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Comalounge – Missing Piece

NYT art

The phrase “Now, my life is complete,” gets thrown around casually, most often in media portrayals of real life. It’s often delivered facetiously, relegating the completing thing to second-class status.

I’ve always found the phrase confusing. Life is literally complete at the moment of death. But clearly, that’s not what people mean. They are saying that an object (likely plastic, but perhaps metal) they have just received will grant then contentment and happiness for the rest of their life. Importantly, there is no hint of recognition for the people who sunk hard work into producing that object. It is simply accepted that the object is here now and it will be here forever and it will make me happy. We’ve constructed a society where materialism is largely inseparable from biology.

The phrase is inherently sad: “Now, my life is complete.” It carries an implication that the life was not complete beforehand, that there was some level of yearning and desire unfulfilled. And, as it is so often stated sarcastically or ironically, it implies that the life will not, in fact, be complete after the object. That a hole still gapes somewhere, dripping regret and insecurity, a hole that cannot be plugged by a piece of colored rubber shipped halfway around the world.

No life is ever complete. This should bring us together, knowing we all share the same sense of emptiness that no material good can fill, whether or not we pretend it can. Each person has that missing piece.

Comalounge – Missing Piece