I don’t know how it happened. Truth is, part of me still thinks it hasn’t, like maybe this is all a dream. Across a short stretch of wet blacktop I see a silhouette behind dirty glass, waiting. There is only this in front of me. I have no peripheral vision. To the left and right of this image is only a blinding white, infinite space with no beginning or ending.
The silhouette is me. That I am sure of.
I can’t approach. I can only watch and wait for whatever’s going to happen, happen.
I must be dreaming, I think. But I know I’m not. At the same time, I know this is not real, either. Not like the waking reality that is day to day life. When I think about my life, though, I can’t quite put my finger on it. It’s hazy and distant and dreamlike, as well. I try to focus on how I got here but the memory’s suppressed. It’s on the tip of my tongue like that rogue item missing from your shopping cart but sure to solidify in mind on the drive home after it’s too late.
That’s one thing I do know in all this. It is too late.
I watch the silhouette waiting. The burning sun eats the moisture right off the pavement and steam rises into the cold morning air. It’s bright, the sun – brighter than any I’ve seen before. There’s meaning there, I’m certain.
I put my hands in my pockets and notice my warm breath condensing in the cold air. Little white puffs of life form in front of my eyes and then dissipate into nothing. This is not real, either, I think.
Out of the blue I recall penning a love letter to a girl who did not love me. I remember writing a song about it she never did get to hear. There’s much sadness there. It stands out but no longer hurts. I remember it with indifference. None of it seems important anymore, not like when it happened.
The sun grows larger and intensifies like a tumour. The silhouette stands and turns to face me. Although I know it is me I cannot make out the face. It raises a hand and places an open palm on the filthy glass. The sun has now obliterated all detail from this vision and even the silhouette begins to fade, swallowed by the blinding white light.
No words are exchanged but inside my mind I hear it say, “Follow me home.”
Although I’m afraid, I take a step out onto the blacktop. The warmth of the sun feels good on my face.
For the first time in a very long time I feel like everything’s going to be all right.