I walked among clouds of stars. I floated over an ocean made of cloth. The suns of this unknown world cascaded down the twilight sky, as if the gods of the forgotten past held them as gifts for all to see. As the gravity of my lucid imagination increased, I nestled my feet in the cool sand of a silver desert. The area was mostly flat with swift dunes of unearthly sand. I looked around and gazed at my surroundings with incredulous amazement. I saw people of different cultures and diverse customs walk towards an unknown destination. They all seemed like me: mesmerized, enlightened and speechless. We refrained from interacting with each other, as we were all in our own world; so to speak. This was the realm of the pure dream. This was my dream.
At least I think this is a dream. There couldn't be place like this in the real world. This had to be a dream, but even for a dream it was almost unbelievable. Never had I seen such beauty. This scenic realm of solace was only obtainable through my eyes. Neither the words from a great poet nor the music of a passionate composer could ever recreate what I saw.
The travelers of this metaphysical plain continued walking through the endless, cool desert, extending their hands to a beauty unknown. The air was crisp and refreshing, like the morning air of a mountain peak. Gradually, as I ventured with them towards the horizon, I felt the sand underneath my feet disappear; replaced by perfect tiles of chiseled stone. I looked down at my bare feet atop the new terrain. I lifted my head and noticed that the people around me had stopped walking.
They stood with their eyes closed, their heads lifted towards the sky. Then suddenly, one by one pillars of light appeared in front of each person. A column of light shined in front of me, extending to the serene sky above. The illuminated wonder was powerful, but yet it did not blind me. Instead, it allowed me to focus my vision towards a single point within the pillar of light. Standing in the center of the light was a woman draped in the garments of divine attribute.
She gazed upon me and extended her hand. As I moved closer to her, the light that surrounded intensified with brightness. I saw her white metallic hair electrify with the surging power of the light. Her hand grasped towards my reach. I tried to touch her, but I could not. There was some force keeping me from her. She began to float and rise up towards the sky. I knew she wanted me to come with her. I tried to get past the unknown bind that held me, but I could not move. The other people around me floated up towards heaven with their own angels, but I could not. As my angel rose closer to the sky and farther away from me, I saw her body begin to transcend to the next world. The look of serine joy filled her perfectly contoured face as she gave one final look at me. I called up towards her. "Wait, who are you?! What is your name?"
Then, with a beloved smile, she replied.
There was one last burst of white radiance, and she was gone. Darkness began to swell around my feet and the benevolent images around me melted like the tears of a sorrowful painting. The canvas of my dream was blackened into obscure variants of fear and doubt.
I could not go with her.
I could not ascend to heaven without my angel.
The angel of my dreams…Alexia…
I awoke in my uncomfortable bed in my overly spacious room, tiredly looking up at my bedroom window. Judging from the thin rays of light that barely stretched along my grey lifeless walls, I assumed that the weather this morning was overcast. I sat up in my bed lazily. I massaged my neck and looked out my bedroom window, confirming that it was indeed rainy and grey outside. I cracked my back in several different areas as my alarm went off. It's an annoying little piece of tin. I hit the alarm real hard and the visoscreen on my wall activates.
"Good morning." The monotonous female voice said from the projected wall screen. "It is 7:00am. Today is… Tuesday, November 18, 2048..."
"Thanks Mallory, I didn't know that." I say sarcastically as I turned on the shower. Mallory was the online personality for my apartment computer. One of the only friends I have. I know, it's sad; friends with a computer. I hear her rant on about and new developments and/or notifications regarding work.
"Mr. Riggs has requested that you submit the inquiries for the Psychoneurosis policy no later than 3:00pm this afternoon."
Damn. I forgot about that. "Ah shit…well there's no way that's gonna happen."
"Do you wish to send a respond notice?"
"Ummm, no just forward the message to Donald. He'll send Riggs the assessments. Then he'll see why I can't have it ready. That will give me some time to work out a bullshit extension."
"Very well. Message forwarded."
The temperature for the shower never worked. I constantly send complaints to the building manager, but they never send anyone to fix it. Now I'm used to waking up and taking cold showers.
As the water streamed down my body, I imagined Alexia touching me. I could almost feel Alexia's finger tips run along my back. Her soft, bodily features pressed against mine.
Her hands cradled around my torso…
I shake off the dream and lean over the sink while dripping all over the bathroom counter. I stare at the reflection of a lonely and hollow man. As I stare at my vacant duplication, I couldn't tell if my reflection stared back at me. Somewhere…out there is a version of me that enjoys his life; that wakes up every day satisfied and content with who he is and what he has become. I believe this because that is everything I am not. There are people in this world who are not like me. Those people are the ones I see every day. They talk of obscure devotions and two-dimensional love interests.
I am not those people.
I am the reflection of another; the tragedy to the comedy; the pessimistic to the optimistic; the darkness to light; the overshadowed realism to the sugar-coated storybook.
I never wanted to be these things. I desire much more than my life has given me. I have only truly lived in my dreams…I died here in this world a long time ago.
I walk out of my bathroom and get dressed. I throw on my pathetic clothes and grab my cheap-ass coffee. I make sure I have my things and I head out. I open my door and look down the grey, lifeless interior of my apartment building hallway.
Artificiality…that is what my apartment exudes. That is the perfect word to describe my home: a building void of anything living (Plants, pets etc.). This of course includes people.
Both figuratively and literally.
You'd think that would be an exaggeration, but ask anyone about the story of room 457on the fifth floor; the one about the old couple and the lingering smell of decomposing flesh. Thank God I live on the tenth floor.