On the approach of the eighth anniversary of his late father’s passing from the familiar realm of the everyday material and irrevocably off into the unknown, a strange yet less than startling dreams occupied his time. So vivid and visceral in impression that he became convinced that he was wearing an old pair of light cotton lounging trousers. So assured was he that he swore that he could clearly see their dark blue on light plaid pattern! An accompanying degree of embarrassment when he subsequently approached his own closet in daylight hours much later to find this same pair upon a hanger completely undisturbed,
The portion of the dream that had left the strongest impression on him had him tailing a small party of some six or seven upper middle class individuals. A smartly dressed set who were wholly occupied with remaining together as a fast traveling group while quickly entering a side door of a theater. A moment’s hesitation on his own part passing quickly, easily dispelled by simply just falling into step behind the last of their party. The lure of walking into another more modern version of a nineteen-fifties chrome and wood grain Formica decor being too attractive a proposition for his first impulse to pass up. The shiny brass easels located about the lobby holding up placards announcing the coming attraction of many former classic movie productions of the past suggesting to him that he might had somehow traveled back into a once well-recalled former era?
The party that he was chasing to keep up with to safely stay incognito diverting his attention back to that task. He was convinced that whatever auditorium he might be led into would have a selection that he had previously seen before. But the adventure of his impromptu travel was to solve the mystery of where the small expedition would eventually end up. A sort of personal anthropological exercise to find out a little more about a class of people that he might have formerly had interest in that he himself might have had some inclination to have wanted to join. What then was the keynote element behind their ease in ever obtaining success and his own bumpkin-like status of missing it’s mark?
Quite curiously, his biggest concern being that one of the group at that point of them all reaching their ultimate destination might ferret him out by the fact of his wearing those blue lounging trousers? The notion that his momentary concern with this element of his appearance was in itself a ‘tell‘ directed at revealing his unearthly status than the artifact itself. How odd that this detail remained in mind for the balance of the day long after waking. Existence in general seemed to be taking on a number of extraordinary cues as of late that one could reliably accept were prescient of imminent future events. An experience not too different than that a detective embroiled in some random theatrical mystery drama might also enjoy. The primary thought in his mind being what was driving the combination of these mini-episodes and to what ultimate purpose? Was this a test in fully exploring the full capabilities of his own latent intuition? Or some acknowledgement of the identity of the universe that had previously birthed him now revealing its own existence in March hare fashion? “How odd?“, he found himself repeatedly reciting to himself aloud.
So much about his own smaller surrounding universe was as well? The picture puzzle fit of the constant interaction of his fellow travelers in the larger tribe of humanity for instance. How odd that one could not reconcile within themselves a close fraternization with certain types without soon becoming uncomfortable, or even annoyed? The major social engines of normalization that impacted large segments of humanity as with those previous years of local public school attendance or the barracks centered life of a short stretch serving in the military not truly affecting one’s old natural preference. There was a certain kind of person that he liked and a particular type of female that he could quickly become attracted to, or even fall in love with. How could it truly be explained beyond the same old tired trite often repeated excuses? These cliches could not explain why the particular parts of a given female might send him into the frenzy of desire while a vaguely similar configuration transposed on another chassis might summon scorn or derision? Or maybe even a sense of horror!
Yet here he supposedly was in an ethereal situation, bucking the system while trying to seamlessly infiltrate another remote strata of human society just for the Hell of it! Not really having anything lasting to gain from the experience save for realizing that he had come to the party inappropriately dressed? “How odd?“, he mouthed to himself again, indeed! This interlocking enigma of existentialism in the formal sense of implicit boundary versus taking the chance to enjoy further freedom. But only at a cost! Risking discovery and embarrassment from the threat of humiliation that like an inflexible penalty would surely ensue. Something as inevitable as the over-dramatized influence of civil or criminal statutes that if you were caught would demote you to a perpetually damaged status in the figurative ‘eyes of society’. Yet in the waking world of modern urban existence, these chances had to be faced everyday with the hope of proverbially getting ahead?
The fact of noting upon waking that the leggings that had been so clearly noticeably familiar turned out to be a set of sweat pants a vicarious slightly disturbing realization of the close affinity of the two closely adjacent realms of dreams and waking life. One wondered with the fact of such realizations, was it possible to circumvent them by using this awareness to discover a ‘side door‘ to some yet undiscovered realm? And then, would one have the chutzpah to attempt it? Would one get caught up in the vagaries of some Jules Verne type of saga drilling down their progress in the direction of the center of the earth only to be spit out unceremoniously back where they originally started from? It sounded to him a lot like that enigma that most people tagged with the word Karma. A cosmic pinball machine where he like other equivalent players were forced to enjoy the status of a shiny steel ball routinely put through it’s paces in an active energetic environment. But equally incapable of escaping that particular game.
Was the limit of his own imagination and his capacity to recall some of its machinations the fundamental contributing factors to the operation of the game that he found himself daily immersed within? All these damn questions stifling experience! Robbing it of any chance of enjoying the unexpected. Soon it would be time to go to sleep. And then to surrender again the the possibility of another scenario that at face value would make little if any sense. Time was getting late and he was getting tired. The bed cover pulled back exposing rumpled linen that had not been dealt with for weeks. He climbed in and set his head high up upon the mountain of pillows pulling the flap of over-layered sheet and cover back over him like a sailboat’s hatch. A toss and seconds later a turn and a twist or two and nothing but random thoughts and postulations running over the rocks of his conscious mind. Sleep an elusive proposition as it had been for some weeks now.
The dreams such as they might possibly be still a spectral pinata swinging incrementally overhead just out of reach. Funny how one’s bones could ache from little pains rising to the surface here and there. Time at a standstill for what seemed like hours on end and still no sleep unsettled by the raging tide of incessant thoughts. One could rarely if ever summon that point when the transition was made into that formless undefined space where the residuals of your past existence actively lurk. It was only at the point of or after that one really had any true awareness that this realm had no earthly gravity. The scene was set somewhere filled with characters from someplace. In the dim light of some older rooms his father stood silent somewhat aware of his presence but not stepping forward or offering any special recognition. Whatever drama that was going on seemed not to involve either of them. They were both there simply standing in place waiting to find out what their part was in this scenario, if any? The overwhelming hues of blue overpowering everything.
It was morning again. A rude awakening. The light coming from outside stating that it was too much earlier than what he would have wished for. The blankets urgently tossed off and his legs rolling up in an arc landing in haste upon the dirty carpet beside the bed. That annoying need to visit toilet in his bathroom the most reliable of alarm clocks. How disappointing to find that the growing incapacity of his internals had transgressed his own personal definition from youthful immortality into the slow rot of that all too mortal waiting room of progressively incremental dissipation known as old age. Eight years closer to his father’s final age with eighteen more to travel if he made it that far? That sonorous violin prone melody of life had descended to the sound of mosquitoes buzzing randomly about. Life had accompanied it into a simple waiting game of day to day monotonous existence. The big tasks to be performed in life had been left behind in the dust some where?
The most monumental personage of his past no longer bothered to treat their latest most significant anniversaries with former respect. Showing up alright, but unmotivated to even bother to offer a word. A dusty road alright. But then nothing in current existence could vindicate that anything within his total existence had been right to begin with. The circumstances as of yet unexplained of why he was made to become ‘he‘ and what mortal purpose could there be in collecting persistent memories of somewhat meaningless events diminished by the slow progression of time that collectively served as the key to the mystery of his real identity. Just who the fuck was he anyway? As a kid he seemed to drift towards the persona of an immortal god-like status. One that was here visiting under the guise of an assumed name that the two actors playing his parents had agreed to name him. How could it be that the elemental playthings like emotions and intuition could so easily be overturned in the larger scheme of things to return him to that crystal clear awareness of insufferable vulnerability defeating his will in every action?
The side door had to be somewhere close his sense of futility suggested. In the thoughts of any younger man such a thought would never occur. It becomes hard at a certain point to tell them apart. Yet in youth there was that overpowering instinct to spawn. The attentions of a female to furiously peck at your neck or about your chin looking for completion of that ritual of essential connection. Something that had long gone cold within him. For a young man the promise of this was too much to leave behind. After all it was the dream of every weak man unsure of himself in daily life to stand exposed in the middle of the street armed to the teeth to take on all those that in long term waking reality he had to kiss the ass of. To win the prize of the devotion of another who would gratefully bear his children, ensure the future of his name, and live happily ever after with in an immeasurable inexhaustible state of perpetual bliss. The same script that all the minions of Hollywood had been passing off as an alternate portal in dark auditoriums everywhere for generations.
What had drawn him to that particular door to follow those anonymous others to begin with? The answer was simple. It was that persistent waking dream that all were indoctrinated with since infancy to believe in. That notion that this society was the only valid experience worth following that would reward some and keep others guessing. The side door it offered being blocked with stone along with those of so many ancient Egyptian tombs and temples. It was the idea of same that was offered and not the actual possibility of finding same. All directions leading back quite expectedly to the same point each morning sufficiently rested and ready to sacrifice another eight to tens hours of living to the communal cause of keeping the rat trap going. His door was his own, not their’s. He would have to try to remember next time to discard expectation and not so easily fall prey to following along.