The Four Kings

 Once, there were four men who aspired to be Kings.
 To boast wealth beyond measure, one adorned himself in diamonds.
To call himself strong, the second chose to brandish his club.
To be desired by all, the third pursued love, lust, and others’ hearts.
The last wanted nothing but his work. Few understood him, but he was buried with a smile by the very spade with which he toiled.

The Perfect Person

The perfect person has no acne, blemishes or scars. He is the ideal weight, height and complexion. He is also a she. They can do anything on their own, even give birth. They do not need to eat or drink, so they never feel hungry or thirsty. For them, even breathing is an option.

They can walk, run, fly and be anywhere at any moment; they are never late. Their hair is always the right length and style; it doesn’t ever grow. They will never need a doctor. In fact, they’re immune to all disease because they also cannot die.

The perfect person can create from scratch, anything. They can even fix what’s broken, anything at all. They don’t suffer from doubt or indecision. They always know what they are doing. They do the right things and never make mistakes. Because of this they never learn; but then they already know it all. They know how and who they should be, where and when it’s appropriate. Everyone likes them, nobody hates them. All want to be them.

But the one thing that the perfect person can never be is real. Because no one is perfect, no one is even close. The perfect person does not exist. Instead what we have are people, not long for the world, with needs and limits, who depend on others to exist. We have the broken pieces of people who know nothing of this world. We have people who are knockoffs of perfection, whose sloppy stitching you can see at a glance. We have people who project standards of perfection onto others while their own cracks are showing. We have people who know they are not perfect, and hate themselves for it.

Perfect may sound better, but if everyone was perfect they’d be perfectly the same, perfectly predictable like a perfect math equation. So perfect is not human. It is imperfection that creates variety in us; it is what allows people to be different, unique, the people who they are. I am imperfect and you are imperfect. He is imperfect and she is imperfect. And despite appearances, all of them are imperfect too. But we are all who we are because we are not perfect, and for that reason we can always become better. Perfect is the best, and so perfect has a limit. Perfect cannot be better, because perfect does not grow.

Perfect person, if indeed you do exist then you have nothing but my pity. Being perfect you must be fragile, for do you understand what perfect means? It means living inside absolute terms of never, forever, always. One flaw, a single mistake, one exception would destroy you, perfect person. But us imperfect people can survive a little inconsistency because we have room enough to grow. And that one strength, which all imperfect people possess, I believe is worth every other weakness.

Something Like a Ghost

I believe in something like ghosts. Not the sulking spectres that roam the halls at night, but the idea that there is something of our lives left behind even when all life has left us. It is a thing that lives with and without us, that we invest in with every moment and memory we share. It is an incantation that, whenever spoken, conjures at least the faintest image of you for a spell. It is the sum of your existence; it haunts you as you live and then others when you don’t. It can shift shape and sound strange, but it will always follow you the same. Yet to others it may weigh different, to some it may be dead, and to most it may never have existed. But to those who knew it in life, and carry it well on their lips, your name can be all you truly own in this world and all that you leave behind.