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Strolling down the shopping street, he was blissfully unprepared for the spectacle with which his senses were about to bombard him. Amidst careless saccades that scouted the street casually for anything deemed worthy by his miniscule attention span, an emergent crack in the middle of the road commandeered his stare. Violently sputtering, the movement surrounding the fissure began to intensify, as did his interest in it. Had anyone else noticed? Apparently, for an approaching bus insensitively refused to travel any further. Pupils synchronized around him, aimed at the road which was now thunderously torn and ripped apart from sidewalk to sidewalk, the crack appearing to swallow the concrete only to spit it out again. But it was not a tongue that materialized out of the awe-invoking abyss, but the grandiose figure of a woman. Eerily inhuman like a desolate statue yet possessing the necessary features of womanhood, this massive creature erupted effortlessly from the earth, with minimal exertion on her part, as if the earth were alive and simply pressed her up. The world of every sentient being in her proximity ceased to exist. A thousand eyes blue and thousands more brown, green, and grey; she compelled them all so none could stray. Sounds subsided and left only a vague ethereal echo, an apparition which too eventually vanished to leave in its place a pure and absolute silence, the kind often wished and pleaded for but never attained. In this magnificent stillness the woman was the object of an incisive collective concentration that even the direst politic speech had hitherto failed to receive. Her face, obscured by the dirt from which she sprouted, at first glance appeared expressionless, a harrowingly ironic deception, for she soon began to cry a stream of tears which at first slowly, but exponentially more fiercely, forced their way down deep valleys crafted in the depths of her face, which, upon a second glance, looked to have no features except the blackest eyes imaginable and the thickest lips that the elongated tear-excavations would allow.

In a helpless gaze, he and everyone round him besought an explanation. Who was this enigmatic creature and why was she crying? Just as the flow of tears seemed to be all that would ever be shared with the muddled masses, a voice simultaneously angelic and demonic materialized out of her head to penetrate every skull at once without taking the traditional path offered by ears: “I cry for you because you have forgotten to cry for yourselves; I weep for your sake because you have forgotten to weep for others; I shed tears for your existence because your existence has ceased to provoke your tears”. His feet started to feel wet. She continued: “You have lost the ability to experience profound sadness in its purest, dampest form because you have come to see sadness as your nemesis, unaware that the true downfall of humanity is the repudiation of sadness which renders its activity unreflective and ultimately inhumane.” His knees started to feel wet. She persisted: “Your fervent, feverish, fanatic desire to be happy has pushed you so far as to avoid its antithesis altogether; your god-of-enjoyment tunnel vision amplified by your reading of history as inevitable and social change as unattainable has blinded you from the significant and has led you down the slippery, noxious slope of the meaningless”. His waist started to feel wet. She persevered: “I take your task upon me; I cry for every animal beaten, abandoned, devalued; for every child not wanted but born, initially wanted but never cared for; for the famished, crippled, despondent people you damn well know exist but won’t acknowledge let alone attend to; for your excruciating incapability to love more than a handful of people”. His bottom lip started to taste salty. Would she let him drown and finally deliver him from his misery? She concluded: “My dearests, you have once more tasted the saltiness of the tears of universality, and I implore you to imprint this sensation forcefully on the forefront of your mind, to embrace the saline sting and its concomitant dryness, and not ever to renounce or surrender it for any cause, to invoke and consult it in your dealings with others and in your relationship with yourself.” The wetness retreated eagerly back into her eyes, and when all was absorbed into its original source, she made her last remark: “Do not compel my return to bleed for you.”