Abandoned by some lazy and distractable lumberjack on a lunch break, forgotten about in the rush to the next tree! I slept like a living log. A log that wakes, also. EXISTENTIAL HORROR LOG
See, logging is closed the next day - otherwise someone would've claimed this fine log and hauled it off to be sawn. But the area is declared an Emergency Natural Park and trails for hiking are blazed through it. One goes right by the log. The park ranger is a Buddhist who often sits on the log, lost in thought and grumbling platitudes. Others too come sit on the log. In one HOT SCENE three hikers have UNINHIBITED, INCOMPETENT SEX right on the log! Which does not leave them fulfilled. The log is like " ... "
The grumbling Buddhist talking to himself with a wet butt on a log in the forest he or she draws subpar pay to play steward to. He or she (no, "he" - all the grumbling Buddhists I've known were guys. Women Buddhists I've known tended more toward the grounded and mystical) is always come by to sit on the log and RANT, or CHANT as he'd put it. "The leaf is awake to its Buddha nature. Fuck you, leaf. The rock is awake to its Buddha nature. FUCK YOU, ROCK" - the Buddhist is comforted by the log and does not say fuck you to it, but neither does he name it or call it "awake." The log is left wondering, disconnected and alienated. The raunchy sex interaction does not make the log feel a communal part of anything. These episodes seem necessary to the log's arc.
It does seem a potentially fun idea. I have a lot to say about alienation. BUT WILL ANYONE CARE OR UNDERSTAND ME? Hehe jus' kidding. I wonder if I'm self-alienated? Too much focus on others. Self-abnegation is a different deal, that's more throwing your self under humanity's regular scheduled bus route. Like making self nothing. I feel more like...I don't get self-importance. How would I be important to me? Or more important than another? Just 'cause I got stuck behind this specific pair of eyes? Anyway I'm cool with it - everybody else is, if not in the same boat, a boat of psychologically similar make and model. Some of them have WAY BETTER sailor costumes than I do, though. Bastards.
The log would be a good, solid vehicle for these go-nowhere sentiments.
I think we need the Buddhist to teach the log that enlightenment is possible, but not plausible.
What if all the world could receive and in its way understand communication, but is incapable of response? LUMINOUS.
I doubt it's so, though. Life would have developed quite differently, and probably in a more accelerated and directed way.
Or maybe life has to cut itself off from primary perception in some way, in order to find itself again in it? Shit.
The problem is if anyone takes it seriously. It's meant as sincere, not serious.
The Buddhist would definitely puzzle out koans as one of his tics. I think he'd go so far as to ask himself "if one hand claps in the forest and no one is there to hear it, what THEN is its sound?"
EXISTENTIAL HORROR LOG might need to be a novel rather than a novella, to accommodate the growing cast of characters and lessons learned from them. Long hours even days untenanted. Listening for the sound that bedevils the Buddhist so, even knowing that it cannot report up to him where he sits. It would be a short book, about Siddhartha-length. Is Siddhartha a novella? People would compare it to Siddhartha, in length.