I wake up on grass. A brilliant sun is in the eastern sky. Allover patterns remain in my eyes and over everything I see. I feel a cool mist upon my face and hands. It sparkles everywhere in this green valley.
He is beside me, sleeping still. I recall only the tropical place and the moment we silently agreed to revisit the cave. My mind strains to make sense of what I am experiencing…
“Art…I guess we fell asleep.”
Smiling, he looks around and says it is morning and we must have slept all night.
I find the thought strangely soothing. The way he acts and the clarity of his statements create a sense of reality, of normalcy, in me.
And then, I feel a sense of panic….
“Oh man. That means the car was on the side of the road all night!’
He grins as I run back through the brightening woods to check. There, about 20-feet off the roadway, I see the copper color of the Mustang and feel calm. I reach the car, studded with dewdrops.
He has followed me back here.
“Everything’s OK, right?”
“Yeah, no problem.”
“So let’s go check out the cave,” he says.
My tongue feels so thick I can barely speak. The sound of each faltering word echoes in my head.
“Keith. Do you know what’s going on? What kind of reality is this, man? Are you really here?
“How much does all that matter to you, Art? You know better than that, don’t you?”
(to be continued…)
Image: Digital image mashup of TFD painting “YES!” and appropriated image of sun and sky, Tullio Francesco DeSantis, 2009.