Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Gone in Sixty Seconds

Consensus Man walked into his bathroom and turned on the light. His pipe and lighter had already been placed on the sink counter. He reached over and ran some water into a glass and placed it next to the lighter.

Consensus Man had been through this ritual many times before. He preferred to smoke in the bathroom where he could separate the smoke from the rest of his apartment. All he had to do was concentrate on walking the twenty five feet to his recliner.

Raising the glass to his mouth, he swallowed a quick gulp or two of cool water. He then reached for the pipe and lit the crushed salvia extract with his lighter.

<-60 sec> He drew the smoke in and watched the tiny embers flash orange in the pipe’s bowl.

<-54 sec> Consensus Man then flicked on the ceiling exhaust fan. The sound of the spinning blades felt reassuring as he stood there counting off the seconds.

<-31 sec> Feeling somewhat be-zoned, he tilted his head upwards and exhaled the smoke, watching it quickly disappear into the exhaust duct.

<-23 sec> He reached for the water, and while bringing the glass to his lips, he could distinctly see a row of cartoon faces reflecting off its curved inner surface. He now knew that the salvia was coming on strong and he needed to hurry up and get to his recliner before he froze in place.

<-12 sec> Consensus Man then turned around to exit the bathroom. His heart was beginning to beat faster, and he noticed that his legs felt wobbly. He was also getting the strange impression that the bathroom's ceiling was unscrewing from the rest of the bathroom like a bottle cap.

<-9 sec> Turning off the light and ceiling fan, he started to concentrate hard on keeping it together long enough to make it to his living room.

<-7 sec> Now walking down the hallway, he felt as if someone from above was manipulating his arms and wobbly legs. Soon he began to stumble forward like a spastic marionette.

<-5 sec> Only ten more feet to go. Consensus Man eyeballed the recliner with his right eye and eyeballed the last remaining wall light switch with his left eye.

<-3 sec> He swiped his arm at the light switch and suddenly everything became night. What used to be a maroon colored recliner was now a slightly rotating set of cobalt blue afterimages engulfed in blackness.

<-2 sec> He made his way through the darkness like a foreign body being pulled by gravity.

<-1 sec> Reaching out his hands, he felt the soft cushions of the recliner’s arm rests.

< 0 sec> Finally falling into the chair, Consensus Man closed his eyes and he was gone.


<+1 sec> Retinal Boy awakened from his dream and felt the recliner’s cushion underneath his arms. The recliner felt a bit electrified and hard. He thought to himself, “This feels more like a seat in a carnival ride than a chair.”

<+6 sec> Suddenly he lurched forward and downward, breaking through the virtual floor of his conventional world and into the other side of reality.

<+11 sec> Grasping onto what seemed like arm rails, he stared through his closed eyes at the scene in front of him. In the area around his feet he could see tiny Gumby and Pokey characters from the old stop motion animated TV show. He watched as their arms and legs stretched out like taffy, entwining around and around into long rope-like tracks.

<+17 sec> Retinal Boy looked around and saw that he was firmly attached to a large roller coaster type of structure. It was made entirely of Gumby and Pokey characters, their faces popping in and out of the roller coaster’s twists and turns.

<+23 sec> The roller coaster was rapidly carrying Retinal Boy closer and closer to what looked like a revolving door. Instead of having four compartments separated by ninety degrees of open space, this revolving door had 360 compartments with only one degree of separation. He then became aware that the revolving door was displaying portals to 360 separate realities.

<+30 sec> Coming closer, Retinal Boy noticed that each rotating door resembled a red picket fence radiating outwardly. He quickly became concerned that he was going to crash into it.

<+36 sec> The roller coaster brought him even closer, and Retinal Boy realized that each picket fence was actually red wooden warriors standing side by side, their emotionless faces pointing straight ahead. He braced for impact and the red warriors reacted quickly, gently catching him like a soft glove.

<+42 sec> The red warriors began shape shifting all around him. At first chaotic, the scene started to regain some order, and the red warriors attached together forming two large arms. Looking further, Retinal Boy could see a torso leading to a neck and on to the smooth lower curve of a face.

<+45 sec> He now knew what was appearing before him……
a girl with salvia-scope eyes (sung in a dreamy John Lennon voice).

<+49 sec> Her body made of red warriors, she held the frame of a painting in her left hand. In her right hand she grasped Retinal Boy as if he were a tube of paint. She began to squeeze Retinal Boy until quivering, gelatinous colors started streaming out of his brain. Like tiles being blown from the roof of his mind, they flowed toward the expansively empty space within the painting.

<+56 sec> Retinal Boy watched the gel-like space in the painting begin to fill up with his multitudinous brain tiles. He was beginning to understand what the painting was trying to convey, but before he totally figured it out, BEFORE HE FINALLY UNDERSTOOD THE EVASIVE SECRET
...his brain was completely sucked dry...

<+60 sec> Retinal Boy’s eye lids quickly became opaque, and he was gone.
Moments later... Consensus Man AWAKENED from his dream and slowly opened his eyes.