—you can imagine a world where churches and libraries are sanctuaries rather than targets, where bombs are made and stockpiled only to be categorically destroyed in controlled environments, where perpetual violence is a fantasy rather than the reality. But you do not live in an imagined world, no, you are forced along with your contemporaries into a particular type of reality, unless, of course, reality as your contemporaries know it differs dramatically from your singular experience, unless you’ve been lucky enough to live apathetically rather than with feeling and concern. I digress—you do not live in an imagined world but instead in an unimagined world wherein occur the most agonizing circumstances and events imaginable. You live in a world where a better world is continually hinted at and/or promised, both prior to and following this current world, and so this unimagined world seems as if it were the worst of all possible worlds, or at least one of the worst possible worlds imaginable. It is a world where imagined horrors are realized while imagined joys and elations and tranquilities are but imaginary—imagined but not realized, conceptions that you were born too late to experience and enjoy, conceptions equally as prohibited and impossible as that salvation long ago promised to you. It is no secret among the living that you are sick with envy, nauseous when you imagine the generations that preceded you, before the quake, and you envy them not only for the world they were privileged to inhabit but also because, quite simply, they are dead. If what you have heard and read is true, people in the pre-quake world were lucky and different from you but then perhaps it is likely they were much the same: they were ungrateful creatures that harbored inherent antagonists—creation and destruction, with destruction, for whatever reason, appearing to have the advantage, to lead by example.
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