I Got a Story

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    So, I’ve been taking too many Psych classes, and this is what comes of it. I wrote this the other day, and it’s a first draft, so there will be a few changes along the way. Comments appreciated and encouraged.

    Salubrious Content

    As bitter wind creeps through cracks in the window frame, rattling the blinds against themselves, low snow clouds slip through the sky, reflecting pink city sleep. My eyelids flutter, signaling my conscious the opportunity to relinquish its grip on my mind to the unconscious for a precious few hours. The TV lights splash across the room, dully calling polite attention to this corner or that, as Peanut’s parents grumble approval. Absently I click the off button on the remote control, bringing a crashing hush down on the house. I rush to quiet my mind of its unfinished business about the day, and I float away.

    Powdered ground flies under legs confined by air, their rate of movement betrayed by the smooth speed of my activities. Molecules of oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen become palpable, collide with pieces of me, and extinguish on their fall to the ground. I’ve been here before. I’ve chased dragons down these corridors, to depths and lengths, and I’ve come back home. This will be no different.

    Snowy fields give way to an expanding cityscape. Building blocks of concrete and steel materialize as comfort. Home, sweet home. The streets are vacated. The streets spin off. Only remnants of sounds and smells rumble through the empty alleyways. Steam slithers from the sewer grates. I can hear the garbled crunch of rock against pavement under my feet, but the sounds are muffled. Strangled. Squeezing out a death rattle warning. I move on, effortlessly.

    The street I’m on ends in a cross street. At the intersection stands a three story factory. The walls are gray brick, turned red, then muddy, then gray again. A billboard clings to the walls, precariously fallen askew on one side. The advertisement it features consists of a dull yellow background, with once exciting letters asking “Do you remember?” There was apparently more to this inquiry, but the bottom half of the sign has been weather worn to uselessness. If it weren’t such an incredible thought, you’d imagine the ad were worn in certain areas specifically, so that its remaining message were deliberate and abrupt. I begin to remember.

    And as the thoughts come, I’m there. Sitting in the sunshine. My green, if slightly over grown garden, bustling back and forth in the ineffectual May breeze. Perched in the corner of the yard, attempting to go unnoticed, sits a red wagon that’s given its last ride long ago. A red brick where the back wheels used to be. There’s a tire swing, too, clinging to the last vestiges of hope that it will someday have a purpose again, but my children have grown and moved on, and there children have grown enough that an afternoon at grandpa’s isn’t as appealing as it once was, but I understand. I enjoy my quiet.

    As quickly as I was becoming accustomed to this new reality, it swerved into a time that I’d pushed to lifetimes ago. It’s cold again, and a cruel wind is ripping down the street, throwing dust in the eyes of others around. Most head in quickly, but I stay to watch the bus shrink to nothing. There was no one now. Driven away by my ambitions and afflictions. I try to remember something, anything, but loneliness spins round and round my head, like some melancholy chorus that refuses to give in its hold. I turn from that road of regrets and run. Trying to outrun the things I’ve done or haven’t done, refusing to give in to what I know this must mean. Running from where I’d been, knowing well where this must lead. I tire in this nothingness, and suck nothing into my lungs. I stand still and slow my heart. I listen and all of my experiences come into one. There is no longer a past or present or future, there are just the moments of my life, not seen or remembered, but experienced at once, both fleetingly and infinitely p

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