THE COVE, By Casey Rae-Hunter

Story by Casey Rae-Hunter
Illustration by Andy Paciorek

I did not set out to discover anything, least of all what “makes me tick.” At no point in my average-length career in the field of property insurance did I once have the inkling to explore what psychologists and chemically addled reprobates might call “the periphery of consciousness.” I’m certainly well read; retirement spent in the provincial seaside bosom of Cumbria, England affords plenty of time for literary investigation. Yet even my lazy consumption of books borrowed from the local library did not awaken any desire for self- discovery. They were all someone else’s stories, visions, anxieties.

My daughter, on the other hand, away at a liberal arts university not terribly far from my own unostentatious Northern accommodations, always had an instinct for personal
revelation; at least the kind approved by the bohemian professors she so desires to impress. I never faulted Emily for these tendencies. After her mother died, seeking meaning became her primary pursuit. I hadn’t the heart to tell her that, in my estimation, there is positively no sense to be made from the myriad banal activities that comprise our time on this planet. Nor is there any consequence to our search for significance in our own lives or the lives of those around us. It is merely chance and biology that sets the course of our brief existences, whether we ascribe metaphysical significance to the crushingly mundane or accept our lot as fleeting nonentities in an utterly cosmic trifle.