(NOTE: This is a departure from my normal writing. Bear with me.)
The alarm goes off. The same simple piano melody that’s been waking me up for years now let’s me know my day has already begun.
The horrible forms from my nightmares are already loosening their ties and clocking out. Going home and exiting my memory as I slowly figure out how to get out of the protective blanket cocoon I spun in my sleep.
I sit up in the dark, reaching a hand out to turn off the fan. Sitting up I see a light coming from under the door, my vision blurring everything, makes it look like fire is seeping in.
I open the door and there is no fire. There is another world instead. And there is a storm. A beautiful storm made of various blue tones fading into a dark brown at the eye of it.
The storm is powerful and it sees me. It sees me, it stares into my soul and it turns away, deciding that I may live as it continues on its way. Powerful and beautiful.
I make my way across the soft yet rough surface of the landscape and spot a small Buddha like deity. He does not wave, he does not say anything or make a noise. But he smiles at me. He smiles at me in a way that says, “I love you, I accept you.”
I continue onward until I find another door. I step through. Another world. Multiple suns hang in the sky, blinding me, causing a pain to surge through my temples, shaking my nerves and daring me to make sense of everything. There’s another me in this room. He’s tired, he’s half naked, he’s confused and he is sad. His hair is a mess. I find something I can run through my hair as I attempt to show my double how to fix the one thing I know how from the list of his problems.
The hair is a bit of a battle, but eventually my double figures it out. I turn to look back at the door I originally stepped through to get here. It’s beckoning me. I step through it.
Another world. The world of light and storms and deities is replaced with a dark void. There is no light in this world. No sound. Only a subtle knowledge that there are walls and floors and another door somewhere.
I make my way through, lightly tapping the walls, making sure not to make any loud noises, unsure of what I’ll awaken if I do. There is life in this world, I am aware of it. Is it aware of me?
I find my way to the door. In the dark I find shoes and a coat, as if warning me for what lies out the next door. I step through it.
Cold. This world is cold. It is night, there is no sun, but yet everything is bright. The grass seems to be reflected. Large frozen mounds litter the land scape. And an excited icy wind swoops down from the heavens to embrace me excitedly.
I pull my jacket tight, knowing I’ll be in this world a while. I see a car, my car. The wind sees it too, knowing that when I get to it, I’ll be away from her. She picks up, tries to slow me down, noticeably frustrated as she sinks her hooks in me, chilling me to the bone, begging me to just lay with her on the cold ground.
I fight it, and get in the car. I know this world. This world is familiar. It is silent when I want it to me, loud when I don’t. It is a world of glass and knobs and panels, and though tiny, it’s a world I have control in.
I activate the vehicle and set into motion across the cold world.
As I travel across it, the world seems to not make up it’s mind as tiny suns pass over head. Light, dark, light, dark. Am I driving down a road or are days passing by in a matter of seconds.
Music plays on the radio. A calming tune that takes my focus off the passage of time. For now it’s me, the music and my tiny world. No one else.
This changes as I near the next door. Lumbering four wheels beasts dump into my world from a road above me. They spiral down in an attack formation and charge along side me as if I wondered into a stampede. They move erratically. Unpredictable. Dangerous. It takes all of what little focus I have left to keep myself alive as I near the door.
I park my car, missing it before I’ve even left it. Exit the car and approach the door. I step through it.
Another world. This world seems lost to me, seems lost in general. It’s a hellish future world where people are trapped in veal pens. Veal pens that go to feed a strange king in a glass throne room.
A wind blows past me. It is warm. It is dry. It feels artificial and it fills me with disdain.
I feeling comes over me as I look over the sea of pens, a feeling that I know which one is mine. A feeling that I must make my way to it.
I follow that feeling and find a small pen with my name on it. I climb in and find a set of screens with a keyboard and mouse. Activating it, I navigate a series of logins and passwords, clumsily making me way to a screen that has a big menacing button on it.
That button says “Clock in”.
I click it and feel a part of my very being torn out by the machine. I sit. I will be in this world for a while. I know. But I’m stuck here now.