If there’s one constant aspect of universe, a thing that will never change in this or any other dimension, it's that things will always break. Eventually, everything breaks down into component parts scattered to the Seven Winds of Chaos.
This pencil I'm holding, the desk I'm sitting at, my very bones and this planet will eventually split apart into infinitesimal pieces that could easily be sucked up by a vacuum cleaner.
What’s got me thinking about the dust-to-dust feature of the universe? What profound event has occurred to make my brain dip into the vast incomprehensibility of the MEANING of it all?
The van's in the shop having some work done on the brakes. Mostly, it's brake pad replacements.
If my pencil turned to dust in my hand, no big deal. A pencil isn't required to stop a ton of metal, plastic, and rubber buzzing along the highway at 90 km/h. Even with a full eraser on the “safe” end of the pencil wouldn't do anything to slow a van down. And a new pencil doesn't cost $600+ to replace.
From what I can tell, a brake pad is basically a collection of compressed metal dust, formed into a crescent that gets worn away – sliver by sliver – every time the brakes are applied. (It’s likely more complicated than that, but that’s how it works in my head.) This is where my brain came up with “dust.”
That’s what I'm paying for in the in end: dust.
$600 for dust.
That feels a little like a poke in the eye but brakes are kind of a necessity for a vehicle, especially one that I'm driving. Car dealers never sell a car with the option for brakes – they’re part and parcel. And I owe it to pedestrians and other drivers to be able to stop effectively. (It goes without saying; anyone in my vehicle would also be appreciative of being able to stop as well.) I just wish it wasn't such a hit to the bank account! We may all be caught up in the underlying constant of the universe – something I can accept – but why does it have to cost so much?