The room was pitch black, yet he knew he was in a room and could make his way around. A woman who looked like his mom but was actually his ex-girlfriend, Marissa, came around a corner that didn’t exist two seconds ago to smile at him. She didn’t talk, the woman who was both his mother and Marissa, just beckoned him to follow her outside.
They were outside now.
He looked up and saw blue skies with white puffy clouds drifting about, like wreckage floating upon the ocean. He knew the name of those types of clouds and couldn’t think of them. He couldn’t think at all, just be.
A bee flew by his head.
Was he allergic to bees?
One landed on his left wrist. Too afraid to move, he bent his head down to take a closer look at the bee. Except when he did the bee went out of focus and became a black dot. He brought his face closer to examine the black dot and fell into the canyon size hole in his left wrist.
This was scary.
He felt anxious.
Suddenly he was sitting inside the classroom. Mr. Schultz was teaching science and he knew this day. In a matter of minutes, Mr. Schultz was going to split the class up into pairs and have them examine a blood slide under the microscope. He was going to be paired up with Angela, who he had fallen in love with since the moment Mr. Schultz sat them at the same table. Angela, with her blonde hair and blue eyes was beautiful and sweet and patient despite the obvious stars in his eyes. If this was now, right now he would have no problems talking to her. Hell, he could definitely date her. They were on the same level now, just not then. Then there was an infinite amount of miles separating them socially. Yet she was kind to him and never made him feel like he didn’t deserve to talk to her.
Oh shit, here it comes.
Gary Bulger, the guy everyone thought was funny because he was good looking and said funny things. He was friends with Gary at one time, a long time ago before status meant anything. He knew Gary was afraid of lightning and his father would yell at him for crying about it. Gary was a good guy.
Was a good guy.
Today, he wasn’t.
“I don’t know how he’s going to get any work done, staring at Angela’s chest.” The class laughed at him, Mr. Schultz said nothing in response and Angela gave him a disgusted look. He wanted to crawl under his desk and die.
So he did.
Bending his body like there wasn’t a bone to be found, he slithered on his back down the high back plastic chair and slid down below the desk. Waiting for him was Duke. Duke! His old golden retriever, the best dog in the entire world. Duke wouldn’t let Gary make fun of him. Duke was here to rescue him and so he hopped on his best friend’s back and raced across the desert.
Looking down at his best friend he saw Bill, his best man at his wedding. He was under water and now so was he, swimming in Bill’s inground pool while the girls splashed and laughed by the steps. Do they have their swimmies on? Where was his wife? Shouldn’t she be watching them if they were in the pool?
Why wasn’t he watching them?
Who was he watching?
He was at a table, in the middle of a room, surrounded by other tables. An old woman in some kind of work uniform sat at one of the tables, alone. She was staring out into the distance and he was aware they knew each other, but not really. More like a familiar face. The other tables filled up instantly with people and if he looked at a specific table the face came into focus. Those other tables held no interest to him. They didn’t matter.
He turned back to the old woman.
Was she crying?
Was he crying?
They’re sitting at the same table now. Crying together but not with each other. Two people, sharing the same space, feeling emotions that produce a physical reaction and not connected whatsoever. He didn’t even know her name. Did she have a name? Did she ever have a name? Why didn’t he ever ask her for her name?
What was wrong with him?
He stood up from the table and stopped crying. The old woman looked up at him and smiled. The old woman was his mother and she motioned for him to bend down. She had to tell him something. He was crying again, harder and deeper. There were sounds all around him, along with machines and his mother was sick. She wanted to tell him she loved him and he continued to cry and cry and cry. He couldn’t stop crying and he felt helpless, knowing there was nothing he could do to help his mommy. His tears turned her hospital bed into an ocean and he clung to his mommy so he wouldn’t drown.
The sun was shining.
He was floating on a raft in the middle of a deep blue sea. He should be afraid because there was no sign of land anywhere and yet he wasn’t. Just drifting along with the hot sun directly overhead. He wasn’t worried about a sunburn or not seeing land or anything at all. He continued to drift, letting the currents take him wherever they thought best. Everything was peaceful, everyone was peaceful. He turned to his left and saw someone standing on the water. They wanted him to jump in with them and go below and he didn’t want to. Why were people always bothering him when he was floating in peace? The person walked over and stood above him, floating over the raft. They blocked out the sun and he felt cold.
Why were insisting on bothering him?
The person bent forward so that their faces were practically touching.
It was his mother.
Time to wake up.