“Why hello there!” a voice called out.
“What the…” The sound of another voice in this deserted place startled the young man as he tried to catch his breath, and he fell to the ground as he turned to look up. What he saw was a balding old man. Around the crown of his head along the back and sides grew long white hair, and he had a beard that trailed midway down his chest. His wrinkly face was twisted up in a huge grin, and the young man could see a couple teeth on an otherwise toothless gum line.
The old man made his way down the rock wall of the crater edge to meet the young man on the ground. He moved nimbly for his advanced age to the surprise of the young man. He was also naked. For the first time the young man looked down and realized that he too was naked, and he realized that he felt no shame. He also didn’t feel compelled to turn away from the old man’s nakedness. For some reason this felt odd to him, but he didn’t understand why.
“Good day to you, son,” the old man said as he landed on the ground, “how ye be?”
“I don’t know,” the young man replied as he stood back up, “I don’t know who or where I am.”
“Does it matter?”
“I think so… I guess I don’t know.”
“Well, then maybe it don’t matter all that much. I believe what I say and I say what I believe and I believe you are who you think you are and that’s all that matters.”
“I don’t know what to think though.”
“Think whatever you want to think, man, this is a free world! No one ought to tell you what to think or who you are, you should just be.”
“Be what? What’s your name old man?”
“Name? What’s in a name, my good man? I am who I say that I am and that’s all that I am unless you want to tell me different.”
“But I want to know my name! Maybe it’ll help me understand who I am.”
“I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.”
“What does that mean? I feel as though I’ve heard that before.”
“As well you should have.”
“Why should I have heard it before?”
“You tell me.”
“If I knew I would have already told you! Are you mad?”
“I don’t feel mad, do you think me mad?”
“I believe I do.” The young man was beginning to feel the pulse of a headache. He didn’t understand the riddles this man spoke in and he was beginning to feel wary of his company. As no one else was around, though, he didn’t beg him off. “How long have you been here?” the young man asked looking up the rock and sand face of the crater edge.
“Either a moment or an eternity, one can never tell in a place such as this.”