A team of scientists announced on Thursday that they had heard and recorded the sound of two black holes colliding a billion light-years away, a fleeting chirp that fulfilled the last prediction of Einstein’s general theory of relativity. That faint rising tone, physicists say, is the first direct evidence of gravitational waves, the ripples in the fabric of space-time that Einstein predicted a century ago.
Once upon a time there was a sad man who thought often of killing himself.
There were two reasons, he told himself, why he didn't. The first and more important one was that there were people who loved him. Some of these, like his parents, loved him unconditionally, others less so. These others he wouldn't mind being able to glimpse their reaction to his death, their sincere grief, their pain as a petty revenge on some small slight that people who do love us always commit, mostly unintentionally. But not his parents. He couldn't bear the thought of their agony upon his death. He thought about killing these people who loved him beyond reason beforehand to spare them the hurt of seeing him die but this sounded stupid when he considered it and ripe with the possibility of failure.
Fear of failure was the other reason why he refrained from taking his own life. Every method he thought of, he could debunk and consider some chance of it going awry which would leave him crippled or having to explain himself. The point of suicide was no longer to have to do this, it was the ultimate irresponsibility. He craved this childishness, not to have to account for his actions, his desires, his many faults, not to be an adult with the succession of days to take in hand. This was also foolish for was it not adult life that had allowed him the more freedom?
His point was what was the point? To being alive, he meant. The world was clearly ending: climate change, overpopulation, uncharted diseases, zombie attacks in the form of celebrities trying to eat your brains from out of whatever screen they inhabited. Bills to pay, meals to cook, washing to be done. Conversations to be had, people to meet, politenesses to be endured.
Time passed but even when his parents died, his friends dwindled and he was living in a high-rise in one of the top floors, he couldn't bring himself to do it. He discovered the act required more courage than he could muster. So he kept at his sad cowardly life right into a lonely old age. And he watched television. As most people do.