By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal
Deep down, I’m a romantic. That’s not to say I paint portraits of chubby, winged babies who shoot happy victims with heart-tipped arrows.
As you might surmise, my romanticism is of a goofy sort. I’m the kind of guy who stores slips of paper from Chinese fortune cookies in his wallet, but only if they say something reassuring and worth remembering, like, “Stop searching forever. Happiness is just next to you.”
While I hardly ever wish upon the first bright, shining star I see at night, I sometimes think about making a wish, and wonder what that wish might be. I mean, if wishes really were horses and beggars really did ride, what exact wish would I make?
We’ll save that question for another time for a couple of reasons: 1) I have no idea how to answer it, and 2) I want to tell you about my Unified Elevator Theory of Life, a naive notion of mine that the world has yet to strangle, drown or otherwise kill.
It’s simple. If people with divergent backgrounds and opinions got stuck together in an elevator, they’d eventually reach common ground. “Eventually” is the operative word because this process could take years.
Don’t worry. I hear you: But, Scott, people couldn’t survive for years trapped in an elevator. Eventually, they’d kill each other.
As usual, you are correct. That’s why my Unified Elevator Theory of Life wouldn’t pass a real-world test. It’s what we romantics call a thought experiment.
Let’s say you were immortal and you were stuck in an elevator with three other immortals. At some point after screaming matches, headlocks and kicks to the face, I believe the four of you would achieve real and satisfying moments of agreement and, dare I say it, mutual respect.
Basically, the theory says human beings are kin. We’re related, if not by blood then by the very nature of our humanity. The otherness, I think, would bleed away over hours or eons, leaving that which binds.
I understand the extreme implications: An innocent newborn shares a bond with a mass murderer on death row. It’s a logical expansion and thoroughly messed up. Though disgusting on the surface, the theory still holds true if you have time to dig, dig and dig some more.
I usually don’t live in accord with the Unified Elevator Theory of Life. I fall well short almost all of the time.
The idea is on par with wishing upon a star, a whimsy that crosses the mind, suggesting there’s more to existence than everyday conditioning allows us to believe.
It’s also troubling because if the theory is true – I’m feeling pretty good about it now – it means we’re missing wonderfully beautiful moments that could be piling up, one on top of another, for now and forever.
That’s a depressing thought for a romantic, even a goofy one.
M. Scott Morris is a Daily Journal feature writer. Contact him at (662) 678-1589 or firstname.lastname@example.org.