Issue 71, Fall 1977
Ever since his return from hell he dreamed of paradise. The idea struck him suddenly one afternoon at the office. But he put it off in haste trying to concentrate on the work at hand. The thought popped up again and again until it began to irritate him and he had to chase it away with a cup of coffee, cigarettes and conversation.
The same evening he couldn’t concentrate on watching television. He tried to read a book, he perused the newspaper. The image was taking clearer shape and its ludicrous impracticality annoyed him. He put on his jacket and went out.
Broadway was ablaze with lights. He needed people, noise and motion to disperse nagging thoughts. The neighborhood movie theatre provided easy solution. (Are there easy solutions of life’s complicated problems? Has escape ever solved a puzzle?)
There was that man, whose sole purpose in life was to find the meaning of human existence. After arduous travels through many lands he came across a venerable old sage seated in a desolate valley who had contemplated the same question for decades. The man bowed respectfully to the ground and asked the holy hermit what he thought life’s meaning really was. The sage gazed a long time straight in front of him and didn’t say a word. The exhausted traveller, having spent so much time and effort, and sensing that he was near the source, became stubborn. He started to beg, cajole and supplicate the old recluse. Finally, the bearded guru said: “Life is a fountain.”