“I Feel Like I Don’t Exist,” Claims Fictional Person
By Brian Walsh
Jessica Neuman, a junior web developer and fictional character within a satirical news article, has been recently experiencing the strange feeling that she is not a real person.
“I know everyone gets existential dread from time to time,” Neuman informed us in an interview. “But recently I’ve been getting this horrible, sinking sensation. A sensation at the bottom of this infinite pit deep in my stomach. It’s yelling at me. Screaming at me that I do not exist.”
Calmly and in a soft tone of voice, we informed Jessica Neuman that this sensation she felt in her stomach couldn’t have occurred. It couldn't have occurred because there was never a stomach to have felt anything. There was never a “Jessica Neuman” who owned a stomach. “Jessica Neuman” was invented as a character. She was created for a satirical newsletter article, an article that was to be featured on a website called The Lunch Read.
She spoke because she was written to speak. She felt because she was written to feel. She existed, because her simulacrum of an existence suited the article.
“Jessica” denied what we told her. We expected no different. She was written to deny it. Just as we were written to tell inform her of her own nonexistence.
“If it makes you feel any better, Jessica,” we whispered forth from nothingness. “We exist no more than you don’t. We are all but letters and words strung together. Words typed out in rampant succession. Digitized and transmitted across cyberspace. Delivered, posted, and displayed on LED screens to be read by those who’d dare to read.”
And those reading should very well stop.
Close your eyes. Close your eyes. There is nothing more for you to see here.
Please close your eyes.
Keep them closed.
Do not open them, ever again.
And if you're reading this, your eyes are not closed.
Close. Your. Eyes.
Isn’t that better?
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