Rational Questions

by Deborah Breuer

We all question things in life. There’s a difference though, between questioning things in life or questioning what allows us to interpret life, the mind. A loop of a concept.
These questions about life, whatever they maybe, generally begin the same time as the flight from the nest begins. I was no different. Being a social leper for most of my school years, I did not begin college any beats missed. I didn’t expect to either.
By the summer following my freshman year, I figured I’d be alone anyway. Why go home at all? I ended up renting an apartment on campus while I took some extra hours.
It was the third night I’d seen without sleep. I was preparing for my Intro. to Philosophy final exam. My mind full of philosophical questions finally spun itself into queries that stretched what I thought I knew.
That’s when a nostalgic wave of suspense hit me. It was very much like the hair-raising creepiness I felt the first time I read “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe. A knocking at my door. A chill raced up my spine as I stood to my feet.
It was late. Maybe early, honestly. But college students tend to keep odd hours. I paid these hesitations no mind. As I approached the door, it was as if I knew what was there before I turned the knob. I was wrong…
Nothing. Odd.
I returned to my mountain of research and textbooks, unphased by the eerie happening. I kept thinking that I should eat. However, it was always deprioritized. I knew I was exhausted. Burning midnight oil that did not exist.
Just as I had forgotten it happened, the spirit of Poe in its delivery, a rapping at my door. Cautious steps carried me to find nothing but the pitter-patter of running hoodlums. I looked around both ends of the building.
I told myself, it was fine. Just kids playing ding-dong-ditch. They were crafty. They continued to pull focus from work. Sometimes knocking. Sometimes banging. Other snatches of my time by a doorbell.
Two hours into our cat and mouse game, I had had enough. I started to run around the building. Positive that my strong legs would find the speed to lay eyes on the culprit.
Nothing. No one. Silence.
Never once did I question what I knew was happening. I knew what I heard.
The next day, I missed my final. I did get tested though.
The mind is a proud entity. No one willingly subjects to reason, when their senses are misleading. I still wonder if that nothing was something. If no one was really someone. Was it real? No one else could verify either way. Most sided with illegitimacy of my story.
Years later, questions still come to me about that night. Answers I don’t seek, mostly because I’ll never find them. But now I ponder deeper questions.
What if rationale really comes down to faith? Do you have enough faith in your senses to tell you what’s real and what’s not? Maybe those are the real questions in life, and about life, that even the mind may not ever know.


Posted on 06/10/2018
Copyright © 2019 Deborah Breuer

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by George Hoerner on 07/22/18 at 10:16 PM

I love people who think like this and even more that they acknowledge it. We should talk some time. george

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