We pull up to a house – my non-descript comrades and me – and climb out of a van with plush, velvet seats and a smooth leather steering wheel. Who are these people I’m with? Their faces blurred and blank – oval clay heads I call my friends, my lover, or siblings. Maybe even my enemies, despite the comfortable acquaintance which leads me to full them toward the single-level house…
Only inside, there are three levels. Are we on the side of a cliff or mountain where the stories drop down one side until they hit a vast, flat backyard with lush emerald grass and a sparkling aquamarine pool. I want to live here – is the house for sale?
I wander with a faceless friend, who opens closets and peers inside. Musty coats and jackets hang cramped together. Decade-old wrapping paper stacked atop wooden shelves.
Until there is a narrow staircase which lures us through the door to a downstairs cavern lined with shimmery white stones and a hearth adorned in fire. We walk past this mysterious room, searching for something more. In the distant hour, the rumbles of thunder erupt a splitting crack as if the world is being halved in two.
And it is. I feel myself falling, falling, falling through open air, my fingers whipped by the sharp breeze that stings my bare skin. My beating heart lurches and freezes in fear while I wonder, is this the end?
It isn’t. Thin, leafy branches catch my soaring body, grasping for me with their ample limbs, but to no avail. With a thump, I land on the ground of an open field brushed with gold and lavender grains. Where is everyone? They are gone. I worry about snakes slithering beneath the tall grass and think to myself, I have to get away from here. There is no sun, but the sky is blue and somewhere far away there is a gray road where a car might come if I hurry fast.
I break into a run toward the road which stays on the horizon no matter how far I go. Why is this happening? This crazy field, the out of reach road. How can I make it stop. Come closer. Go away.
I run up to a fence, where there is a barn on the other side. A tattered, dilapidated barn that once was burgundy red, but now hunches over as a rotting brown. This place can’t be safe, but against my will I move closer to the swinging door with squeaky hinges that cry out as the wind rocks them back and forth. Back and forth. Back and forth. There is a persistent urge to find what’s inside…
And just as my fingers lightly touch the aged door, a chime sings to me from behind. When I turn away to see the source, my eyes are opened to the pitch black room where my alarm is reminding me it’s time to wake.
– Written on March 25, 2012