“Yeah… I really just think it’s the end,” I said. “You die and pop, you’re gone.” I snapped my fingers for effect. “We decompose back to the star dust we were made from, specks and atoms making our way to the center of the earth as meteors fall from the sky over millions of years burying us deeper and deeper. The trees and plants that die after us piling on, buildings and bridges crumbling. We just keep sinking to the white hot center of the earth. Maybe some of us slide into a stream of magma that is heading back to the surface, blast through the inverted cake decorating cone of a volcano, splatter back on the surface like burning ejaculate only to start the sinking process again.
“Maybe we get trapped in the tread of a scientist’s sneaker as he ambles across a magma flow studying the cooling crust. He doesn’t even realize that a mote of a memory has attached itself to his sole. Was it my eighth birthday on Prince Edward Island, the beach, a mayfly hatching, the air filled with wings. Was it a late summer day when I was twelve and hugging the upper-most branches of a fir tree, my hands covered with sap that my father will take off later with turpentine, swaying with the breeze, eyes-closed, dreaming of space and the star in which I was born.
“Billions of years will pass, the sun will grow and grow and engulf everything we were made of. It will recycle us, burning and breaking us down, reforming our parts into new parts, fusing and smashing, until it explodes again, firing us back into cold, dark space. Maybe we fall onto some new planet and evolve into another life form, maybe we become dust and ice and trail from the tail of a comet. Maybe our bits and pieces are spread across the lonely universe for infinity destined to never be part of another life ever again… The point is, we’re not in control. Whether you think it’s some being determining which atom goes where or whether you believe we’re created by random chemical spills and unplanned explosions, we’re simply not in control. So instead of fighting with each other about what is right to believe, enjoy each other, relish our differences, enjoy the stories we all have to tell and be amazed at what’s different, not afraid of it.”