Achieving Zen (Flash Fiction)

It was approximately ten minutes passed twelve when Bob fell out of his body. He didn’t leave his body, but he did fall out of it. He didn’t float up into the sky above and look down on himself. He didn’t experience a feeling of weightlessness. Rather, he ceased to be him and became everything that was.

He sat at his desk, a one-quarter cubicle that shared its walls with his coworkers, eating a sandwich for lunch. It was the same sandwich he always made for himself. As he chewed the ham and cheese, he understood the entirety of the universe. He stared at the memo pinned to his wall and felt, knew, without hesitation or uncertainty, that all of creation, existence, and thought were one. He immediately understood that there was no right or wrong, no good or bad, no life or death. All was a continuous wave of being, birth being the crest, death being the valley, and all that rose and fell between was life itself. He felt no fear. All questions were answered. Every fundamental aspect of life was perfect. The crashing tides on the beach were as beautiful and necessary and blameless as the most violent atomic weapons used against man.

As he existed at his desk, for he simply was and was nothing more, chewing his ham and cheese, his mind began to quicken. His conscious self realized the importance of what was happening and desperately tried to categorize and define and explain all that was happening so that it could be retained. This unfathomable level of understanding must be understood. But as his mind worked harder at capturing the concept, the feeling faded further. Like mud through a squeezing fist, the feeling was soon gone.

Bob sat and chewed.

“Dude, are you gonna answering that?” Brian asked.

Bob blinked. His phone was ringing. He set down his half eaten sandwich to take the call. “Hello?”

“Bob, I’m very sorry,” said Susanne. “Something’s come up and we need you down at the conference room. Have you finished lunch?”

Bob looked at his half-eaten sandwich and the memo pinned to his wall. Shoot for the moon, it read. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars. It was then that it occurred to Bob that the nearest stars were literally millions of miles away. He quietly hung up his phone and finished his sandwich. His phone rang again, but he didn’t answer.

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