A quickie twitter-RP shopping day with Ciabhan.
New York wasn’t a place Elana visited regularly.
Most dense cityscapes were the same: layers upon layers of old and new heaviness floated stale in the air. Every possible path that she could walk, every avenue and every street, carried a persistent stress that remained beyond the people-watching one could manage in the present. She referred others to take her deployment to the area whenever she could, or at least, request the next day off to sleep away the fatigue of experiencing a near day’s unarrested exposure to hundreds of others’ random moods and stressors.
A particular Noh mask back in Kaidan gave her an enlightened discussion and introductory lesson to emotional synaesthesia. What Kan’ami could do was a branch of empathy Elana could never pull off on her own, but he helped her refine her own senses to make crowds and cities more manageable.
It was the talk of the #hivehum that night, an angels and demons party that blasted her phone with invitations from girlfriends. She hadn’t visited this particular club before, and opted for some quick costume pick-ups from Juliena to pass for an outfit. It was hard finding time to be with Julie, especially after she had her daughter Gene–regardless, the metalhead still made more effort than she did to bring the two of them out of their respective houses. It was the least Elana could do.
The headache stepping out of the Agartha portal to Brooklyn wasn’t as bad with a friend at her side to anchor her. Julie’s phone had the address, and the tweets to follow it–landmarks and signs, and as Elana narrowed her eyes and clenched her fists, she raised a brow at what she felt ahead of them: a continuous, warm path of anticipation, welcome and intrigue feeding her in a linear direction. She felt it physically easier to move in its invisible space than outside of it, as if it were deliberately planted in place. Not only that, but it seemed she wasn’t the only one aware–Julie was laughing and giggling and walking in place without Elana’s prompting. The further they walked, the more magnetic the pull seemed to be.
Entering the club was like entering a different atmosphere on its own, a coat check for the mind and a complimentary cocktail of spotlessness. Julie wore a smile that failed to wear off for the remainder of the night. And when the two made their way to the dance floor, Elana’s eyes widened and she looked over the crowd with a sigh.
Perhaps it was expected out of non-mundane nightlife; a more emotionally sober Elana would make an assumption of confirmation bias, but in that moment Elana found herself in a strange oasis. For once in a long time, the unspoken euphoria of the club patrons was lifting and supporting her physically, not the other way around. Even the dress code was seldom negotiated among the patrons: angels and demons sighed, shuddered and shook along to the music in everything from cheap costume store novelty to actual spiked metal pieces that could very likely have been personal trophies salvaged from Hellscape.
She felt a tugging on her arm, and some goading in French sneaking into her ear. Julie pointed an open palm ahead to the dance floor, eyeing across the room other familiar faces peering back at them with even more flashes of delight and energy against her face with their gazes. She grew less aware of the itchy burden of her fake plastic horns or the costume tensor band against her waist. Elana shook her head at Julie in agreement, letting her pull her by the hand into the middle of the packed movement.
And she danced.
TRANSMIT – initiate embryonic eigengrau frequency – RECEIVE – initiate maternal somnolence spectrum – WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING – initiate the Bronfenbrenner systems protocol – A PERSON’S A PERSON NO MATTER HOW SMALL – initiate the wire mother syntax – WITNESS – The siblings.
Now Uriel pointed his sword to the tree of life, which grew in the heart of dead Jerusalem. “Behold: the tree grows still, though the city is dead. Within all that is mortal, there is the seed of immortality, for it is an immortal that fashioned it from chaos and void.” Being a humble man of little wisdom, I asked: “Great Uriel, we are not allowed to eat from the tree of life. How may we then be saved?” And Uriel commanded me to stretch out my hand; and he gave me his fiery sword, which burned my hand, and he said: “only by sacrifice can you free the world from the dominion of sin.”
With a prayer on my lips, I fell upon Uriel’s sword, and it pierced my heart. And truly, on my body, the stigmata of the Lord appeared, dripping blood that was not my blood onto the ground; and the seven heads of the Dragon that were crowned and black clouds receded, and light fell upon the earth, and Jerusalem was born again. Thus the angels departed, having delivered the message, and I awoke in the fields of our fair land, 746F2 0666F726D 207460652067 6F6C 64656 E206 17 260 6F75 (72206 F6 620736369 656E6365
“But it is commonly supposed that the Egyptians believed the soul to live as long as the body continued undissolved, and therefore tried this method of eluding death.”
“Could the wise Egyptians,” said Nekayah, “think so grossly of the soul? If the soul could once survive its separation, what could afterwards receive or suffer from the body?”
“The Egyptians would doubtless think erroneously,” said the astronomer, “in the darkness of heathenism and the first dawn of philosophy. The nature of the soul is still disputed amidst all our opportunities of clear knowledge; some yet say that it may be material, who, nevertheless, believe it to be immortal.”
This vision was granted by the archangel Uriel to the humble servant _______, that _he might bear testimony of /746865206#C=696F6E%202 620776F6C6620 7368616C6&C2063 function(E): 65617.365/%$/
I turned to the north, and saw seven black clouds coming down upon the land. And each cloud was a plague unleashed from the Throne of God in the time of the Nephilim; in that age the plagues were buried in the Pit, they are to remain until the End of Days, which was surely now come. I fell to my knees and prayed, and before me appeared seven angels, riding their chariots, wheels within wheels turning in the sky, and their light hid the clouds from my sight.
One angel stepped down onto the Earth, and by his fiery sword I knew him to be Uriel. He spoke, saying: “seven plagues have awoke in the land, but not at the hand of Elohim; look upon the wages of sin. And shall he send forth the deluge once more, to cleanse the land of this evil? Shall he end all that slithers and all that crawls, and the birds of the sky and the fishes of the sea, to end that which you uncovered in your folly?”
I was in some sort of old city. Kind of like, Industrial Revolution kind of old city. It was foggy, grey, and every alley filled with some decrepit junk.
But before all that, I was in a room. Some kind of….cramped attic-bedroom like thing. Children, young children, were occupying every possible surface, slumbering side by side along every floorboard, every shelf and ledge. I remember a saying in a mundane history class as a kid that cramped living spaces were no surprise in that time. I’m not sure if I want to really confirm it, now. But there were small whispers of snores and murmurs as I continued stepping and creeping past their sleeping bodies.
I must have misstepped on a limb, cot, perhaps a piece of one’s clothing. They woke. Slowly, just one or two, but as if in a wave I seemed to have started something in motion. I don’t remember hearing any bell or clock, as if this was about the same time that these children were, as I thought, going to some dehumanizing work of some kind. I recall in my gerontology classes the many definitions that encompass the freedom and tyranny of time. That the invention of the 24-hour day and large clocks in great ancient marketplaces were part of a shift that changed perceptions of time from cyclical to linear. John William Waterhouse was not there to urge the gathering of rosebuds until about a century later.
Something…very strange, yet very similar, in my fucked up memories, happened. There was a perfectly open, albeit small, door that led from the cramped attic/bed/space room to stairs out the building to the city. But not a single soul in that room bothered to use the door.
Smoothly, as if exemplifying the dream that I was standing in, the children burst open the windows of their room. One after the other sliding up and open. Unblinking, automatic paying no attention to anything at all…their faces were so blissful, so autographical in their innocence, as if they were asleep the whole time.
And then they jumped.
I blinked, and found myself standing at the front of their nondescript brick building, standing on uneven cobblestone pavement. One after the other I was met with crashes of bodies and the groans and cracks of twisted faces and bones. Neither a giggle nor squeal nor scream. The sound of impact, and the blurry glimpse in my mind’s eye of dream-children falling, is all I can really recall.
Except for one particular detail.
Near the end, I was surrounded by small bodies. No other pedestrians were present in this isolated dreamscape to watch what was happening with me. But looking up, back to the stories-high row of windows where I once was, a larger blur of people began to fall.
They landed with a crash, at least six of them at once. They seemed to be holding each other together like a ball. Like every other jumper before, they woke, jumped, and returned to a cherub-like appearance of bloody somnolence on the ground.
All except for one. A very young boy, younger than them all. He looked about five or six years old. He brought himself up on his feet, the only one to have survived the horror. It looked like that larger hugging mass of jumpers jumped that way in order to protect him.
And then he ran. Just booked it. Without a word or notice that I was watching, he turned away from the building and sprinted out of sight.
I tried to chase after him, but the details get even worse and eventually I woke up. But I’ve learned in this world to not ignore the hemisphere of dreams.
I wonder if he was real.
What is the point of being alive? I know, I know, it’s an old question and not one that’s easy to answer. But I mean, if you’re reading this, you are alive. And some day you will stop being alive. Both of these facts are incontrovertible.
So what about it, then? Don’t you wonder? Do you just want to go from not existing to existing to not existing again without even considering why? You, right now, as you sit there reading this: why do you exist? What is the purpose of your life? Do you have one? Should you have one? Is it better to have a purpose or not? When you approach death, will you feel that your life had meaning? If so, why? If not, why not? What defines whether a life was good or not?
It may seem abstract now, but that moment just before death will come. It is inevitable. If you don’t ask yourself these questions, how will you face that moment?
Disgruntlomeister’s Blogstasy, Episode 204
I don’t know about everybody else, but I’m afraid of dying. I don’t see any reason to believe there’s an afterlife. I’m an organism like any other: when my brain stops working, my consciousness will cease, and I will be gone. And you know what? I can’t just embrace that. I can’t say I’m OK with it or I’ve accepted it or some nonsense like that. I don’t want to have an ending. It terrifies me. If I had a genie right now, I’d wish for immortality.
Who wouldn’t? “Oh, but you wouldn’t REALLY want to be immortal,” the pseudo-philosophers say. Pretentious drivel! Everybody wants to live forever. Maybe everybody deserves to live forever, too.
But we can’t, so here we are. Live with it.
Or rather, don’t.