The New Absence

A drug in the veins expressed by the heart, the spell works its way from my center to my extremities. I feel numb, sitting loosely across the table from the mystifying siren who has just cast it. We are approaching the end of the dream after a long, deep conversation, the contents of which I am not to remember. Awash in the flow, all I can do in my stupor is observe my interlocutor, puzzled by what an unlikely enchantress she is. I’m not sure what I expected to find in this room, but a frail, mousy young woman in thick eyeglasses smoking a cigar was certainly not it.

“Remember, Angel. It is not a coincidence. It is never a coincidence.”

At her final utterance, the space begins to change: dimensions slowly altering, walls stretching, the floor acquiring depth… I can feel what has just happened, but I cannot remember it. The dialogue was between an ancient force and my core, held in a base language, a construct too greatly complex for the conscious layer to fully grasp. A negotiation has taken place, and as a result, one of my principal inner selves has been entirely extinguished. Gone. I can feel the space between alter-entities on its way to becoming a force, partially exposed boundaries of previously tightly packed other selves burning tender against a vacancy. And I see the clairvoyant retreating, the table stretching between us as it vanishes, as everything vanishes. The rug underneath us is a map of the constellations, glowing stars drifting into position in three dimensions, a jet-black ocean reflecting moonlight for a moment, then expanding, expanding into space, and everything disappears except me, shrinking and falling into the cosmos as the stars fly about and retreat to their distant homes in myriads. Dim vertical bands of light appear, brighter, brightest, and I am forced to shut my eyes hard and open them again before I can come to grips with my waking state, staring at my blinds through which the morning sun is invading the room.

The house is silent. I am alone. Sitting at the edge of the bed, I take a deep breath, stretch, yawn… The dog hears me and comes nudging at me. “Good morning, sweetie.” She wags her tail in joy. We head downstairs together. Coffee for me, breakfast for both of us. I stare at the world outside through the kitchen window, the steam from my cup dancing in the light. My mind is empty. I like it. Quiet inside is rare. I know it won’t last, but for now I am centered, balanced, ready. For now, I am the world anew.

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