Caught like a siren on the movie screen of my mind I was found wondering, lost, and perfectly contemptuous. Colors swirled around me, bright, beautiful, and more appealing than anything I had ever seen. Alone; I walked alone in the beginning, yet surrounded by people I did not know, people who had no attachment, no acquaintance with me. I walked on, quiet, contemplative, pondering what it was that stirred me so from my slumber and brought me into the streets. Lost, disconnected, I became immersed in thoughts of India and was then caught in the delight of its appeal. A parade soon formed behind me, loud music; tambourine, sitar and chanting. People danced and clapped along to the music, it was apparent that I was the intruder upon this celebration. No sooner had this thought come to me than I was swept up and placed on a pillow. Seated like a goddess and clothed in rich sari’s covered in gold and jewels, it was palpable that I held some sort of significance to this celebration. The parade continued on and I was raised high above the heads of colorful shirtless men devoted to my praise. Monkey’s danced before me as flower petals were laid in my servant’s path. High in spirit, the world seemed to be breathing and beating for my benefit alone. Along we went further and further into the depths of the afternoon. The sun shone bright, high above me and the people delighted, pious and celebrating me were small and beautiful from my tower of self-righteousness.
As suddenly as I had been whisked away and celebrated I was abandoned and left frightened in the lone night. Shadows danced around me, muffled noises and the smell of decay filled my senses. I looked about feverishly seeking companionship, a familiar face. What I found was a black abyss, nowhere to turn, no one to run to. I tried to run, I tried to break away and breathe fresh air, but the odds were not in my favor. I could see nothing and as I tried to run I was tripped and sent flying into the darkness, unaware of what caught my feet. As I tried to stand again I felt the blood running warm and with fervor from my skull. Try as I might to stop the blood from flowing I could not. All around me my blood rushed; drained, and as it left my body so did this once beautiful soul. Rising higher and higher around me I could smell nothing but the stench of my filthy blood. I floated along the streets swept up by the current of disease. Where was I going? My hands searched about; beneath, above, beside me. I could feel nothing but souls. I could feel the souls of those whom had once loved me; those I had killed in spirit. They were surprisingly solid, for I had always imagined a soul to be more gelatinous in tangible form.
I could hear them crying out, these souls. They cried out “Mercy, mercy, save us, bring us to peace!” They cried louder and with more intensity with each moment. I could bring them no salvation, for I was at best a ravenous beast who once devoured their mortal souls. I no sooner recognized the cry of my brother than the world became bright once again. I saw that it was not blood at all that I had been drifting about, but my sheets and pillows. And those torrid souls were but clenched fists. As I regained consciousness and found again my breath I remembered what was said aloud by one of the pious men at my feet, “This is a mere psudo-reality which you have created to escape the mundane.”
The world became clear and bright as I lay still with shallow breaths in the winter morning sun. The world seemed, once again, familiar and bleak. I pulled the covers over my head and hoping to forget the truth, it repeated itself with persistence; I am alone, and so shall I remain.