I’ve been here before. I have sat in this same dust covered, mildew eaten chair. I have gazed out across this same room with its piles of magazine and newspaper stacks. I have taken pride in the organized rows of books that younger hands once carefully placed upon now collapsing shelves.
My dry blood shot eyes watch as the dust falls. Layer upon layer sediments of time flow down from their unseen creation. Still I sit and watch this world evolve, and I am satisfied.
A game of chess. Each volume and periodical but a piece upon the board. Every mote of dust a single move across this limitless chasm of creation. Alpha and Omega, beginning to end, the Lord plays on.
We are but observers, Watchers who share in the one body. All share in the glory or at least we should. Some walk away or turn a blind eye to the match set out before us. Spoiler alert. God wins with or without your patronage. Your choice is to accept the win or loss.
I am sorry. Distracted by the vastness of reality my mind wanders.
I do love the soapbox, and the ancient sage easily slips into conversation with the limitless unseen voices of this world. Sometimes I forget which one I am talking with or do I mean to?
So how are you doing? I see that you’ve bought yourself a new fancy since last we visited…
Everyone knows they’re never as good as the last one you had. Things are cheaply made so you will have no choice but to get another. The box it was packaged in is often of higher quality. It’s a little bit of the evil this “modern” life tempts us to accept. You should vote with your money and learn to do without. You’d be better off.
Off on another tangent. This world is full of distractions. If you don’t notice different things then what’s the point in smelling another rose. You need something to reference it to.
The Dreamer dreams beneath a turquoise sky. White foam floats as a silky sheet across the sun warmed pillows of sand. The white noise of the wind mixes fluidly with the birds of the air and gentle sounds of the rippling waves.
The Dreamer dreams, day becomes night.
The flash of light and sudden blaring of a horn startled the man in the grey suit into wakefulness. He had drifted off for a second into some partial memory.
With another blast from the asshole behind him the grey man took his foot off the brake and slowly accelerated on the gas. In his heart he knew that what he really wanted was to hit reverse, and turn a small moment of time into an epic spree of self discovery.
“Fucking asshole” muttered the man to himself. “Fucking world of assholes.”
The Sage was having a rather mixed day. He was slipping in and out of the differing realities so quickly he barely had time to let the ink dry between pages. That’s the usual come the first days of spring. Rebirth brings an extra energy to the writing that the long cold winter lacks.
Pat watched as the kids helped set up the shooting line as the other adult volunteers manhandled the oversized targets into position. The gate was placed at the distant far end of the lineup. A slightly pear shaped woman shouted out commands from that location. It was for that reason Pat had placed his chair a good distance further down the field from the other spectators. She was really loud, and she loved blowing that whistle.
“I imagine she wanted to be a life guard as a teen”, Pat said out loud.
“Let’s see if that’s true”, the sage replied to himself. With the practiced flip of the wrist the book before him flipped open.
Never mind what you are thinking because you’d just become confused. The ink stained sheet of parchment that was being was never but the book was, and is for everyone present. That at least until it’s no longer. You see…
Her name is Dottie, or Dorothy depending on which frame of time she thinks of herself. Presently it’s Dot. Just a small spot at the end of a sentence.
Dot took another long blow at her whistle making both the Sage and Pat wince.
“Anyhow”, The Sage continued muttering to himself. “It says here teen Dottie had a strong passion for David Hasselhoff, and some of the others from Baywatch. So it’s a fantasy rather than a desire to actually become a lifeguard.”
With the reading of that knowledge and a slight unseen twitch of a big toe the plain covered manual labelled “Comas, Dots, and Quotation” disappeared. Elsewhere in the vast library a sharp sound of a book upon a falling book could be heard.
From somewhere overhead a disembodied voice spoke, “That ruined the cool factor of what you did”.
The Sage just rolled his eyes.
It has been awhile since our last visit to the Doorman and his doormat.
“Yes, it’s been quite a long time since anyone has come to visit”, the Doorman spoke out
“There’s a reason”, said The Sage, and with that an unseen door clicked closed and locked. “I really must remember to close those passages behind me when I go out.”
It is here, during these dark hours that my mind seeps out. Finding escape through the dark portals of the ears, eyes, nose, and mouth. Blown upon invisible traces it is drawn into the voids and recesses of the world. I hear all. I see all. I taste all. I smell all. Yet I do not touch and so do not feel. Without knowledge of hot or cold, pleasure and pain, I do not know all. I am just another lost spirit without understanding. Corrupt incorporeal. What is this thing that has value without meaning? Desire without purpose? In the darkness it loses all boundaries. Yet in its dimensions curls in upon itself. Then in fear that which I would be returns back to what I am. Binding back to the flesh that we so often wish to flee.
I’ve been here before. I’ve sat half reclined, half slouching, vainly attempting to find some form of relaxation in this mildew eaten chair. I never find it.
Dust and cobwebs drift down from the dark shadows of an imagined ceiling. Imagined because in all these years not once have I taken the broom and searched out it’s existence. No, I will never attempted to discover it’s ghost like presence. It shall remain forever lost above the mass of entwined strands.
Life is easier if you sometimes ignore the less desirable aspects about ones person.
Here I shrug.
Somewhere a voice reads out the R value of a thick matting of cobweb and it’s insulation value; elsewhere a fire-marshal demonstrates the science of combustibility.
Outside, time moves on. Random sound flickers past unseen doorways. Abstract chittering between salesman and stooge, crooning dove, obsessed parent, a life of lost hopes and dreams filtering in. The vibrations of sound disturbing the thick muffled air of the room.
More dust and cobwebs float down.
I do not care. I’ve been here before. I will be again.
Words float about filling space in the soft white. Pages press together from single lines. Slowly at first. Unable to gain foothold upon vacant.ground. Eventually enough sticks. Eventually enough binds together to form what can best be described as…
Dust bunnies blow about. Stirred up by the faster currents of air along the floor boards.
Warped wooden boards mismatched in grain bend. Between tongue and groove the air swirls around new tracks. Trails of rolling tumble weed bound. Piling into bands beneath stool and table they build layer upon layer. In some perfect reflection of the ceiling above this miniature world will conceal what lies below. Perhaps I too will then disappear. Never again seen or ever searched for. Lost beyond the reach of the mind.
Just a few more days. If I can hold out for just a few more days then the minutes carrying me up to that moment will be forgotten. I keep telling myself that. I don’t believe it. I can’t believe it. I’ve been here before, sat in this very same chair. I’ve watched and witnessed an eternity of failed attempt’s pass by. Nothing ever changes. Not even the name.
The Traveller sat dumbfounded. How was it he had managed to become lost in such a familiar world. The directions and landmarks had been worn like an old cow trail into his brain. Yet for some reason he had managed to make a misstep. The Traveller had become lost. Standing in one place and waiting for a rescue was not an option. Panic wasn’t an option either but it was going to be.
“What the fuck…”
Pat sat disinterested in the menu before him. The choices were many but the flavors they offered bland. The same old thing with the the same old spices. Pat was sick of the choices. Pat was ready to go somewhere new even if new was some greasy meal wagon in the slum side of town.
“Change would be worth a case of the shit’s’.
The Sage sat tensely in his seat. His body rigid, head bowed, forehead covered in sweat. On occasion the old scholar would let out a low groan, then catching himself making the noise, he would shift uneasily in his seat and clench his hands in pain. Before him sat a book opened to a grotesque drawing of the large intestine. A bookmark dutifully protecting his place.
From one of the dark and disembodied corners of the room a familiar voice was muttering.
I have been here always. Knelt before the same wooden altar. Bathed my mind beneath the ever shifting light of stained glass. I have read and pondered the stories that remain framed within those panels of glass.
They are glittering jewels that dazzle the eyes. Drawing the mind into the inner light that radiates out filling the void of the room beyond. Marble floor with the patterned grain of darkened stone tracing out it’s ancient markings from time long lost beneath the sea. Here in quiet remembrance the candles burn, and none but I know why.
The Watcher sat just beyond the doors of the great hall. The large metal rings which had been fastened as the doorhandles and knocker lay flaccid against the ancient wood. Their immense diameter and thickness making anyone’s hand look childishly small. No one as far as the Watcher knew had ever tried the rings to gain entrance to the rooms beyond. He had though witnessed the rare occasions when those within had swung open one of the doors to come out. Usually they emerged suddenly and in silence. The great doors hinges effortlessly giving way, and then with little effort reversing back to the closed position. It was during those random moments the Watcher was able to see the doors construction. Thick as a man’s forearm, and framed with metal bracing within. Definitely stout enough to slow any intrusion of people or sound. As for the room beyond it was shrouded in an eternal darkness, but at the distant end one could just make out a sparkling of jewels upon the floor and a dazzling wall of colored light. The Watcher imagined that between the brilliant glitter of jewels and blinding light a dark figure knelt silently. Any certainty on exactly what lay at the far end was to never be known by the Watcher. Some places he knew well enough to stay clear of. It’s just the way it is.
My mind wanders back to the day I sat watching the slow drifting mirages dance across the hot valley floor. Almost as a dream a desert goat appears munching on dry twigs and leaves. I silently watch as she moves on. Just like the petroglyph that lies close beside me of a goat and the blazing sun. Time immortal, I understand what life is about.
It has been a very long time since I sat staring out the coffee shop window. The last time it had been a rainy day just like today. A full blown gully washer that causes the culverts to back up. On a day like today everything definitely floats down there…
The sky is just one solid sheet of Paynes grey. No white clouds to mark a boundary between the blue above.
Just me and the rain going about or days unchanged.
“I’ve been here before. Sitting in this same room, staring at these same four walls, relaxing into this same old chair.”
The Watcher smiled. It had been a very long time indeed.