I have this memory, subtle at first but then it echoes through all of my bones and it feels like a distant dream. I look around every corner expecting to see my imagination blend with all we believe to be reality. It starts like a movie, the curtains draw and the title passes by on the screen. What is the title of this movie that plays in my head? It isn't known even to myself but I know what to expect, and I have always known what will happen.
Shades of red flash in my mind, it starts to all blend together and I start to see shapes. Squares, rectangles, and even more convex forms and then I see movement. People start moving around and what I can make of them, they aren't happy. They speed back and forth too preoccupied to see what is in the midst of them and then the screen turns black. It remains black for several minutes and all I hear is crying, not from multiple individuals but a single person then, everything changes. I start to see a bright white halo in the distance and it approaches until I see a person emerge in the center. You may think this to be some revelation, but I can assure you that it is not anything close to salvation.
The figure in the center starts to turn blue, a deep blue that shows everything you once loved, then brings it back. The blue turns slender, into a person, a woman, a dress. A young woman with her back turned to me standing up straight with her arms in front of her. Long dark hair falls past her shoulders and a petite dress hits just pass her knees. I look intently, waiting to see this would be angels face. She starts to turn and her dress sways in the wind, she is still looking away, she is happy and as she turns I regret to inform you, all vanishes. Everything starts to turn bright again and replacing the darkness is moving forms and where the girl once stood is now a bench.
Imagine a stereotypical busy big city street that lies horizontal in front of you, now imagine that same busy street is so full of people that you can’t even see the pavement. Skyscrapers are in front of you so high that you cant even see the sky in the distance and the trees around me are taller than the highest building. In separation of the trees and the crowd is a line of benches, and on one bench is a young man, he could have been me, sitting forward, hands clasped and resting on his knees and his hair long enough that I cant see his face. He is wearing dress clothes, white shirt, tie, and nice slacks but bare footed. He looks down as the crowd in front of him moves about with businessmen and women but all remains in black and white other than the green trees behind the young man. The others talk on their phones rush to the paths that lie in front of them and they don't seem to pay attention to this lone man who has no desire to move.
Shapes form right behind this young man and they are floating above his shoulders, no bigger than a backpack but one on the right and one on the left. A hand forms on his left and touches his shoulder, these figures appear to be angels but they appear to be darker, shades of black and grey. The one on his right whispers into his ear and they seem to have nothing mischievous in mind, they put the young man into peace. You focus on his arms and you realize that he is bleeding, for the arms of his white shirt are staining a dark shade of red. His shirt can no longer maintain the moisture and start to fall and drip on the floor. You follow the first drop that touched the ground and it follows an incline, which appears to move toward the bustling crowd.
The young man starts to roll up his sleeves as the blood continues past the crowd and you notice that he has injured himself in a obvious attempt to take his life as slashes follow his veins across his arms. The blood stops in the middle of the crowd, about 20 feet away from the young man and starts to move vertically, disobeying all that is real only to levitate off the bench a few inches. The blood forms into a circulatory system and moves on to make a body, clothed in all, forming the woman from before, the woman in black and blue. She walks towards the young man and the crowd walks around her to let her be in full view of the man and I finally see who she is. The young man looks up; face still covered, and sees the woman. She approaches him and bends over to look at him in the face and kisses his left cheek and disappears. The young man stands up looks up and wings form out of his back, he starts to ascend upwards and the once known busy crowd stops and watches the man. The man continues to move upward and all turns black.
I swear I have seen this woman in my life but my memory is fuzzy. The only memory I have of her is when she asked me why I was so sad. I had no response other than "I was born this way". Maybe this woman is less than what she looks like. But how she looks at the world. The woman has since left what I felt, and has become what I see. Maybe no one feels like I do anymore. Maybe she represents the dying breed of what could be. Maybe he is one of the last dying poets that know emotion more than life but that is only a dream.
My alarm woke me up around dawn but I questioned if I ever actually went to sleep; I lay motionless in bed listening to the next top hit on the radio--repeating choruses, poppy vocals, a catchy guitar tune. I blinked as I thought of the lyrics and what they could have meant but it all sounded so contrived that it was most likely wrote in a pinch using words like hydrated and technicolor. I started to grow sick of the song so I leaned to the side of the bed and turned it off but I remained in bed thinking of what the dream could mean but I remained unchanged.
A twenty something male that just didn't understand what the world was but believed he knew everything was the body I was in. I knew I was full of it but I never actually realized it. I held a successful job and possessed a fancy car or did I dream that? I felt like I was in some twilight area stuck between a dreamy state and real life. I pinched myself wondering if I was actually dreaming. My girlfriend slept under the covers beside me but I couldn't see her but I knew for a fact she was there. I shuffled from off my back and sat up putting my feet on the floor sitting up on the bed unaware of my actions. I yawned and let out a noise that made Aurora move under the sheets.
Looking out of the window in front of me I could see the sun rising on the horizon starting to light up the room we were in. I stood up and approached the window looking out seeing the early birds wake up as well. They started chirping waking up one another and I wondered if birds actually went to sleep or they just get bored of chirping all the damn time. I laughed internally thinking what I thought was funny and smiled but it felt like the first smile I let out for a long time. As I headed out of the bedroom the boards creaked under my feet while I stretched my legs and arms and headed to the bathroom.
I walked through the adjacent room that was connected to the bedroom and then through the kitchen. Everything seemed perfectly normal other than the chess set that was on the kitchen table. Did I even own a chess table or even Aurora? I didn't think we did but I examined the chess set closer and noticed there was a game in session. I sat down where I always sit at the table and realized I was on the white side, which was winning. I moved a bishop diagonally towards the black pieces and got a check on the black King. I folded my arms looking at the table thinking fondly of myself and sighed in approval. We must have started a game last night and forgot about it, well at least I did. I moved into the bathroom. I turned on the faucet and waited to splash some warm water on my face and I gazed into the mirror.
I began to get lost in thought again as I looked at my reflection and it felt like I was in a trance. I felt like I was drifting off to an abstract place where there was not one thing to worry about. Where I was always happy but it felt like it was corrupted with some kind of disease. What if I didn't exist or ceased to exist? What would happen? As I felt myself getting sucked through the mirror I believed that it had already happened. My face stretched back as if I was trying to get through some metal bars like I was in a prison cell from committing a heinous crime. Everything around me got tight as I was sucked into the mirror looking out to the bathroom like a guardian of reflection. I realized how quiet it got once my screaming subsided; within the mirror I had no voice.
Soon everything around me got loose and I felt like I was being withdrawn from the mirror but I just fell deeper. The floor beneath my feet disappeared and I fell loosing my glimpse at the real world; free falling through the unknown. The mirror world was abstract with many odd colors that blended with each other like refracted light. Shapes started to form around me but they did not cohesively blend together. Everything came from a different world and I couldn't understand what I was seeing. Soon the shapes got more detail as I continued to fall to the ground--or lack there of. The shapes turned into skyscrapers as I could tell there were people working inside the shapes once the Windows appeared and everything colored in. I then could see the ground and started to breathe harder. I closed my eyes and covered them with my arms hoping to protect my face from the fall and when I finally hit the bottom, it was comfortable.
Hitting the pavement isn’t ever comfortable in any situation, but when I opened my eyes to see what I hit I noticed I actually didn’t land on the pavement but landed on the padded seats of a bright red convertible with an all black interior. I noticed the car was already started when I moved from the back seat to the drivers’ seat. I revved up the engine a few times jokingly but it started moving on its own freaking me out for a brief second. I put my hands on the wheel and started to turn around a corner not knowing where I was supposed to be. Having fun with the vehicle I noticed there were no other vehicles or even people on the road or sidewalks, the place was a ghost town. Taking more turns in the automobile I searched as many areas as I could but to no avail.
Soon I drove passed a familiar area--not from driving by but from some other time in some other world. It was my dream; the bench, the sidewalk, the trees, the skyscrapers. I stopped on the middle of the road and exited the car to look around to see if there was any evidence of my dream. Just then thunder crashed and pieces of the sky began to fall like burning snowflakes revealing a gaping hole above, completely black and it sucked the sky into it. Much of the sky remained as I continued with my investigation but only the sky stayed the same. I was now amongst strangers pushing me with their shoulders and the bags they carried. Trying to excuse their rudeness soon everyone stopped and looked at one thing and one thing only, me, except it wasn't me. I stood in the crowd and I saw myself on the lone bench ascending to the sky much like my dream and I then saw a girl who was once standing beside him, exiting through the crowd. She came near me and I almost knew who she was, slowly, I said a name aloud.
"Serenity." She glanced at me and we made eye contact for a brief second before she continued through the crowd. How did I know her and how did I even know her name. It seems like in another life I knew everything about her but now, I couldn't think of a single memory. I turned to watch her push through the crowd while the crowd itself gasped and talked amongst themselves as the other me ascended to the sky. Both positive and negative opinions were muttered to the ascending me but there was no doubt that this was a beautiful event. I couldn't help to think that this could either be a vision of the future or worse, the past. Before any other thoughts came to me I heard a horn from an automobile except it was as if my head was under the hood. I turned fast to see the people around me meld into one color and then into a wall and I realized that I was back in my bathroom looking deep into the mirror swearing I could see right through myself.
When I came to I walked back into the kitchen heading back to the bedroom to dress for the day but the chess pieces I saw earlier were now moved in new positions as the chess game continued without me. I pondered on my next move wondering how the game proceeded without me but today was weird enough already I just needed to find the explanation. I moved my pawn forward on the other end of the board letting me go take my queen back which put my queen in a perfect position to check the king forcing my opponent to sacrifice their rook on their next turn. I had the majority of my pieces left with my queen back in my grasp and I offered no mercy to see this game through. Someone knocked on the door, which was right across from me. I looked up wondering who could be here at this time of day. I looked through the window to my left to see that the sun has risen past the horizon and lit up the area I called home. I moved towards the door as the knocking got more frantic and I heard a loud voice forcing to be reckoned with.
"Your car is outside I know you’re here, open this door!" I got a little chill down my spine feeling haunted of who this woman could be. I looked through the peephole to see nobody on the other side. I leaned back wondering what was happening and I heard the knocking again and then a jingling of keys. I immediately looked through the peephole again and saw no one still. I opened the door and looked to my right and left but no one was in the apartments hallway. "Oh my god! No no no no no no no! You can't do this!" I heard directly behind me. I quickly turned around and everything I saw blended together and I saw myself looking back into the bathroom mirror except I was already dressed. What was happening? Everything around me was collapsing and I wondered to myself if I was sane.
"Maybe I shouldn't go to work today." I said aloud as I threaded my fingers through my hair.
"If you do you need to get some things for me." I jumped and saw Aurora behind me in the mirror. "The thing is I left the list at my office so you will need to swing by when I'm working. Remember, it's floor fourteen."
"I remem--" I turned around and Aurora had left already." I looked back into the mirror and noticed something was off. At a closer inspection I noticed something was in my right eye on the right side of it, it was a dark red or even black. I had to look far to the left to see what it was but it was still hard to see it. I tried a couple of methods to see if I could see it any better but it was no use. I started to poke at it and it felt tough and leathery like it was some sort of scab but I wondered if that was even possible. It was tender to the touch as I tried to grab it but it was too flush with my eyeball. I poked at it a few more times to see if there was anything I could do about it and I felt a thread poking out of what I assumed to be a scab.
It stung at first but as I continued to pull it, it felt better like built up pressure being released; it was a relief. I pulled it more and it was like a string unraveling my mind but it was unraveling my stress. I continued to pull it and the string started to touch the floor but it didn't matter because it made me feel better. Soon it stopped and detached from my eye. I looked back directly into the mirror and saw nothing had changed on my eye except for a missing scab. Whatever it was it was no longer a nuisance but as I thought everything was better my left eye started to hurt. I closed it and began to rub it and I scared myself looking back into the mirror. Not knowing what I was seeing I uncovered my left eye to see nothing had happened. My left eye began to hurt again so I closed it and what I saw before was no mistake. My right eye had not only disappeared but it was replaced with some black orb. I looked at it closer and it seemed to suck in the light rather than reflect it. I looked around the bathroom to see everything was tinged with red like blood being splattered on a camera lens. I opened up my other eye and everything went back to normal.
Closing my eye again I examined the apartment hoping something would appear useful like my eye was a portal of some sort. I looked to my left looking at several cupboards but nothing was interesting. Looking to my left I saw the bathtub which had a dark liquid in it--everything was already red, it might of been blood. I focused my vision on the bathtub and I saw myself lying motionless in the tub. My wrists were cut and what I previously assumed to be blood was definitely blood. I looked closer at myself hoping I was just seeing things like before but my body opened its eyes and turned to me and smiled. It's eyes were black as the night sky and began to talk. "How you holding up?" As smoke exited his mouth I fell on my back and pushed myself away scrambling to find some common ground then loosing my vision overall.
I came to hours later realizing everything could have just been a dream. I woke up in my bed lying comfortably between blankets realizing that it was time to head to Auroras work that is if that wasn't a dream as well. Getting dressed I looked out the window to see some form of overcast blocking out most of the sun. Walking back into the kitchen I realized that there was still a chess game going on but I didn't meddle with it. Leaving the house I decided to walk to her work instead of taking a vehicle, as it was relatively close. Taking in a fresh breath of air I closed my eyes and imagined a beautiful day outside which was far from the truth. As long as it doesn't rain I will be fine, I thought to myself. Taking a stroll out of the apartment I walked through the city expecting everything, as it should be.
When I reached the financial district everything seemed to turn differently. There were less people, cars, and animals in the city as the sky grew darker revealing a deep black. I looked up and started to observe the sky and wondered if there was some disaster imminent that I had not known of. I started to loose my breath So I approached a bench and sat down. Gasping for breath I wrapped my arms around me hoping I could breathe better but a sharp pain went up my chest into my shoulders and down my arms. I started to yell because the pain became unbearable but no one around me seemed to care. I looked back up to the sky to see that there was no sky at all but a black universe full of galaxies and stars in the outskirts of what remained of solid ground. I looked down to where I could feel the pain in my arms and noticed there were cuts in parallel to the length of my arms.
I tried to wipe the blood off my arms but the blood just kept flowing down my arms and onto the sidewalk where it pooled into a puddle. As bystanders crossed my path they stepped in the blood leaving footprints on the sidewalk and down the street. Soon the ground was covered in blood and I couldn't understand what was going on. With the trails of red I remembered where the last time it was where I saw this amount of red. I closed my regular eye to access the vision I had achieved through self-mutilation. The dawning of a new beginning and maybe a better life. Everything was red now but a trail of glowing white footprints that led away from me. I got up and bumped through the crowd hoping the trail would be near as I was loosing too much blood. I stumbled along the foot trail trying to keep conscious trying to keep a foothold on common ground but I fell regardless of my footing. Now at a crawl I rubbed my arms against the sidewalk to push me forward. It was more painful than walking but as I tried to stand my legs went limp reducing my grip to the cement. A hand went down in front of me and lifted me up with ease. It glowed dully through the river of red being a bright light blue almost white color I looked up to see a woman in a dress with sorrowful eyes. I knew her name was Serenity but I didn’t know how I knew--she just was--and everything grew bright till I lost my vision again leaving an impression of her face in my dreams.
For the first time I felt good like I was saved for a greater cause. I woke back up at the apartments not surprised to what had been happening. I felt as if this had happened before like some distant dream that I had no recollection of but a feeling of similarity is at my brain trying to tell me that something was missing. In my bed I rolled out to look out the window to see the sun rising again, like it does every morning but I've never been there to see it actually happening. The event in which a star begins to warm the planet that I myself lived on and me alone watched the star rise. Many thoughts came to my head but none more significant than the purpose of life. I played with the idea that maybe these were the thoughts of a dying man but I felt sane and whole and that was more than enough to keep me going. An appreciation for all things living impressed in on my thoughts and I felt as if everything has a purpose even death itself. The brightness of the star rose past the horizon and stood firmly in the nearly perfect sky but then there was an argument but as civilized as it was it sounded to me as a matter of life and death. One voice spoke positively while the other stated an oppositional attraction but the words were the same. I got up from the bed and walked into the next room hearing the voices in another so I moved to the kitchen where the chess game waited for my move.
I examined the game closely and analyzed every move I could make making sure that the next move would be the right one. I looked at one piece to another noticing I could take an opposing piece but it would be my own making at the same time. I soon saw the move, the most perfect move I could make at this moment in time the optimal decision to defeat my opponent--whoever that was. I moved my queen that I had once had lost but claimed again as my own and was glad of my previous decisions to their fullest. The queen faced the opponent’s king trapping him in a corner. Every move the King would make in the future would be the opponent’s demise successfully using most of my pieces to win the game. The very second my queen took her position a soft click of the queen making contact with the board occurred. I saw nothing strange of it at that moment but it echoed through the room and then through the house and the echo returned to me even louder than before. It came back shattering the air it traveled and consumed every thought. I fell to the floor loosing all the strength I possessed and awaited to hit the ground but there was no ground to fall upon. The walls fell over like they were being supported by a fragile wooden brace and disappeared along with the appliances in the room and the chessboard that sat in the middle.
I felt as I fell for an eternity awaiting my demise as I fell into a soulless black pit but it had only been minutes when I made contact with the near as black floor. I looked around and felt I was in a prison of black walls until I saw a dim light in the distance as if it was under a door jam. I approached the light to see that a door was heavy duty and a metal doorknob as it was cold to the touch. The door was hard to swing open like something was catching on another object and after another big push it opened to a big field with a body of water in the distance. I began to approach the water as I looked back to see that the room I was in was nonexistent. I turned back around to see where I was going and the field downsized to show a beach nearby. Between the beach and me were two columns of chairs, which varied to a few hundred of seats with a walkway in the middle. I headed down the walkway and saw an archway in the distance that was on the beach overlooking the body of water and I then realized where I was.
During the late summer, number of years ago, I fell in love with a woman whose beauty was like no other who dressed in the latest fashion. Like the woman she was she grew elegant with her steps as she glided across the floor to meet me. We married years later on the same day we met in a setting much like this. I looked around and I saw no people but I heard noise: I walked further down the walkway to hear the noise was music I listened carefully to determine what song it was. Immediately I knew it was an instrumental and almost as immediately after I knew what the song was. The song has been romanticized as the most classic wedding song in history with its melodic violins and a figured bass, Canon in D Major. I then began to hear voices as well. As the voices began to argue I noticed that there was a table under the archway on the beach where two people sat as angry as they were it was mellow dramatic and passive aggressive in speech. Between two men one of which had a deep voice of a lion. It echoed through the field and was stronger than the other, which was slimy but articulate. As I walked closer to the arch, the brightness of the man who spoke like a lion became that greater of the sun but was quelled closely around him being fed to a darkness. Around the other man was a darkness that was darker than the absence of light but was darkness being consumed by darkness. I got close enough to see what was happening and it was not pleasant to witness. Being separated by a table it was as if that one stood behind all that was good and the other fed off what was evil they mentioned souls as if it was a currency but it was only over one soul in particular--the one that I possessed myself. The darkness incarnate clasped to what I assumed were his hands together and threw out of his possession what looked like dice. The man of light winced and picked up the dice for himself and rolled. I then listened to the song again and all at once I remembered my life in all its glory. All the arguments I had, all the compromises, everything serious, and everything light. I then saw everything that could be; a happy marriage, growing old with each other, making new friends, children, and then death. As I thought of death the two at the table spoke of life and death as if it was small talk and laughed as if they were friends as well as enemies but I soon realized that this was no wedding but a funeral. Canon in D Major may be known as a wedding song but personally I felt it fit better as a funeral song not to mourn my death but to celebrate my life and Aurora knew I wanted this. I wished I would head to a better place but as I looked at the two, the creature of light leaned in towards the table and whispered to darkness incarnate. I did not see their eyes but I knew that they were looking at me, smiling. One for light the other for darkness and they both looked able, corrupt and bloodthirsty.