OK, here I be. The oldest non-melting snowflake in the room. Enemy territory? Or just the new providence of recently cemented wishful Utopia’s of other strangers? Who along these extended table takes their writing as an art to be practiced in a temple? A structure sanctified by the quiet inbred much larger sanctuary of daddy’s well financed empire? Or mommy’s perpetual ire with same? Unfair, perhaps? But then the expected saga of eventual degradation come of advancing age and the fact that one’s most treasured ideals now fall so swiftly out of currency. Something that does tend to inspire the baser emotions of envy as well as an insatiable desire for more.
How then can one unfurl their own dusty long unused banner of personal realities now defaulted to an antechamber of unrealized ambitions? That tiny little fragmentary soul so popularized by the denial of the Walter Mitty like existence within? So many questions making one aware that the larger half of life is yet to be discovered! Yet one is bereft of the luxury of eternal time. And that is why the crystal menagerie fears the heat! The bulk of indifferent bodies grinding down heavily upon previous eras with their hive-like intellects in ensemble in order to create the dust of today from the many unrealized dreams of an equally unrealized past.
The Sandman came to the door in the midst of night. No one saw his cloak. The trail of it in the snow than innocuous. Yet the fact of it as some indescribable engine of imminent change not apparent. The obvious result it’s presence being just an empty wind busily at work performing its empty task. An otherwise dead universe illuminated by dreams. Dreams of a special quality that did not bother with the niceties of clear purpose or perpetual regrets. No great life questions posed within its enigmatic meanings. No salving motherly compensations for those mental scars accumulated through daily strife by an uncaring world. This unseen phantom merely a ghostly apparition. A guide engaged by unearthly powers to open random vistas with innocuous keys unblocked.
Reginald forever felt the awkward burden of his name. In a time and town expecting routine ‘familiarity’ that inferred accompanying strictures to demand a lack of polite conventions from all, his three syllables verbally presented in initial introductions seemed to many fatuous to pompous. And thus, unable to inspire any impulse from others that hinted at an ability to attain instantaneous fraternity. A sought after prize that was for him ever elusive. That personal desire quashed by constant public display of easy faked virtue where all safeguarded their public position within the larger pecking order by fitting easily into a mold. He dare not slake the notion that he could ever be accepted into this club. The hollow ring in the tone of other voices pronouncing his own name to him so often sharply harsh in its resonance. These introductions leading to clammy limp hands and purposefully averted gazes regretfully offered. The subsequent blank stares past him through the balance of the night suggesting that he best remain invisible.
Somehow within this communal buzz of conversations within the room, he found himself adrift. The bark of his own arc navigating the crowd with sheets flying freely in the wind. Headed eventually for a reef in an inevitably lonely corner. That proverbial bit of sand poking up through the vast ocean where the errant;s of society were quickly marooned. How he wished he would have been saddled with a ‘Pete’ or a ‘Bill’ by his fickle parents! How life could have been so different in the blissful banal equality of everyday mundane and humble beginnings! Never required by awkward silence to explain his origins but be simply expressed in one syllable. “Oh to mindlessly succumb beneath the waves of mediocrity with the rest in the restless sea of faceless humanity!”
At that point Reginald saw the ground quickly dissipating beneath him. His toes now solidly planted upon the all too familiar carpet at the side of his bed. Another day, another morning, another hope, and another regret! “How could this be possibly so?“, he thought silently to himself? His mind probing carefully in a manner to reconstruct the dream carefully avoiding any light streaming through the window opposite his rumpled covers. Point by point he tried to hold on tight to the reins of this rebellious mare of the night. His grasp becoming tenuous as each premise dissipated quickly like gouts of fog plunged into warmer mist faded before he could line them up coherently for proper assay.
“What after all was the point?”, he thought, “My name is Bob! Who in the Hell was Reginald?” A random alter ego summoned by his ever-restless id? Or just some random cantankerous animus hopping from existence to existence within the dead of night playing its mischief upon hapless sleepers? His inquiry into the mystery of human existence now waylaid in a hasty caravan to the toilet. The peremptory daily itinerary of another day of mind numbing work from 9 to 5 holding sway over all.
The voice that resides within the mind that will never touch my lips, nor kiss the ears of others. Resident within the deeper paragraphs that have unconsciously been supplanted by the popular sagas of Star Wars. A soul! But not one that was fashioned by me but by the collective fabrications of others. A framework handy to lay my skin as scavenged off my eviscerated carcass so as to dry out and be expertly tanned. And perhaps one day ceded to be honored as a garment to be worn upon the shoulders like a bear skin might in ancient tribal chambers. A lace for great warriors to sweat and soak beneath as they sup from the peace pipe of their elders.
Who can say what transpires in such a lodge? A fabled place that only resides in the mind for strangers. Those who no one knows. The anonymous names of the power brokers never to be spoken aloud. The place to enact the selfless collectively planned Utopias for all others. Fatal realities for many all to suit their passing whims. This temporal fantasy not of my own making. But in the minds who call those others, “They.” No possible connection to a hint of communal reality beyond the next year, the next decade, or some place in the sense of future congealed within an author’s mind. Yet cogent in the heart, the fate, the sense of destiny built within urban tales. Like a rock turned over to suddenly see a mirror reflecting one’s own image back from the most unlikely of places. A remote subterranean prison where the cill of damp sweat fills one’s nostrils like camphor. One that after many years of the same abruptly comes to a halt delivered with the terse words, “Sentence served!”
“If you want to know the real deal . . .“, he said. “Then come with me and I can tell ya!” The prevailing Winter wind sang it;s wailing chorus down a fabled street dedicated to well-heeled dreams. That one called, “Michigan.” Fakirs and mendicants, old black hobos and young toughs all on the make. Trimmed like Christmas in ornamentation of Salvation Army finery thrice used and threadbare. Some sporting new Nikes hands on the throttle of a carefully creased magic marker corrugated sign spelling out down and out. Flat on their ‘keisters‘ like like oriental Caliphs. Riding stationary upon cold pavement upon carpet squares and blankets and old cardboard signs. Positioned on the wayside of wide sidewalks. Some with heads deferentially bowed in professional courtesy to potential customers. A strategy demonstrative of pecuniary hopes of deriving an equal measure of monetary respect. Tolerance of there disruptive presence based upon a studious anointed silence and staying just far enough away out of sight but never out of mind.
Those deposed to the cardboard now experts in the latest fashion of shoes and cuffs. The dollars falling down from heaven like manna on good days of bitter cold and warmer sympathies. “The real deal!“, as promised by the sidewalk preacher invoked in an angry Old Testament God uncompromisingly jealous of paltry man. Ever frivolous and mean spirited without he seating arrangement allotted randomly in life. Society constantly reordered to groups where one was allotted the ability to diffidently walk past the others who were forced by cruel circumstance and desperation to sit stationary voiceless and wanting. Waiting for the ghost of a chance to change places within the constant draught of unwavering cold.