The Last Dream Before Waking, Part II1
I am walking down a long dimly lit hallway with black-slatted doors on both sides. I don’t know exactly what the doors conceal, but I have the sense that whatever it is wouldn’t be interesting enough to bother with opening them.
I have been here, walking, for a very long time, but I do not pause to think about it. I do not turn to see the endless hallway behind me.
As I continue onward, the plush velvet of the carpet begins to grow and change…the short twisted fibers stretching skyward, turning to blades of grass. I am in a manicured garden surrounded by a tall dense hedge, purple shadows crossing winding stone paths punctuated by pools of close-clipped green encircling classical white marble statues posed atop pillars capped with scrolled ionic capitals.
A door in the sky opens and a winding wrought iron staircase descends, but I look past it, fascinated by an ant traversing the length of Venus’s forearm.
I can feel the cool Carrara beneath my feet, all six of them. I circle around and around at the elbow, seeking something but not knowing what, driven by some intractable instinct to continue forward. Occasionally I slip back down the smooth marble surface, polished to glass by the artist known as time. Without pause I continue my climb. Climbing up, sliding down. Climbing up, sliding down. This is how it is. This is how it always has been. This is how it always will be.
My sheer white nightgown trailing behind me, I am following a winding path through a dark forest, blanketed in silence, shrouded in violet shadows, unable to see the sky. There is no sound, not even that of my breathing. I don’t know where I am going, but I am not lost. At first the walk is easy but as I progress the brush becomes thicker and I struggle to navigate, clumsily clambering over fallen trees and through tangled branches which lash my arms and claw my face.
I am searching for something I’ve forgotten in a room with heavy velvet drapes covering the walls on all sides; no door is visible. I sit down on the floor in frustration and notice an ant crawling across a saucer, circling the rim. Someone calls my name and I turn to see a distant mountain, the peak obscured by lavender smoked clouds.
I am flying across a field of wildflowers, patches of amethyst scattered across a velvet eiderdown of crisp spring green. Strange music rings in my ears, and when I look for its source I find that it is coming from a window behind black-slatted shutters.
I rise from the window seat overlooking the garden and walk through sheer white curtains onto the cracked and heaving Carrara marble balcony; twisted branches growing through gaping crevices. The wrought iron railing is rusted and decayed, the scrolled ironwork posts bent and listing. I open my hand to see my palm crawling with ants. Somewhere behind me something shatters.
I walk to an opening where the railing has fallen away completely, stepping off the edge of the mountain peak into the lavender velvet sky.