Exploiting because we can

Listen to “Empty” by Garbage.

While studying math, after each passed exam, I’d feel empty. This emptiness was positive – after all the effort I made, I enjoyed the fruits of my success. This is why I decided to pursue a PhD – the addiction to that emptiness after passing the exam was too strong.

Emptiness takes on many forms. Whereas some of them are considered a blessing, the others are considered a curse.


We are curious creatures, milking everything and everyone not because we need it but because we can. Even when things or people around us are empty, we try to squeeze out of them just a tad more.

Our lips can no longer reach that lip balm so we use our fingernails to get it out and apply it to our lips. Lip balm is not a luxury item but we tend to use it until we reach its bottom. Same thing is with our cremes. Oh, there is still some cocoa powder left? Then no need to run to the store to get it, we will do it once there will be no more cocoa left in the box. Why? Is cocoa more fresh if we buy it after we run out of it?


Useless emptiness. A thing or a person is uselessly empty when we cannot get anything from it YET or when there is nothing it can give us ANYMORE. Our hopes and memories make us keep the thing or person near until it stops being empty and starts being useful (again). If we are not taking care of the thing or person in the mean time, we are just leaches.

“Stop nagging and let us enjoy the fruit of their labor, they made it without our help again! Bravo!”

Useful emptiness. Sometimes seeing something almost empty makes us feel successful, like we almost finished all the things that needed to be done today. Sometimes only complete emptiness can make us happy but some kind of stench still hoovers around it.

Empty promises. There is this fig tree that keeps promising us yummy late summer but by the end of that summer, almost none of their figs is ripe and ready for consummation. The same is with people, in the moment of giving a promise they are determined to keep it even though the climate is not right for it. We know it isn’t right, that person knows it isn’t right, yet, we all put our hopes in this promise. It is in the autumn of our patience that this promise freezes like figs on our fig tree and we end up disappointed. Every year. And every year we decide to keep the tree for one more year. The climate wont change. Neither will the tree. Maybe we should change our expectations


Recycled emptiness. Emptiness can be ugly and torn, it can even rustle. In this case we use it to scare off all the creatures for which we presume are harmful for our well being.


Prompt: Empty


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