepared when their test of mettle stares them down and with a booming, terrible voice shouts "What kind of man are you? Show me!" They tremble in the shadow of strife, seeing no opportunity because their hands cover their eyes in fear. "If I stay still it will pass me by," men like you say, "and no one will notice my deliberate failure."

No, men like you carry around useless old knives that have never cut anything a letter opener couldn't have tackled. Men like you rub their bald heads and wonder where the time went.

Men like you open boxes with their pointless pocket knives and feel useful.