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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

Is life polar opposite of happiness and sorrow or is life, our work, just a dream?



The room was dark . He held me close in the darkness kissing my face. He was saying goodbye, but neither one of us were sad. We were enjoying this last moment together. I knew he would be back. He always came back. He never really left me, not like all the others. I put my hand on his hair, running it over the top. I could not run my hands through it, it was always so tightly braided, but I loved how it felt anyway. I kissed his smooth bronze forehead and told him how much I loved him, but without words. I never said, " I love you!" to him. I felt it, all the way through and through me and I know he felt it too, there was no questioning that. I never felt more comfortable with anyone I had ever been with. But I did not really love him..not the way that you would expect two people to be in love. It was not like any "love" I had experienced before. We just were..He was the best friend in the world and the most loving man I had ever met. Not that gooey kind of teenage crush or that fatal kind of love that we all should experience once in a life time to rock our world and crush it fine, leaving no room for that kind of love ever to have a place in our hearts again. He was not my soul mate. He just was. We just were. There was no desperate longing, no need to control..or conquer, to own. We were the best of everything but not really anything. He was like my favorite cashmere sweater and I was his favorite t-shirt. We just fit. He said his good-byes with a smile on his face that lit up the dark room. I held his face in my hands one more time and reflected his smile placing my forehead against his. He turned, grabbed his guitar case, and left the room, looking back once with that beautiful, precious, smile that had become my home away from home, and he was gone. I let the feeling sink in. Goodbyes with him were never a bad feeling. I never worried about him. I just always sighed and looked forward to him coming back, picking me up in his strong arms and telling me, how "things went." He told me about the places he had seen and all the funny things that had happened while we were apart. I loved living my own life as a single woman, but I also loved sharing his. He was joyful, just sheer joy. He loved his life on and off the road, and I, our little apartment where I spent my days writing and waiting for him to return. When I wasn't waiting for him, sometimes, he was waiting for me. He knew writers needed a lot of alone time, just like musicians needed a lot of road time, and so, when I took my "walk about's" he never thought anything of it, whether I was walking the street or had hopped in my truck with my camping gear and took off alone, sometimes we went together. He would walk silently by me or quietly sing in his deep, soulful voice or he sat down by the fire and quietly strummed his guitar late into the night, while I lay with my head on his lap. I never grew tired of him, because we were happy being ourselves. We could spend hours together, happy.. or hours apart, happy. I always wanted a man in my life who could enjoy me for me and I for him. We were that for each other. He was my fairy tale lover, friend. The one that I had prayed for. The bard that rose up singing every morning and went to bed with a song on his lips at night, even if it were just my name..He was my muse but a living breathing muse..not the ethereal, frustrating one that would often evade and tease me. Especially in times of deep sorrow.

 I was sitting in the hospital alone. The blue, white light in these places always drove me a little crazy, in a very subtle way. I hated the smell and always kept the edge of my sleeve near my mouth. Hospitals smelled like death, it almost felt like it was reaching out to you from every corner, like ghostly hands. I wanted to curl in a ball on my chair. I knew that was exactly the way my daughter felt, yet here I was, in the clinic waiting for her to emerge from her room again. This time she had been here for two weeks. How one got well in a place like this was beyond me. They had basically told us to go home and prepare for her death.  We were leaving today and that is what we would be forced to do. She had said she wanted to make her arrangements while she still had the energy to make the choices. Today was going to be difficult, no, sickening. She rounded the corner just as my mind started to drift away into a story, an escape. But there was no escaping reality for long. She had a mask on her face, a black beanie cap covered her bald head. She looked blue, gray like the fading light of day that always was the mood in hospitals like this, it had permeated all of her existence. Right now, it seemed so convincing to just believe that if I got her away from here and this horrible light that she would be rosy, bright and smiling once more, that death would not be leaving with us, within her, but it was. You could not check cancer at the door.

We road in silence to the funeral home. The only thing I had said to her before we left was, "do you need something to eat?" She did not "want to eat", and how could I blame her? What was the point now in even caring? It seemed she only needed enough energy to get through today and then she would just rest and wait for the inevitable. The worst was that she feared what the inevitable may be, or not be. We had discussed this at length, but in the end, faith, or no faith, we really had no idea what lay on the other side and that was the worst. Surrendering to the idea of something was better than nothing, yet, she was a very logical girl and knew that "nothing" could be just what was waiting for her and there was "nothing" I could do or say to convince her otherwise. 

We were down in the basement looking at the caskets, rather looking through them..when she turned and said to me. "That one looks like an oven". "I don't want to die." "I don't want to be put in there and have the door closed, to be dropped in the ground and forgotten." All I could say was, "I know" and hug her and try not to cry. I had cried so much already, it changed nothing. How could I possibly comfort her when I felt no comfort? All I could do was walk through the mire of these last days with her. She was so grown up, yet, when she had said that, I had seen my baby in her face, she might as well have been three. I thought I would just dissolve on the spot. I wanted to climb into that gray coffin in the front and die. I wanted to be a real Mother and promise her that even if I had to get in there with her, she would never be alone. There would be room for two if I held her close. How was I ever going to let her go? How? Just then our friend, Allen came into the room and with him that burst of positive energy he carried like a flood light. I had forgotten that he promised to meet us there. We needed his light at that moment. I was not sure how well my daughter was going to tolerate him right now though..sometimes he was a little over whelming. He was a jokester, but at the same time, he could be surprisingly deep. He was light, too light, never down to earth, but earthly all the same, in a childish, sensual sort of way. He was a Player and an Imp. He seemed to be other worldly, The Mystic Man, yet, The Fool. We loved him. He was just that type that got under your skin and you never really got free of him, and as much as it was an irritation, at the same time, it was a bug you did not want to be cured from. He never seemed to talk very deeply of anything but he always had some way of making reference to your problem while making light of it.  I had no idea how anyone could make light of this situation at the moment, but if anyone could, he would. Right away he grabbed my daughter by the hand and started talking to her about everything other than what we were doing and somehow it evolved into a game of moving down the line of caskets while making fun of them at the same time. He had her so involved in joking that pretty soon he had sent her from the room to get the funeral director. They were going to pick the most gaudy, "blinging" casket in the bunch and "trip" it out with the works. Death was "dumb" and cruel after all and what could you do but mock it till the end. Allen walked over to me and put his arm around me. He did not ask how I was, he knew that was pointless. He just stood next to me and looked at the caskets for a while then he took my hand and played with the ring on my finger. He stared down at it for a while, turning it back and forth, appearing to be deep in thought. The lighting in the room was very low and he looked down at my hand and exclaimed, "you are transparent!" He always had that silly deep way with words. I looked at him, shook my head, and smiled, but he looked back at me with shock and awe on his face, and I knew he was not joking this time. I felt like someone had thrown ice water down my back. My mind was racing. This was just another one of his silly jokes or a comparison he was making with my hands and the lighting,  with my life. It seemed like it took me forever to turn my head and look down at my own hand, but it was only seconds. What I saw shocked me, and I am sure my face mirrored his, but I felt this horrible fear in the pit of my stomach and then a growing curiosity. My hands were glowing faintly in the darkened room, they seemed to have a white light or aura of their own. It was not a reflection but flowed softly from my fingers around my ring. Allen turned my hand back and forth in his own as if to show me exactly what he was seeing. My hands began to look as if they were translucent and glichy, as if parts of them were fading in and out of view. I could see all the lines in my knuckles one second, and no knuckles at all the next. He held my hands the whole time. I could feel his closeness to me and hear him repeating, "You are transparent!" As I stared at my hands everything else seemed to fade away, only my hands existed, nothing else did. It was then that I heard myself say to Allen, "I am the one who is really dead..aren't I?" I did not need him to answer. I knew it was true. 

I woke with a start. I was back in my small apartment. I had fallen asleep while waiting for my love and writing in my journal. I looked over and saw his picture next to my bed..that beautiful smile! My life! My love! I sighed and looked down at my hands...they were glowing in the darkness and fading in and out..just like my dream! My heart began to pound again and I opened my mouth to scream.. but nothing came out. My vision began to darken and I told myself, "You are just dreaming, it's just a dream..don't pass out!"

My life was darkness, fading... just the image of my hands remained to haunt me. I had lost all the rest of myself. Reality was not reality, not truth. The deep sorrow and love I had for everyone, for myself, was just a dream. Life was an illusion. I just believed that my hands had done the work, while I slept, while I faded in and out of a false reality, a deep sleep..but nothing is really real. We are dead, we have always been dead, yet living so many lives all at once. There was no good or bad, no love or hate. I could have chosen my own path at any time, yet, I had wasted these dreams in the night on every reality but the one that I could have chosen. I tried so hard to wake up, to see everything again, but I could not. There was just darkness and my hands. 


To my mentor who gave me a brother and promised me he would "show me 'the lion' within". Thank you for reaching inside my dreams and creating reality. I wish you looked at your hands and saw how spiritual you all are before it is too late.




Submitted: March 11, 2014

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