How much like a waking dream his life had become drifting on lazily without a paddle towards no certain destination. The lack of specificity coupled with the solitude killing any sense of time in terms of day of the week or year. Now a stranger no longer familiar to himself? Bereft of any desire to work towards another of an endless list of newly found goals from his past. The get rich quick scheme mentality of yesteryear had long ago exhausted itself. Just a passive voyeur hanger on to territory in which to flop indefinitely within. The issue of portraying a remarkable personality no longer coming up or being at issue. Here, but not here. Where once he would have sought out his posted reviews in the published literature of the day now he merely paged through any equivalent at hand with a furtive passing eye but otherwise without any sign of emotion. A dead eye. Blindness had set in and text upon the page was now and unexpected challenge. How much longer until his entire world collapsed? He dared not wonder. After all, how alone could a statue be? Now permanently forgotten as if buried under solid stone in a repository of old bones. Save for the animated corpse which still ambled about aimlessly seeking out an old familiar pattern or rythym. How long would this lifeless soulless automaton continue to function? Little did he know that he was a walking opportunity. A convenient fall guy. Or perhaps a needful corpse.
The surveillance society had uses for social burnouts like him. Certainly his SSI # was useful in keeping the plumbing of the big nanny state circulating in a healthful manner. The fact that he still consumed gasoline for his occasional directionless travel held merit. And on more than infrequent occasions a convenient scapegoat to be presented either alive or dead as the official sole perpetrator of some terrorist plot to cover the tracks of a covert special ops unit. Given that the members of that select few could be pre-primed by enlisting amateur talent in the near vicinity to be queried for intelligence about the target and even provide resources to introduce measures designed to further mentally incapacitate the subject to make them more pliable to fitting in the role designated for them. Given the proclivity of Hollywood sequels and subsequent dramas cobbled in a similar paranoid ethic the permutation of these possible situations was endless!
The man in question who was ripe for harvesting in this regard had some years back made it even easier to be considered for admittance into the select ignoble fraternity. It seems that after the death of his father when his ninety year old mother was still alive the two of them had booked an inexpensive tour to a small country in Latin America. It turned out that the hotel’s lobby was the local den on inequity where petty criminals and other home grown scammers would routinely cruise the bar’s lounge for easy marks to relieve of wallets, money and occasionally their lives. More than once the embassy attache would be called down to straighten things out with the local authorities who often were silent partners in some of these gambits.
Perhaps for some of the guests forewarned and warily passing through these casino’s doors this might have provided a story or two for sharing with the images snapped of local color? The man’s inherent naivete in travel had him making fast friends from newly found friends that offered an afternoon’s diversion from the monotony of shepherding his dowager mother about. Unfortunately fast company in this case leading to the man being arrested in a local dragnet and charged as allegedly as a member of the gang. So much for quick rides through the barrio to the gang’s hangout to see the real behind the scenes of the local bandito’s. Had it not been for an elderly new acquaintance of his own mother who had blundered by the local police station where the man awaited his fate fumbling about nin faulty handcuffs, he might not have had an opportunity to send word of his dilemma to anyone that he had been incarcerated.
The elderly matron bustled by him indifferently at first not wanting to get involved with any more trouble that the trifling bureaucratic matter that had summoned her to the station in the first place. But the pathetic look of despair upon the man’s face along with his heartfelt entreaty to spare his aged mother the possibly fatal distress of the unexplained disappearance of her son moved the woman to act on the poor fool’s behalf. She took a side journey to the local consulate and informed them of the poor fool’s plight and the sensitivity involved in handling things so as not to create any more mental distress than possible witht he mother. The man was released with a stern warning that if he could not handle his own affairs in terms of proper judgment of new found friends then he and his aged mother would be best to speedily depart this land back to the safety of their own. Needless to say the man and his aged ward had taken the magistrate’s advice the very next day.
Now of course, with his beloved mother having gone on to meet his father for the period of most half a decade, this incident was all but forgotten. Swept away in the shards of bitter memories of their respective passing’s. The days of enforced forgetfulness becoming a tiresome monotony that resulted in a persistent sense of irritability and conversely into a smoldering resentment when he encountered the work of parties unknown. Discarded weed roaches haphazardly dropped at the entrance to his building’s elevator or careless detritus from poorly wrapped kitchen garbage leaked upon the tile serving as a proscenium for same. The wet spot upon the carpet of the the two cabins within evidencing the urgency of a small dog not carried out all the way through the main entrance because of its owner’s laziness.
The most nagging slight of all was the inundation of parts of his own residence by fumes from a variety of unspecified controlled substances. Generally in the wee hours of a weekend morning the odors ranging from a sweet heavy weedy aroma to nostril throat impacting burnt plastic smells. He might awaken to one of them and rising stagger a bit by the side of the bed as a pronounced ache in his head took hold. The rest of the night then spent in his small three room apartment next to an open window on the floor silently cursing under his breath to himself about his inconsiderate neighbors below. The surface irritability being a cover for a fear that he might not be his own instrument. As far as the strategist minded society was concerned he knew intuitively that he was a microbe to be poked at will in the name of the greater good. The result to him however gruesome perfectly justifiable. The cynicism from his end assuming that this was all simply a self-serving ploy to a narrow agenda by operatives that though he could not prove their existence he felt were present in his vicinity,
The tensions that this internal conflict presented put the man’s constant muse in a different perspective. One more elemental that questioned his own inexplicable motivation to defy his own humanity in favor of the overbearing presence of this persistent force. Perhaps there was a greater drama being enacted where numbers versus the solitary individual did not count? Where concepts were not mutable by whim or shared arbitrarily but issued as universal benchmark that was offered over a lifetime in lesson form. Lessons with seemingly insoluble questions that not only he but his own forebears had been equally challenged by. The schemes of life presented in a material framework that inferred absolutes and solidity but was in fact anything more than a lucid ongoing dream. The eventual awareness of this being defined as madness by the collective that remained willfully ignorant of the question not wanting to take up the struggle to answer it. The manifestation of this supposedly living biped thing that his waking thoughts was housed in being a metaphysical construct as unreal as the notion of past, future and the measure of time. Essentially he being a solitary visitor from a coincidental but inexplicable realm that devoid of anything but a steady if not sometimes rocky sense of incremental change defied the other perceptions. Existence sifted down to a transcendental never waking dream exploring and weighing every possibility in a boundless universe of infinite possibilities. All of them obtainable it seemed by way of focus and choice.
Almost like a theatrical set the pieces of his dilemma magically dissipated, gone as if they had never been. Whatever scenario of a seemingly mutually shared convention ceased to exist as if never dreamed of in the first place. How odd it seemed to the man that this awareness was equally a matter of choosing to continue forth in or default back to the seeming safety of faux comfort that persistent conventional socially driven consensus that in itself now seemed the greater fantasy. Morning had now been in force and the chimes of the wall clock stirred him to surface from his thoughts. “Whose universe really was this?“, he thought. Though he did not dare to voice it aloud out of some sense of caution prohibiting him from feeding his own animals sense of hubris he answered, “Mine!”