080 - complication
"No one really cares," Fred said. His eyes were welling with tears. He watched the people passing on by below. He tried to hold back, to control his emotions, but an errant droplet managed to escape his eyes.
As it floated quickly to the ground, he wondered if anyone would notice. If it even were to strike a person, would they perceive it? Of course, the chances were that the tear would evaporate long before it reached the ground, and if it did reach the ground, it would probably not make contact with anything but concrete.
But on the off chance that it did land on a person, what would they think? Fred thought even more, considering now how infinitesimal the chances were becoming. Most of a person, especially from above, is not exactly sensitive to slight sensations. The top of the head is most commonly covered in a mop of hair, which was not too deft at sensing such minute changes as a single shed tear.
Elsewhere, a person's body was likely to be covered in clothes. The chances were greater that someone might notice a wet discoloration on his or her clothing rather than actually feel the tear impact it. Oh well, Fred reasoned, at least someone might sense it, in some way. But would they be able to understand it?
"How do you understand a single drop that falls to you from above?" he asked. Fred knew that no one would consider it possible that it had been shed by a troubled, sad man standing above. Maybe they would think it was just a single drop of rain, produced by one random cloud that had somehow over-condensed itself, and needed to rain just one droplet.
Or perhaps it was something more disgusting, like a single drop of bird urine. Fred knew that this was something that he would think of himself, but most people probably wouldn't even consider it. They would just think it was rain, or just a random water droplet, completely unexplainable.
Which got back to his main problem. Even if someone did notice, they wouldn't really care. They didn't care about how, or why. To answer the riddle or solve the puzzle. These were the things that most people were not concerned with. In fact, Fred had convinced himself that ultimately, at this current point in time, he was the only human being on planet Earth who worried himself with such cares.
But Fred was so tired of caring, especially with no one else caring. He could understand now how this had happened. How humanity had gotten itself into this sordid state of affairs. It was easier to not care. Easier to just see things, not try to interpret or understand them, and if there was a problem, certainly not to solve it.
And as people realized this, and began to delude themselves into just floating along in the stream, those that still cared realized how much harder it was to go on caring when the people around them didn't. So, they gave it up, too, Fred saw the cascade effect happening in his mind until it came to him.
"The last person to care," he began. "...is giving in, too. Humanity, we shall care no more," Fred resolved. So it should be done. Perhaps it was just a necessary evolution of the species, he thought, before realizing even that was more thought to the issue than he should be giving.
Fred closed his eyes, knowing that he could not simply stop caring. He could only stop being. With eyes still forced shut, he leaned himself forward, until he felt his feet slip off the edge and then, only the sweet pull of gravity.