what grain of truth do I have? what riddle exists that I alone have the answer too? and if I had that secret, could I attain any good of it? would it bless me? would it curse me?
these and others are the questions that observe my thoughts like crows in mid-day. I repetitively ask them to myself each morning as I go throughout my normal routine, knowing full well that repeating them won’t bring me any further to the answers, but at least I haven’t forgot the questions. sometimes I wonder if I’d ever wake up if my alarm wasn’t keeping watch. in fact I keep my alarm on the dresser across the room to motivate me to move otherwise I would with no doubt slap the alarm and drift off into an eternal sleep.
its not the burnt coffee, the noisy sound of barking dogs or rage of morning traffic that wakes me up each day, but the sting of cold water on my face. it takes forever to heat the water up and when it does lasts only long enough for you to want it more. some how it’s siren call leaves me in the shower far longer then I want to, eagerly waiting for the return of the warmth. once the warmth leaves it never comes back. each new day I have to convince myself that it won’t, only then can I move on with my day.
I’m ready for work.
sometimes I count homeless people on my way to work. in the background the stereo forecasts stocks as investors rally this way and that. in my mind counting homeless people is the only way to judge the economy. sometimes if I’m in a particularly altruistic mood I’ll try to imagine their childhood and what caused them to sit out on the streets. other times I’m content with judging them because I own a car and they don’t.
I arrived to work.
I take every opportunity to make copies that I can. my passion for it is not at all motivated by an obsessive compulsion or an urge to inform everybody of everything, but only to hear the soothing sound of the machine at work, slowly caressing me into a daydream or an epiphany. I went to school so that machines could work for me.
its now that I remember my dream.
last night I dreamt. impressive considering that my insomnia usually entertains me before, like a car crash, I’m thrown into a deep coma that I never fully recover from.
this wasn’t the first time I died. I’ve dreamt of getting shot or falling to a horrific death but this was the first time that my dream went passed that. in fact I was already dead when it started. I’m not sure how I knew I was dead, it was either the crippling gut feeling or the haunting fog but nonetheless my consciousness, sub-consciousness knew I was dead.
at first I find myself clawing the ground like a blind man in a sea of fog. soon my vision quickened and I found myself in a desert. across from me was a lion. despite being in my dream world, I knew this lion could kill me if it wanted to. I was trapped by a desert in all directions next to a lion whom if it felt itself so inclined, could eat me alive and all the defensive moves I picked up as a kid would do nothing to save me.
it felt like a job interview. hesitantly I stared in its eyes, not know whether to look away out of respect or to keep on staring out of… respect. I decided to keep on looking because the moment I stop looking is the moment it lunges toward me.
here I was a ghost facing the shear awe of God. the lion knew it could destroy me. I think it was almost charmed by that fact, but it insisted on sitting. I knew if it came towards me I would descend towards Hell in an instant.
it yawned. I didn’t know whether to feel insulted that I didn’t command the respect of this lion, even if I was to be eaten alive or to feel relieved that maybe it didn’t plan on eating me. I was kind of disappointed to be honest. what’s it for a dead man to die twice? at least it would put me out of my misery.
then it stood. oh yes, all the postmodern thinking in the world meant nothing in an instant. suddenly I felt relaxed, my never ending thoughts finally began to shut up. I had confronted death, I had confronted mercy. I didn’t know why and for once it stopped bothering me.
to my amazement it started walking away. there was no real way to tell but in my dream world I was sure it was north. where ever it was it was directly opposite to wear I was sitting. I decided to follow it. it wasn’t really a choice at all, I felt compulsed, partially by the desert I was surrounded in and partially because of this new friendship I had began to form. in wouldn’t have bothered me if it would have purred, growled or even roared from time to time but the fact that it made no sound at all bothered me. weren’t lions supposed to roar or something? well what am I saying, I’ve never seen one outside of a zoo, I wouldn’t have any idea of what to expect.
if it wasn’t a dream the trip would’ve seemed longer but for some reason time elapsed quite quickly. the desert never disappeared but instead the fog gave way to trees, mountains, and water. before long I realized I was never in a desert but I was standing on a large beach. a head of us the fog waned and a giant castle rose out of the ground. I wish the image that we all have of castle from picture books would do. but maybe it was that fact that something lived in this one or the fact that this was dream, either way the image was incredible. it sat like those from fairy tales a top a snow peaked mountain with a roaring moat and draw bridge. its spires were complete with flags that seemed more like birds hovering over one spot then flags at all. it was idealistic, yet realistic. its not at all like an amusement park where despite the wonderful illusion some part of you knew this isn’t real. this place wherever it was felt real, like you could trust it not to disappoint you.
finally we reached the doors. I was distracted by the moat before I finally looked up. and what I saw I was not expecting. you know that picturesque door that stands before every image of a castle you’ve ever seen? that one that enemy armies fruitlessly attempt to knock down in movies, that one that can withstand hundreds of battering rams? well it wasn’t there. in its place was a huge stone wall and at my feet a tiny door. its scale could be compared to one of those fisher price houses with the small plastic doors that inhibited adults from bothering you. I knew the gates of Heaven were narrow but this I truly didn’t expect. Why only a kid would be able to pass through this door.
like a cathedral church bell that thought continued to ring in my head until I was roused from my sleep by the structured, yet chaotic sound of my alarm clock.
finally I finished my copies and went back to work. feeling alive is a strange thing to a dead world.