Sun Sep 18, 2022 12:15

Gradually, over several months and with increasing intensity over the course of a week before the phone call, his dream, his only dream, repeated itself endlessly, even while he was awake. In an instant, upon closing his eyes, the vision reasserted itself. He saw the monster loom over the city, casting an unforgiving shadow. People pointed from balconies and stood frozen, watching from the Brooklyn Bridge. The dream had been with him ever since childhood and he suspected he would soon learn the significance of it’s terrifying perfection. Through a billowy haze of somnolence came a vision of her, of Heaven. What had happened to her? Whole city blocks had been eliminated after they had lost contact. He made sure never to be in the vicinity of their old neighbourhood after the divorce. Certain streets and restaurants were suddenly off limits to him as if they had been physically obliterated. Sudden obliteration phenomenon or S.O.P was to blame, he mused. Even certain songs, or pieces of music, like anything out of Leonard Cohen’s catalogue, could not be listened to without sending him into a tailspin of remorse and angst.

He first met her on the Brooklyn Bridge, the teeming metropolis provided a perfect counterpoint to her face, a face that he had never been able to accurately describe. Perhaps, it could best be described as open. As she took you in with her eyes, it was hard not to feel as if the gates to an unfamiliar kingdom of undeniable majesty had been ceremoniously opened to you. She talked about her childhood mostly, after he had gotten to know her. The scenes she described were vivid, full of textures, sounds and details never lacking in specificity. He listened to her with rapt attention. So perfect were her recollections that they evaded easy re-telling. His brain, locked into the present moment when they were together could not shift gears when they were apart. That was Heaven to him. Her company was the gift of the continuous present. She played the clarinet of his consciousness with expert dexterity.

Heaven forbade him to do many things. She had rules he could not break, lines he would not dare cross. It was her upbringing, the values that her parents had instilled in her. This was her inheritance—the guidelines that she inwardly rebelled against even as they unwittingly shaped her. Being with Heaven was admitting yourself into a world that she held sway over. Heaven could always reach him, whether she was lying next to him or somewhere else entirely; in a car, speeding off somewhere on life's darkly-illuminated freeway. She had his number, even when he changed it or was emotionally unlisted. She knew how to reach him and she knew how to hurt him. It wasn't difficult for her. She could nail him to a cross or cut him down like no other. She was an architect of people. She sized up the structure in front of her and defined its component parts, its weaknesses.

He thought a lot about scale these days. The buildings around him loomed larger or else it was he who felt smaller. The emotions locked in his heart felt deeper, bottomless, and vertiginously angled. He looked down on his memories as if they had linearity as well as altitude. He questioned life's progression like everyone does, his mind's compass spiral-sputtering by the magnetic force of aging—quantum leak, karmic creep. In the past, he felt as though he was living in the dark. Writing turned the lights on. He hadn’t written for fame or acclaim. He hadn’t written for legacy. He had been adopted, he guarded this fact with utmost secrecy, by cerebral parents that did not love him as their own flesh and blood. Chuck concocted so many allegories and variations surrounding his upbringing that he had lost track of them all. Everyone seems interested in venerating their ancestors, but what if the ladder that stretches back in time is rotten? He had the sinking feeling that his ladder was broken and nearing the point of collapse.

Perhaps the seeds of favorable conditions had already been sowed for a comeback. The landscape had shifted. He imagined himself as a infant. First steps would need to be taken as the rest of humanity rocked in its cradle. Text needed a new transmission vector, something faster, more direct, an intravenous injection of linguistic rhythms and patterns. Virtual reality was something more desirable then ever, a place, a cave where people could delve into their own inner-psyche, without the constant interruption of the modern world. Technologies abounded, new platforms vied for life like minnows wading in a feeding pool. Those old agendas, ideas and goals—conflicting cross-currents of desire and ambition—had started taking shape around his mental engineering projects, a preamble to the world-building that he was about to engage in.

  • Cont. Redjeans, Sun Sep 18 12:13
    He felt a sudden need to make a change, to jump on a plane, to change his name, his town, his life. He had stalemated himself, backed himself into a corner by agreeing to Heaven’s proposal. He knew... more
    • Cont. Redjeans, Sun Sep 18 12:15
Click here to receive daily updates
Alpha... Delta... Gamma... Everybody’s smoked.