Still alive; I often wonder how. It’s been a very long time since that first coffee at the corner cafe. I still remember the cappuccino double- shot, and the rush that followed. The world was electric and I saw the neon signs light up my path.
The problem with electricity is eventually insulation wears thin, circuits overload, and either a breaker pops or wiring burns. Reckless, the odds were never in my favor.
A brilliant mind once wrote that as I Time. That line of thought took an individual as a single observer at a fixed point in an endless line. He was close. Time as a unit of measure, as a distance between two unknowns, a thing without a constant… Compressed into words on a page.
Everything is related, especially believing in the wrong answer. That’s the most important thing. Believe and you can live forever. Doubt and you will anyhow. You are the question mark, not me, not them, and not time.
I woke up this morning with a splitting headache; Bloodshot eyes with blurred vision, capped off by a dry cough. The familiar joint pain was missing. It would come back soon enough. Like a missing limb my suffering from torn and dislocated ligaments was a ghost pain carried over from a previous point.
I’d travelled again. Must have died suddenly and without seeing it coming. That shit happened on occasion. No matter how long you travel some things still catch you off guard. At least we didn’t suffer. Suffering sucks even if you know it has an ending.
As I laid there the slow movement of a ceiling fan cast a flickering shadow across the ceiling. Three walls were in my range of vision. There square angles joining in uniformed lines. There were doors on two of the walls. One door an obvious wider cut than the other, but both of the same height. One window was on the third visible wall. It was shuttered tightly against the outside. Still cracks of daylight filtered in bringing with it flashes of movement, rhythmic back and forth in a fixed position. Traces of green carried in as well with a soft sounds of a breeze.
I was glad that there are plants here. I was also glad for a closed room quiet and undisturbed.
The fourth wall I could sense without looking. The soft downward movement from the fan above blowing much stronger at my back. The cool force of the walls nearness reassuring enough to ignore for the moment.
I imagine that a picture or painting there. No sound of a muffling tapestry or curtain. Crazy the things you learn to listen for.
The absence of cobwebs or animal dander in the rest of the room even more reassuring.
The bed I awoke in was unscented. The pillow beneath my head and lain tightly stuffed beside my arms were covered in a solid gray-blue pillowcase. These too lacked any smell or staining from use. By the amount of room I felt, a definite queen size bed. A pillow top liner, simi-firm. The temptations of closing my eyes and going back to a dream filled world overwhelm. Everything has a purpose, a reason, a connection even if you can’t see it.
We apparently are male, single, or at least recently so for a period long enough to remove the essence of the more pleasant sex. As a male we are clean, moderately organized with the routine of doing laundry.
Even the absence of dust spoke of organization, maybe even a means of income to support the payment of a maid. Something in the feel of the room told me no to the maid, no to a mother figure, no to any outside influence.
It was always important to understand things without relying on a host’s memories. Memories lie, sometimes tainted by previous lives experienced elsewhere, or even falsely placed by the pressures of others.
Never trust a memory. They are just the dreams of another world. I know.
Regret is the daughter of hesitation.
We fumbled around the bed and found a familiar metal and glass instrument. Another luxury of a distant world, technology of a smartphone.
A quick check of the alarm and calendar I am surprised to find the host on his off days. Nothing scheduled, no anniversary or birthday, no bill due, not even a note to perform some task or hobby.
“What the hell,” we said. “Time for another nap.”
And so it is.