for Mom and Dad
They were made for each other. That much was clear. Made together by the universe, he would say, so they would never feel alone again. But free will as it were, would get the best of them. Taking them from the moment they met, and pulling them apart forever. As he lied on his deathbed, he knew of only one regret. That he did not tell her how he truly felt when he had the chance.
He would pass on to wander the galaxies and she would walk the lonely earth. Both destined to always be just out of reach, and that much short of true happiness. When given the chance to go on to heaven, he would decline. For there was only one place he wish to spend eternity, and that was in her embrace, at the center of her heart. But what he did not know, is that he was already there. On the outside, she would go on living as if nothing was wrong, never feeling the need to take on any other lovers.
That piece of her heart which left the hole, floated out in space with him, between earth and heaven. In knowing that he could never get back, he desperately searched the galaxies to no avail, for a life where they were not missing each other. And instead of admitting their mistakes, they would stare, through the windows of the universe, at one another, neither of which able to make the first move. When really... if they wanted to, they could reconnect. But sadly, neither felt that they deserved the other anymore.
And so he would wait and use his exile to gather his thoughts. For when the time came, he would be prepared and know exactly what to tell her. If ever given the chance again, he would say...
When I look in your eyes I see every color of the universe, and I know we are complete. How just knowing you, makes me want to push through any and every tragedy, in hopes of seeing you again. You make me want to be a better person, the person you see in me. Nothing in this world can give me hope like you do. You are my light, my happiness, my salvation, my one true counterpart. You are my soul mate. And I will always love you, from this lifetime to the next, I promise...you will never be alone again.
Tale of the runaway dream.
Jeff couldn't get out of the car. It had flipped after the crash, and was still spinning in the middle of the off-ramp. The driver in the car that had just hit them had already awoken and driven off. But Jeff could not think about that right now, he was too busy bracing the roof with his hands, and trying to get free. His seat belt was still on and refused to be taken off. He screamed furiously as he sat next to his mother, unconscious in the driver's seat. He could smell the gasoline everywhere. The gas tank must be cracked and it's leaking out. Jeff looked forward at the inverted horizon, with street as his sky and fiery wreckage as his plain; all the while struggling with his left hand trying to unbuckle his seat belt. It was just a matter of time before the gas tank's drip wandered over to the sparse fires, and the entire car exploded. Jeff had to get free and save his Mother.
He screamed in frustration and called her name at the top of his lungs. "MOM!" he yelled, "MOM PLEASE!" until finally he wrestled free from the ensnaring seat belt, and fell to his knees, atop the inside of the car's totaled roof. The slam onto the floor awoke Jeff's mother, but before he could open his mouth to speak to her; he noticed out the back of the rear window, a common speeder, coming at them fast, barreling down the off ramp. The driver did not have enough time to react to the accident. He hit the upside down caravan, and Jeff flew off his hands and knees like he was sucked up by a tornado, spiraling wayward. His body was flung from the car, scraping past the broken corners and sharp morsels of glass, and perpetual grind of the concrete. The searing pain of losing flesh instantly singed off by a flat bout of unconsciousness. . .
When he woke up he was in a hospital. The lights down the hallways were off. It must have been some time in the night. Who knows how long he's been out. Jeff sits up in his bed and takes a look around. First, at the shadowy scene. And then at his own body, not a scratch or bruise on him. It had to have been a couple of months. He couldn't believe it, being in a coma for that long. But how long really? He had to find a calendar. Jeff jumped out of bed, his arm tugged back by the IV connected to the skin just beside his knuckle. Before it came out, he stepped back and grabbed the pole holding his IV bag, and brought it with him. He stumbled into the hall in a drunkard's feeling, nearly bumping down the walls like a ricocheting ball. The slope of the hospital seemed to slant down the way he was going, dragging him down the corridor. Suddenly it pitched vertical and Jeff fell down the hospital hallway like he was a sailing down a hole. . .
At the bottom of the hole was an igloo of light, capturing him and spitting him out into a snowy beach and a misty grey tower in the distance. As Jeff tried to stand, a wave blasted him in the back and soaked him with icy cold saltwater. He was then pushed off balance and fell over into the sand. The wind was kicking up, and he was approaching the fields of snow. Worst of all, he was still wearing the medical gown; drenched to the bone. His only chance at not freezing to death was the tower. He hurried himself as fast as he could while he cradled and covered his hypothermic body. As he got closer, Jeff saw that the tower was really a lighthouse. The door was unlocked and he let himself right in. It was warm enough outside for Jeff to think that there was a fire lit nearby. He chased the warm temperatures all the way up the tower. At the top was a rotating bonfire and a sequence of large and small mirrors, aiming the light from it out across the bay. . .
Jeff watched as the bay closed in all around him. The giant tidal waves forming just before the lighthouse. He jumped into the powerful beam of light, and saved himself from being crushed to death by the failing bay. Water churned around him and swallowed the fire whole. It extinguished the rays focused through the mirrors and Jeff was caught in a glass of light, falling down into the water syclone. He elbowed the glass and it shattered, evaporating all of the water. Jeff was standing in a funeral progression with a dark tuxedo on. Like awakening into a dream, he began to proceed accordingly to the manner of which is appropriate at a service like this. He stood in line, and when he got to the casket he consoled the family of the deceased with a kind word. But when Jeff got to the top of the order he found that the bereaved family member was his mother, and who was in the casket, eyes closed with no heartbeat, but Jeff himself. The eyes of his omenly reflection open, and the entire crowd of mourners scream in horror. The wind kicks up again, and before he can talk anyone, he is pulled into the eye contact, and sucked into the casket, taking the place of his lifeless body. . .
His friends and family come over to him and talk to his mother about him, occasionally addressing him directly, even though he can't answer. It is a sorrowful scene. Jeff crawls out of the back of the casket and finds himself in a riddle box; a fun house. He is deep inside a maze with a checkered floor of black and red. He can't decide between cards of chess, as his mind's orbit remains in circles before the gravity of his jumps stretch his stream of consciousness into a radical oblong, gathering its energy like it does before every jump. How he had time to learn how to analyze his dreams, while in his dreams, he'll never know. But right now, it was helping him get a hold of the situation, whatever it may before. The deck of cards came rushing in through the left most path, aggressively approaching Jeff. He backed behind the King and Queen as they charged at them with the knights and pawns. Clogging up the maze-ways and bursting the funhouse open. The chips rained out in it's affects, and Jeff caught them one by one. Upon his touch, the chips of black, white, and red expanded in a flop to great thin pads. They caught the winds and slowly drifted down, down, down. . .
He was caught by the floating pads and pulled into the open abyss. They brought him to a land full of marble statues, hundred of stories high, of great heroes of old, gods of myth and legend. He walked through the museum and payed homage to his infamous company. Jeff quickly ran between the memorials and out the door. Apparently, he was inside. But now he was out, and could see the sheer magnitude of the ancient town he was in. Neighborhoods of marble towers and temples spanning over the ridges to the sea. How he feared monsters of old that meddled with the gods he had just prayed to. How they could come after him at any moment; like Medusa, or the Scylla, or even the hydra with its regenerative dragon heads. They turned in from the hills with footsteps as big as neighborhoods. Evil giants rummaging through the city night. An all too familiar touch grabs a hold of him and pulls him awake. . .
The echoes of his mother's voice comes in from the black. He can see nothing. He opens his eyes and he can barely see through the bandages. In fact, he feels completely wrapped up in gauze pads, from head to toe. Again his mother's voice comes in through his muffled hearing. And yet, it feels more to him that his ears are also broken, and the sound he can hear is coming in only at a small frequency. He can't make out what she's saying. He can't move. He can't talk. All of the makings for a good panic. Jeff starts shaking in his cast and nearly rolls off the bed. His mother stands up and cries. To her, this has been the first sign of life he has shown for some time. He tried to talk to her, but before he could, a silver cloud passed by overhead. Jeff tried to reach up and grab it, but the cast was keeping his arm from moving. In one quick motion, he cracked the cast by the shoulder and freed his arm. Jeff snatched the glistening cloud and it stuck to his hand. The silver glow crawled up his arm and spread across past his neck and body, over to the rest of his extremities, completely covering him. The cloud sealed over him into his eyes and flipped him inside out. Falling inwards, back into the deepest caverns of his psyche. . .
Jeff picked up his gun and ran with his fellow soldiers through the shanty-town. The giant metal feet crushed the shacks around him as the harvesters let out the foot soldiers. They shot at them with turret like machine guns. Jeff tucked into a house and loaded his rifle. A soldier followed him into the house and began to fire his machine gun across the entire floor. Jeff fell back into the corner and just ducked under the stream of bullets, when he pulled his trigger and brought the enemy to his knees. Jeff quickly got up, slung the rifle over his shoulder and snapped the machine gun off of the dead soldier. He cocked it and ran back outside. The harvester was just passing by and raining debris was catching him everywhere. He ducked back next to the shanty as the foot of the giant machine crushed the house holding him. Jeff was stamped into the giant's foot. He crawled up the metal muscles and tendons, and made his way to what looked like the head. He emptied the machine gun's ammo and tore the harvester's head open. Jeff pulled the belt lined with grenades off his waist and dropped them into the skull of the machine, right after popping one of the grenade's clips off, and leaped off the machine. He fell but did not land on the battlefield. . .
Jeff fell into a forest with a seizing volcano bearing down it's way, and a hibernating bear blocking the exit out of the cave. The bear told him to run, before the night chariot invaded. Jeff ran out of the cave and in the sky was a shiny white boat. It looked like it was crash landing right in Jeff's path. It must be coming for him. Jeff ran back for the caves, but when he turned around they were no longer there. Instead, he stood amongst narrow cliffs, high in the altitude. The boat got larger as it landed on top of Jeff and before he knew it, he was being thrown by the light. . .
He got up and was back at the off-ramp. But instead of being stuck inside the upside down car, Jeff was looking at the crash from the street. He got closer and saw himself struggling to get out and screaming for his mother to wake up. The Jeff in the car broke free from the seat and fell on his knees. Jeff quickly pulled him out before the car was annihilated by the unsuspecting speeder getting off the ramp. The body dissolved in his hands and he became the survivor. An ambulance picked him up and brought him to the hospital. His mother was the victim of the crash. At the end of the day, the doctor came out of the emergency room and told Jeff that she had two collapsed lungs, several broken bones, and severe internal bleeding. The doctor told Jeff that she would not make it through the night. Jeff waited by her side for twenty days and every night the doctor told him that death was at her doorstep. But it never came for her. Another twenty nights passed and she still remained in critical care. Jeff thought to himself, every night, what would happen if he just gave up on her. The doctor had said she had significant brain damage and might never wake up again. But he was also the one who was so sure that she was going to die every night. Maybe he could just assist her in her passing. After all, it was the humane thing to do. But did he really mean that? His dreamlike anti-logic was confusing him. His balances were thrown off and he was tossed from reality. . .
He awoke in the city, looking at all the anomalies. First, there was grass covering all the walls and the windows of the skyscrapers. Second, the roads were painted red, and the cars were all hidden in moss. The sky was burning white, and the sun was nowhere to be found. Jeff was worried about this irksome world. Things were starting to get out of control, and so the wheel turned, and brought Jeff to another world. . .
He was standing along the creeks of dried earth and racing the scorched sky. Right now, above him was the night and the stars, but coming quickly, was the infernal fires of the sunrise. He called to his road, "Let us go," and they sped off into another spin. . .
Jeff was back into the day, walking down the street of a small town. He walked into the market and bought himself a drink. A casual Sunday it felt like. Something, for reasons unknown, he felt he would never get to experience again. And with that common occurrence being taken away from him, so did the picture. Once again, Jeff fell into the sky and it brought him away towards the light. . .
This day he was balancing on a tightrope. A thin metal wire connecting two titanic factories. Their smoke fogging out the damply lit sky. The gloom was ever present, turning the mundane afternoon hour into a lonesome night. The lights from the windows of the factories gave Jeff a speckled view of electricity. The light surged and jumped from window to window. Until, one shot out and hit Jeff transforming him into the flying shot of light. . .
He could not keep up with his runaway mind. All he could do was try to make something out of the situation at hand. And right now, that was a flooded pond, filled with escaping sea creatures. White swans being eating by crocodiles, fish being swallowed by giant squids. The boat he was in had no paddles. It looked like it was taking on water, but never sunk. It held sturdy to Jeff's needs at the moment. And that was only to stay out of the blood-infested waters. The squid bit into an electric eel and it looked like the crunching of a lightning bolt. The light snapped and shot Jeff into the future. . .
He was watching his mother, walking out of a courthouse, failing to watch the legal system put the driver responsible for her son's death behind bars. She walked out in tears, and returned to the hospital. But Jeff was no longer there. The doctor who consoled him about his mother's imminent death was meeting her at the front of the hospital. Jeff was long gone, and all his mother took from it was a new fling. He was boiling with resentment. He wanted to wake up right now, and get to the bottom of all of this. . .
Jeff rose from the hospital bed, leaned forward and said, "How long has it been?"
"Three years," answered a female voice. It was not his mother, it was a nurse.
"Your mother died three years ago," she explained as if reading his mind. She must have died in the crash. He wanted to confirm his suspicions but he was already tired, and still very weak. He closed his eyes and was tossed forward once again. . .
The jungle twisted into castle towers, and he walked down the spiraling staircase. Ahead of him were warriors clad in armor and armed with swords and shields. He battled back and forth with each one as he climbed the staircase. He was victorious. When he got to the top of the castle, there waiting for him was a giant beast. A great dark wolf trying to tear Jeff to shreds. The battle finished with the sword in Jeff's hand splitting the wolf's skull in half. Champion. He wiped the blood off the sword and the shine came back. It grabbed Jeff and threw him forward. . .
When he arose he was back in his tuxedo. Running through a crowded ballroom. Everyone was dressed up in fancy attire. He reached in front of him and grabbed a beautiful woman in a red dress, and the music started. He danced with her and everyone watched them. Her thick red lips and dark eyes hypnotized Jeff. He got lost in her eyes and fell through their window. . .
He landed on a float, and got to his feet. He was in the middle of the lake, and eight years old. This was a memory. When he was in the pool with Bobby, his brother. But was he older or younger? He drowned in the pool. They were young. The last time an accident cost him something dear. Now, this time, it was his own life or his mother's, everything was still too unclear. He tried to focus, but the blurry shade wiped Jeff into a gray portrait. He sat in a wooden chair and observed the finished, glossy oak border, with perforated edges. It spelled something out, two words, eight letters, "JUMP NEXT-" Before Jeff could finish saying it out loud, the call took him back up to another realm, this time, one of great tranquility. . .
He was in a drop, slowly dispersing into a pool of water. The stretch was prolonged and a needed calming for him. He found his center. A place where he could go when times were at their most uncertain. 'Like now,' he wrote in the journal on the desk. . .
All of a sudden, he was describing the drop instead of being the drop. He felt withdrawn. Pulled away. Desensitized. It feel both good and bad. But he dare not linger on the bad, when there was all of the good to occupy him with. And yet all of this rambling was fit to capacity. He tried to clear the room, but no one was listening to him. . .
The room was cluttered with faceless people. They moan and elbow each other when told to leave. Jeff ran through the people trying to find his brother, Bobby. To tell him he was sorry. But there was nobody. But soon all came into clarity when a family watching a television came into Jeff's view. He was back on the outside, looking in on his mind. What was he displaying? These jumps. What did he want? Normalcy? Normalcy would never come to him again. Alive or dead, his future was paved with impossibilities. He looked down the path of his future and was propelled forward. . .
The day ended and soon it was time for Jeff to resign for the night. He opened his eyes and the entire room was sleeping. He said aloud, "How long was I..?"
A voice responded, "Twenty years, Jeff," it was his Mother. He had been asleep this entire time, even having dreams about waking. But then he thought...'what if I'm in a dream right now?' Before he could answer the terrain switched over and Jeff found himself in the devil's lair. . .
He got up and could only see walls of hellfire. It felt like the end. Jeff stood in the middle of this death-trap, and contemplated his life. He was okay with it. He handled his shortcomings and misfortunes in stride, and made what he could out of his life. And just like that, a light opened up from the dark sky and Jeff was lifted up out of the fire. He was back on earth. . .
Lost completely, Jeff found himself to be in a vast room with white light everywhere. It was not heaven, for that he was sure. There might not even be a heaven. And even if there was, it would not be something he could explain. So he sat in the room with icy white lights and drifted off into a world of frightening reality. . .
Jeff was awake, but unable to move. There was a tube in his mouth and he was covered in a full body cast. He didn't want to move, everything looked like it hurt. He tried to get someone's attention. But no one was in the room to see him. He slept there for the night and woke up in the morning. At about 7:43 am, a doctor showed a nurse his chart and Jeff caught a glimpse of the date. He had been in a coma for thirty-six years. His mom had passed away five years ago from heart failure. Jeff closed his eyes and tried to rip out of the cast. But nothing happened. The sky opened up and from the shining light swung out a magnificent pendulum; swinging back and forth in the bright light. The pendulum picked up Jeff and threw him into the light. . .
He was just on his way out when it brought him back in. The train of light staged his progress, and every time he thought he was getting better, he was aging greater. Until he woke up beside the road. With his face in the shattered glass, beside the burning car wreckage. . .
He pulled his Mom out of the car but she had no pulse. He gave her CPR but could not resuscitate her. She was dead, and he was alive. Reality was too intertwined with his rabid attention span. He could not keep his head up, let alone stay awake long enough to figure things out. But he nodded back awake, and realized he was asleep this whole time. . .
He had been in the hospital for just a day since the crash. And his mother was in the bed right next to him. The doctor was telling her that she would never be able to walk again. He wanted her to the doctor to let him go. He wanted to be done with this. No matter what that meant. . .
Jeff woke up inside the car. He had fallen asleep while his Mom was driving. Had this all been a dream? He remembered now...they were on their way to the airport to pick up his Father. They were both excited, but nothing surprised them more than when they tried to get off of the highway. A parked car came out of nowhere and blindsided them. Unavoidably forcing them to collide with it and forcing them into the guard rail. The car was somehow unharmed enough to drive away after the crash. Jeff's car, on the other hand, was upside down and totaled after the hit. Jeff was jolted out of the seat in the car and back through space and time. . .
He was back on his bed in the shadowy hospital. Except, this time he was looking at a window next to his bed that was glowing white. Jeff tried to lean over and open the window. But all his body screamed out in pain. He was falling through the sky helplessly when the ground came too quick and Jeff landed on his face cracking every bone in his body. The road hurt, he could remember that. He was in his bed and covered in pain. The window had to be opened. . .
He pushed through the pain and snapped the window open, when he got inside something he had never expected, but always knew was out there, met him in the light. He was wearing his tuxedo and holding his sword and shield. His mother was fine and his brother was waiting for him. When Jeff grabbed his hand they both burst into light and joined the glory of true-being; omnipotence. His questions were answered and he was no longer lost. His mysteries were all solved, all secrets revealed. Jeff was free and home, at last. His journey was over.
And when he finally woke up, he found that he had never left the car, and was killed on impact. When Jeff awoke for the last time, he saw he was in the company of all things sacred; beyond the realm of material and reality. He had ascended. His soul was finally at peace, which put his mind at ease. Jeff had now found what he was looking for. . .