Two men start their day. One starts deep underground in a land of fire and darkness. Another starts in a world full of light. One puts his hand on the boulder in front of him feeling the rocky crevices. The other hurries to shower, eat, and brush his teeth.
One begins to push the boulder, his mind fills with nothing other than the thought of exerting enough effort to avoid having the boulder roll down and crush him. The other rushes down the stairs of his apartment building, his mind fills with nothing other than the thought of avoiding a stern talking-to.
One feels his body and mind strain, his thoughts dissipate as quickly as they arise. The air of exertion is too overwhelming. The other runs up to the streetcar stop, and fumbles through his pockets for a fare card as the streetcar driver looks down on him.
One feels his muscles burn as he reaches a plateau, and the other checks his watch with a sense of dread. The moments pass by too fast.
One looks out at the land underground; he sees paradise in the distance knowing he will never get any closer. The other looks out the window of the streetcar and sees a man sleeping on a grate.
One is haunted by the strange beauty of the land ahead of him while the other arrives in the office with a moment to spare. His boss scowls at him while everyone else shrugs. The cogs keep turning and the machine keeps running.
One gets up to resume his burdens while the other mindlessly builds slideshows and listens to a podcast where an angry man tells him to clean his room. Every fourth moment, he checks the clock. He waits for the moment where the machine no longer requires his services. The moment where he is free.
One pushes the boulder up the hill, each agonizing step fills his body with pain. In every moment of pain, he is reminded of his mortality. In every moment of pain, he accepts this. The other sits in a meeting where a man talks, and no one listens.
One reaches the summit gazing down at the land. He has conquered, he feels a burst of pride before remembering that he has done this, many times before. This shouldn’t be a surprise. The other finishes his slideshow, he sends it to his boss and grabs a coffee. When he returns, he starts another slideshow.
One pushes the boulder and it rolls down the hill. He walks down after it. The other gets out of the office and takes the streetcar back home. The man on the grate is still there.
One takes pleasure in the moments. His mind never drifts. His mind is forever conscious of the pointlessness of his task and it rejoices in the little pleasures. The other’s mind drifts constantly, worries incessantly swirl through his mind and he feels trapped.
One puts his hand on the boulder feeling the rocky crevices while the other wakes up and hurries to shower, eat, and brush his teeth.