It all started with a song. Don’t ask me to remember what song, it’s long in the past, but I can tell you it was about space. What a concept; space. That space and the others. There are so many facets to the word and even though they are all different, somehow they are all the same. The space between now and then for example, is no different than the space between here and there.
I get distracted so easily. Let’s get back to it shall we? It all started with a song. I was all alone, as I so often was in those days. Not that I’m not alone now. I can hear the echo of my thoughts in all of the silence here. It bounces off the walls of my skull and the small room I rent. But back then -there within the frame of a small window in time - there were people around, didn’t make me less alone, it was just different. Okay? Don’t ask any questions, just go with it. I’m sure someone out there knows what I mean. I was alone, unnoticed, living a life in the middle of the eye. In the eye of a storm everything swirls around centre, but doesn’t ever touch. My one true connection was to music, I loved parties where the music gave an energy boost to your heart and made a subwoofer of your lungs. I lived for those parties...
Distracted again. Never mind the parties, those are not what is important. It wasn’t a party when things changed, it was just another lonely night. Something truly mystical transpired. I sat behind my desk at work. I worked late in those days as well. I was working a little later than usual, but not so late that commerce threatened imminent closure. I sat at my desk scrolling the municipal bus times trying to plan my route. I was going to a take a different bus tonight, to a place I’d never been to.
Music was swirling around in the background and that song came on. The one about space, the mind, and longing. The lyrics entranced me almost instantly with their starry, spatial, astral physics. It wasn’t the first time I had heard the song and yet, somehow it seeped into me. It’s tendrils of sound sliding in through my ears and twisting this way and that along the folds of my brain, took hold. The world slipped into an unreality. For a moment everything was under water. Then the computer screen strained, its colours warped and stretched out of true as if a giant magnet was placed next to it. The words and numbers that were displayed on the screen flashed,shifted, reframed and became unrecognizable. Digital runes. They spoke to me in ancient tongues that seemed to steel my connection to the song. A rhythmic hum, deep and throaty as a ritual chant hidden deep beneath every surface lifted me. Slipping and skating over every surface, the song played on.A new temporal space opened like a tunnel spiralling into, or, out of my skull. A hazy floating daze swept me out of the chair. The hallway stretched on and on, sliding telescopically into infinity. Along the walls were the same symbols that the bus times had morphed into. Runic etchings that looked thousands of years old and yet digital, at the same time.
I met him online. We chatted for hours through direct message. When I say hours, I mean hours. My back was always sore from sitting hunched over my keyboard frantically trying to type the next message, my heart pounding a punk rock tempo every time the three little dots flashed indicating a message was coming; that he was typing.
I was outside the door to my office and sliding along the hallway, but not of my own volition. The floor was like a moving walkway at the airport. I went numb, gooseflesh bubbling up all over the back and sides of my neck. “Did you make it to the milky way to see the lights all faded?” Piano keys tinkle all around, echoing, dripping light all over the hallway as it shoots farther and farther into the further. The walls were liquid dark LCD screens showing red letters and numbers that shifted and changed into various languages. Recognizable and not. They shifted into those same alien runes and the ones and zeros of binary. The lights and the sounds grew and crescendoed, then faded into background noise. It all cycled and cycled and I was in the centre.
He couldn’t sit still. He was a traveller. Even when he was around his mind would wander. Part of me loved that about him. Because, even though I had him, I still had to chase him. The chase was thrilling and fulfilling. I always caught him. At least temporarily. In those moments, I wasn’t alone.
Suddenly I glanced up into the onyx ceiling where a massive red digital clock flashed overhead keeping pace with me. I had to catch the bus. If I missed it there wouldn’t be many other chances.
The song hit the chorus,
Did you fall from a shooting star
One without a permanent scar?
And did you miss me while you were
looking for yourself out there?”
Waves of sound rolled out of the quivering plant leaves, the static in the wall screens and the radio. It rose up through the floor, into my feet, and vibrated along the bones of my legs into my guts where it began radiating outwards.
What does it all mean?
I was no longer in any place I knew. The world was gone and this song was echoing in everything. All around me. “Did the wind sweep you off your feet? Did you finally get the chance to dance along the light of day…”