A Drink Called Infinity

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Man in depression finds unusual insight into life and it changes his life.

Submitted: September 01, 2012

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Submitted: September 01, 2012

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A Drink Called Infinity by Rolf Luetcke

 

 

I could barely get myself out of bed this morning.

I felt nauseous and my joints ached from the summer heat.  At 50 years old, the years hadn’t been kind and my body was not cooperating.

I dragged myself up and made a pot of coffee and sat at the kitchen table while I slowly sipped the life-giving brew.

Twenty minutes later I got myself dressed and ready for work.

On my way out the door I kissed my wife and patted the dog on the head.  I was about to walk out the door when my wife dropped the bombshell.

“I won’t be here when you get home!” she said in a voice devoid of feeling.

I turned and looked at her face.  Her eyes couldn’t meet mine but I knew she wasn’t kidding this time.  There wasn’t a lot to say, we’d already hashed it out a dozen times before and although we’d been together over thirty years, we knew it was over.

Her lifelong battle with depression had taken its toll but in the last two years she found the right combination of medications and had come alive.

Suddenly she wanted to do all the things she’d missed over the years and she dragged me on one vacation after the other.

Our relationship had been one of mutual needs.  Betty needed someone to take care of her and I needed someone weak to take care of.  It had worked well and we’d raised two fine kids.  They were on their own for several years now and lived out of state.

Betty had focused her life on the kids and keeping a neat home, which had kept her sane. 

After the kids were out of the house, she’d fallen into a deep depression and I hadn’t been able to help.  She’d finally checked herself into a treatment center and it had changed her life.

The doctors had determined it was a hormonal imbalance and in a short period, they’d found the right drugs to treat her condition.  It was like she’d just been born and life was a new experience.

At first I’d been truly happy for her freedom form misery but it was soon apparent I was not able to deal with her change.  I was not a complex person and I never really questioned the life I had led.  I provided for my family and I enjoyed a good sports event, any sport.

Now Betty looked to grow spiritually and she took evening classes at our local college.  She made lots of friends and was gone most of the time.

For the first time in our life together we fought!  We no longer wanted the same things.  I liked the very structured routine of everyday life and Betty had turned to adventure.

She was into the new age stuff now and wore crystals and meditated for hours.  Incense filled our house with strange odors, odd music came from our old record player and Betty started serving weird Indian dishes for dinner.

I dug in my heels because I didn’t understand and it drove us apart.

I was now the one who was depressed and I became painfully aware of my age.

The kids tried to help but this was something between Betty and me and they learned to let us work through our problems.

Betty had met a woman who was ten years her junior who had a huge influence on her life and I had blamed her friend for our problems.  Last week I had told her to choose and it had led to a long period of silence.

This morning she’d made her choice and I tried to find some energy to keep up the fight but it wasn’t there.

“Let me know where you’ll be.  OK?” was all I said.

We stood awkwardly and she started to cry and then turned and walked back into her bedroom.  I closed the door and walked down the street.

I passed the bus stop where I caught my ride to work every day and just kept walking.  It was as if I was on some kind of autopilot and I saw nothing around me except the sidewalk.

It could have been hours later and I suddenly came to my senses in a part of town I had never been in.

Seedy bars and pawnshops dotted the street.  Filthy, graffiti covered the buildings.

A steel-eyed man in his sixties, wearing black stood in a door and as I stopped to figure out where I was, our eyes met.

They caused me to gasp and my heart raced.  I couldn’t seem to pull my eyes from his and I stood frozen.

“You look lost!” he finally said in a soothing and mesmerizing deep voice.

I just stood, locked in his gaze.

When my eyes finally broke the spell I saw the sign in his window.

Herbalist-Potions and Readings!

“Come in!” he said and turned to step into his store.

My feet seemed to move by themselves, and my mind didn’t seem to have the power not to follow.

Inside the store was dark and cool.  One whole wall was full of jars, filled with powders, leaves, seeds and more.  There was an exotic spicy odor.

The man walked behind the large counter, which made him a couple of feet taller, and he pulled something out from behind the counter and laid it down.

There was a frosted window over by one wall and beneath the window was a table with two chairs.  One chair held a woman.  She had long black hair and wore a soft leather skirt and a tan blouse.  She had long fingers with black fingernails.  She was turning over cards and a man in a business suit and neat short gray hair sat watching her.  He watched the cards on the table through thick horn-rimmed glasses.  Their conversation was too low for me to pick up and they completely ignored me.

As I looked around I saw paintings of great beauty on one wall.  They were of celestial events-galaxies full of stars; clouds of purple and orange, bright with stars; spiral galaxies which looked like they were in motion; there was one that nearly made me gasp.  It was a ringed galaxy of such beauty I couldn’t help but stare.  There were wispy clouds weaving among the stars of the ring in colorful pastels.

All of the paintings looked as if they were windows into real scenes but that wasn’t possible.

I suddenly felt a presence at my side as the man in black stood just behind and beside me.

He held out a glass and said, “I think this is what you’re looking for!”

My hand reached out as if it wasn’t my hand and took the glass with the dark liquid.  I looked into the glass and I saw the ring galaxy of the painting staring back at me from the surface of the liquid.  It turned slowly as my hand moved.  The ring galaxy slowly spun around the stars in the center.

“Go ahead!  It will bring you what you need.”  The man said in his hypnotic voice.

There was something else guiding me, and the glass lifted to my lips and the cool liquid poured over my tongue.

My mouth tingled as the liquid coated my tongue and cheeks.  As it ran down my throat and I swallowed, my body started to tingle and the glass fell form my fingers and I heard it hit the floor.

My eyes again lifted to the painting and I felt a magnetic draw.I could no longer feel my body.

As my eyes were locked onto the painting I felt a strange sensation.  My mind started to reel around as if caught in a whirlwind and then it started to trickle out along the line of my sight like water being sucked down a drain.

My conscious thought was caught up in the swirling cloud and as it was pulled into the painting, all my senses went along.  I no longer was aware of my body and suddenly my swirling consciousness became coherent again and I was floating in a 360degree section of space.  My minds eye could see in all directions at once.

I floated in space for a long time before I even tried to think.  Something weird had happened and I was no longer on Earth.

As my focus centered on the ring galaxy, I headed in that direction and it drew nearer.  I came close to a cloud of orange color and suddenly I was inside the cloud and I felt a sensation of mass.It was a light pressure all over.

My mind didn’t seem to need to ask questions and just felt everything.

I came closer to the ring and it started to separate into its component parts. 

As I neared some of the stars I felt sensations all around.  Gentle tugs, breezes of matter, heat, energy, gravity, radiation and I started to hear noise as well.

It was magical and I felt overwhelming joy and a connection with the cosmos.

I traveled boy did I travel.  I visited suns and experienced their power. I became their energy.  I looked for planets and I found them everywhere.  I visited a gas giant and I flew into its clouds and I felt the crushing power of its immense gravity.  I became part of its liquid then its solid core.

I found life and I became it. 

I became predator. I became prey. 

As I wandered the stars of the ring galaxy I suddenly became aware that the universe was more than this galaxy, much more.

I let my awareness expand and it was unbelievable!  I suddenly saw galaxy upon galaxy.There was a feeling of vastness.  I felt every star in every galaxy and beyond that I felt every living thing on all the planets.

I felt the emptiness!

The universe, like the galaxies, like the solar systems, was just one universe among others.

My awareness stretched to the limits and instead of expanding, it seemed to be running thin and it felt like billions of rubber bands, stretched to their limits.One by one the strands started to snap and I halted my train of thought.  I felt the bands contract and pull me back toward a center.

The universe narrowed in scope and became one.  The galaxies contracted and again became one.  I found myself back at the ring galaxy.There was a tunnel and I traveled along it and was back in a human form.  I kept moving inward.

I passed molecules and went past atoms to their component parts, to muons, charm and inward.  There were layers upon layers and suddenly there seemed to be walls closing in.  When the walls finally touched there was nothing.  No sensation at all.

Then I saw a liquid view of the ring galaxy.  Suddenly the picture disappeared and then it was back again in an instant.

That was when I realized it was the blinking of my eyes.

The features of the room materialized and the man was just bending back form picking up the glass.

“What in the heck was in that drink?” I asked him.

“Just a little drink I call infinity!” he chuckled.  “Did it do the trick?”

I could still see and feel everything I had experienced and knew I would never be the same.

The man gently patted me on the shoulder as he walked back to the counter.

‘Ah- - - how much do I owe you?” I managed to croak hoarsely.

“Oh, it’s on the house:” he said with a smile.

As I looked up at him he suddenly became transparent and was gone.  The wall with the jars followed and in its place was a wall filled with graffiti.

I reached up to rub my eyes and when I opened them again I saw a ceiling.  I blinked and the ceiling was still there.

As I raised my head I saw my room and sat on the edge of my bed.  I looked around the room and saw it was exactly as I had seen it last time I’d gotten up.

I walked to the kitchen but this time I was wide-awake and my mind was crystal clear. 

Images of vastness drifted past my awareness. 

I put on the coffee and opened the refrigerator and got out the waffle mix and other ingredients.

As the waffles cooked I went outside and cut one red rose form our bush by the door.

I arranged the waffles with strawberries and whipped cream, steaming coffee, napkin and rose and I carried it to Betty’s room.

As I opened the door, I saw Betty turn and sit up, a look of surprise on her face.

I smiled at her as I set the tray on her lap and she looked into my eyes and I saw her face change to one of wonder and question.

I sat down on her bed and said, “You know, I’ve been thinking.  I could use a long vacation and I think I’ll call work and take all the sick leave I have coming.  What do you say we go and visit the kids and take some time to ourselves in between?”

She looked deep into my eyes and seemed completely caught off guard.  “I- - I can’t believe it!  You know, I had just about given up on you.  I had just decided to tell you I was leaving you.” She said and was silent.

“I know, dear!  I did some thinking of my own and I realized a lot of things.  We’ll have plenty of time to work through things.  It’s time for me to make some changes,” I said.

She finally looked at me and smiled.  “Ok!” she said and settled in to have some breakfast as I watched her beautiful lips sip at her coffee.

 

 

  Copyright Rolf Luetcke


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