dreams and visions

interrupted by Story (part 1)

I’ve been reluctant to post this one in partial form, but it’s reached the maximum length I like to tolerate in a blog post. Hopefully it compels enough to draw some to part 2

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Photo by mysoulmission.org

Like a sliver in the chest. If he was asked to describe the sensation, that’s the term he would use. It was the persistent ache of an invisible shard, placed in the middle. Though it had been years over years since he’d felt it, seemed even longer, Ted knew what the ache was, and he knew from where it came. He also knew the timing couldn’t be worse, so he told this to the ache’s accompanying echo, already peppering his over-occupied mind.

“Now?” he thought. “You’re really going to bring me here now?”

When would you have preferred?

“Oh, I don’t know, maybe after the big client meeting I’m on my way to right now?” he responded sarcastically to the echo or to himself or to the plush interior of his SUV.

It won't matter later, not for this one. But it will still matter to you, only you won't be able to do anything then

“How do you know?”

I know

Ted knew better than to question his own brain echo. And he knew the only way to stifle the confounding heat radiating from a splinter in the heart is to remove the splinter, which meant following the direction it pointed. In this case, it meant exiting the freeway and entering a part of town he hadn’t seen in over a decade.

“This is insane! Why would you draw me in for something crazy like this? Don’t you have others?”

No, I don’t. Not for this. And that doesn’t matter

“Nice to know my life doesn’t matter. Why doesn’t it matter?”

Your life is a bore

Ted was outraged, thought of responding out loud to the stale air, but couldn’t bring himself to do it. He agreed with the echo, whether he could readily admit it or not. Unable to commit to ignoring the splinter, he veered across two lanes of busy freeway toward the exit, eliciting half a dozen horn blares and one profane outburst from the driver’s window of a grey Civic that skidded on drizzle licked pavement as it narrowly missed hitting him.

“I feel ridiculous. Who does this? What am I supposed to tell that client?”

The client will live without you

***********************************************************************************

Torn between fabric and soles, a navy pair of Converse punctuated legs encased in faded skinny jeans. They carried the load of a teenage boy traveling South through the city’s highlands. Faintly, he could hear the rippling of water flowing. He was nearing the river. The water was high; he knew, the time of year, perfect.

Vision from his sunken eyes, ringed in dark, blurred with the deepening of his pulse as he drew closer to his destination. Could he do it? The answer was obvious to him. His pace didn’t slow.

Without choice, his thoughts jumped to his sister, whom he feared would struggle greatly in reaction to the decision he was making. His concern was not nearly a deterrent, but it was enough motivation that he did what he could to shield her from a portion of the pain – a final act of protection for the dear little one. Stretched across his chest, straining the fabric of his ratted black t-shirt, the straps of a pack supported unusual weight – for upon his departure, every album, picture or keepsake that may remind others of his existence – he gathered all these into his bag and carted them along. His final exit would be swift. And he’d done what he could to ensure his memory would die swiftly as well.

Thoughts of her sweet face, what news of his absence would do to her constant smile, to kill her laugh – they sifted from his mind to his gut; he felt ill. Had he any food in his stomach, he would have been forced to stop and vomit. Instead he just cried, and he walked on as choice eluded him. After all –

Does sun-charred grass still collect the morning dew?

***************************************************************

By the time sanity could reclaim him, Ted was already off the freeway, awaiting a green light that would allow him to remerge and get back to his commute. His hasty retreat from the interstate’s snarly wolf pack only cost him a few minutes. That ought to be enough for the sliver and the echo. He’d proven he was willing. At least, he would have been willing if he had the time. If the meeting weren’t so important.

Music crept up from his car stereo. Strange that it seemed to grow louder to him. He knew the song and the words, knew them well.

“That’s a mean trick! I love this song.”

I know

The air about him became magnetic, piercing with the tune.

“This one’s for the lonely,
the ones that seek and find
Only to be let down time after time
This one’s for the torn down,
the experts at the fall
Come on friends get up now
you’re not alone at all”

Ted’s hand struck the right turn signal a partial second before he plowed through the red light before him. Roadside, he passed a sign with arrow pointing forward, labeled “Highlands”

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