Continental Airlines 18

A foot lands down on the hard unforgettable ground after hours over sky and sea. A parched mouth and crickety neck fall far into the background as before I can open my eyes the soft skin and silky hair of a welcoming and strangely familiar pair of arms wraps around me and squeezes every last drop of air from my decompressed lungs.

In a moment lifetimes, both present and otherwise, but not past and not future, an undefinable timeline that has nothing to do with chronological order and therefore comes flooding into my soul and pouring out through my eyes in the matter of moments. I bury my face into that forever hair and close my eyes, squeezing them as tightly shut as my brain can muster and expecting that when I open them this rush of eternal intensity will subside at least as much as the smile on my face needs to recede enough to allow my lips to form words.

It doesn’t happen.

But it does change, and suddenly I’m thrust forward into a later point in this lifetime, standing on the edge of a cliff, hanging over, my right arm holding onto a tree and allowing me to lean over the very end of the world, my left arm wrapped around her in front of me. From here I can see the edge of the world. Oceans collide and the icy bottom of Mother Earth reaches its arm up to take a swat at this tropical crag. I close my eyes and fall.

A black water surrounds all of my senses, flooding into my every orifice and fills me completely until I’m breathing the abysmal liquid. Suddenly my eyes are flung lightning bolt open and clears the dark around me to show me the center of the middle of absolutely unknowable nowhere. I’m standing at the bottom of the trunk of what must be the largest tree on the planet, so thick around I can’t see the curve of it disappearing and so I’m left to stare straight up its trunk. The sun sets just below the great timber’s highest branch and I lean back with the violet rays and let the stars blanket me over and into the night.

I wake up. She’s lying next to me. I don’t have the ability to distinguish if this is real or a dream. That means it’s a dream, right?

Up Next: Hemispheres Condensing