Two Planets

Picture two planets, rotating together around the same sun. They don’t know of each other, for that effulgent orb that gives them life also obscures their view. They are balanced, like ends of a spinning rod, forever kept apart from one another in both thought and distance.

Each planet thinks they are the only one in the universe. Their inhabitants know only of their own woes, because they can’t see the problems of the other world. They know only their own joys, because they can’t perceive joys outside of their own. They see themselves as alone, singular, simply because they can’t see each other.

Picture the day they find out another world exists in their universe, on the opposite side of the sun they’ve thought of for so long as a sun that belonged to them alone. It’s no longer one planet’s sun. It’s the sun shared by both of them. It will never look or feel the same. It feels like a betrayal, because what they’ve always known to be true isn’t anymore, even though it was never a lie.

Neither world is alone, after that day of discovery. Their joys are no longer singular, and neither are their woes. They have become part of something greater: a shared universe. This makes the people of both worlds uncomfortable, because in many ways, it’s easier to be alone.

Discovery is destruction, for these two worlds, for the universe and the sun and even the world they once knew is gone. It never existed: they just hadn’t known the truth of their own reality. Yet still, they miss what they feel they have lost, even though they may have found something far greater in return.

Picture yourself entering a dark room. You can’t see what’s in it, so you find your way around by touch. It seems like a pleasant space, with comfortable furniture and not too much clutter. You come to like it. Then someone turns on the lights, and the room becomes something different entirely. It’s the room as it has always been, but it’s not what you imagined. Perhaps the walls are covered in tacky paintings and the furniture is upholstered in horrid shades.

It’s the room you grew to know, but now it’s something else entirely from what you thought you knew. Sometimes things are not what we believe them to be, and we cement our perceptions based on a falsehood. When that falsehood is revealed, we become uncomfortable.

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