Tucked away, abandoned and forgotten in the attic of an old house on an island are seven cardboard boxes. They are the leftovers from someone’s existence. They say that if you open them they would speak to you in tongues undistinguishable to the human brain. These, we may or may not hear and many argue that it is best not hearing them at all. Most likely outcome is falling into a deep coma or ending up in the madhouse.
Before we continue, I must remind you that stories are highly influential, and also incomplete – it partly is so because they aren’t until you are. And for the same reason, they cannot be complete, to think that they can, is plain deception. You’ll find a wide range of variables, and you’ll do what suits you best, and for this story in particular I urge you to put your mind on stand by; it will only be an obstruction in the place we are departing to. Now lend me your hand and let’s explore this attic and its contents together.
We will call our mystery man Mr Exter. Mr Exter was a very tall and attractive being with olive skin and big gentle hazel eyes. The wise comforting gaze was crowned by adventurous eyebrows and followed by a somewhat wonky smile and dimples with a life of their own, they seemed to appear as and when they liked – once stricken by this smile you are bound to forget any worries. He had spent most of his adult time in either the lab or a seminar room.
Though, as it happens, after years and years of working as a biology scientist and professor he came to the conclusion that he had to move on, no matter what. He had become obsessed by the workings of the human brain and had managed to dive so deep into the darkness that he had utterly forgotten why he had taken this route. He had not a clue anymore what any of it would or should lead to. Nothing made sense. He had begun his career with a different ambition; to unveil the true essence of the human heart. He saw the heart as the most beautiful and enigmatic part of life. He would follow its rhythms, watch its colours and hear its beat no matter what he was up to; the heart was always there, in an ever evolving communication. Wherever he turned it was cherished; in love, joy, damnation and grief. During his time of researching the heart Exter was so in awe, so careful not to disturb his mysterious organ, that he almost lost his position. His boss was unsure, if Mr Exter was, despite of his recommendations, a plain failure of a scientist, or if he just lacked the drive for this subject – he seemed irrational and clearly unfocused on results. But Mr Exter’s smile and ease gave him true moments of stillness, he could sometimes even feel the opening of another time frame, it was a bit like being under water but without the water. And being a scientist himself he started watching Mr Exter’s behaviour as part of his own research.
Then one day, while some colleagues made a too excellent project presentation on the workings of the brain, Exter transformed. That day in the 500 seat seminar room, he realised he was a chosen one. During the presentation he had jumped out of his body, leaving his heart behind, flown into a world full of clarity and knew exactly what it was he was meant to uncover. He had landed, taken the stage and been celebrated. Everything about it was sincere; the discovery was real, a journey into a new hemisphere of life, simple and natural. It was perfect, perfectly logical and explainable. But it wasn’t his chosen field, so he decided it was a calling.
From that day, Exeter and science was never the same again. Day in and day out he spent dissecting brains, reading from the explained to the unexplained, but mostly jotting his own ideas, he had an overwhelming feeling that he was unto a tremendous discovery. It was just a matter of getting the details, remembering what he knew from that day. when destiny spoke to him. Notes, magazines and books everywhere, in the lab, in bags, pockets, and his flat might as well be a paper rat’s nest. He didn’t have a car nor had he learnt to drive, the bus and walking journey to the lab was a new discovery everyday depending on what experiments he had been working on. He was sure that his unmatched marriage of the scientific and creative would be a break through to a level of science unprecedented on the planet before. No one had ever managed to shock scientific research from this angle with any credibility. If anyone could unlock the doors to the real mysteries of the brain, he would be the one.
But what started as a fresh and highly invigorating wind, with time became murky, and he slowly started suffocating by his own questions and ideas. During the sleepless nights he’d gasp for a nip of fresh air, other times he was not sure he breathed at all. Following note was found in his lab: This is the end. I am shattering into infinite pieces. Breaking through the barrier to find out how lost I am. This is torture. Why are these keys unlocking further distances? What?! Must I fall to find? Why on earth. I am losing it all. It’s a joke. Please, help me.
But he was too far off the path to get back on track. Therefore the only way out was to let go of it all together. As we all know, it is easier said than done. He tried, but would have panic attacks when he told himself that he had to leave the lab at the end of the working day. He would walk around, a coffee, re-reading old notes, picking bits from the trash, anything as long as it meant staying past 11pm, and even better 2am. He couldn’t conclude this research, he was too entangled, he knew that, but the mere thought made him shake in cold sweat. Eventually he grew very ill and spent days and nights in bed hallucinating. That was when she came into his mind. The image of his brain. Despise his excitement, he tried to dismiss it at first as mere hallucinatory loneliness symptoms, and he started recalling happenings from his youth before he started his career path. The image was just too real and kept coming back, each time he sensed it stronger. A woman dressed in a flamboyant yellow dress had come rolling down a mountain right down into a stream. As she lay there, she laughed and laughed; he would get closer and when he looked into her eyes he knew, this was the end and this was the beginning, it was not a game anymore. He cried for days and days and days. And then he laughed.