He awakes in a dream. It’s blue and green and hazy all around with a foggy atmosphere. There is a slight smell of fresh grass in the air. He looks down and sees his bare feet planted on a small pad of a rough marble-like rock. The silence is deafening and any hint of breathing is drowned out by the crispness of the air. He’s confused but senses no urgency to figure out what is going on. This must be a dream. A deep breath is taken in and he closes his eyes taking in the unexpected serenity of the situation. Sensing complete balance, he kneels down to rest on his knees. Unsure of whether or not he will awake from this dream he opens his eyes, following the bottom of his eyelids unveiling his world in a theatrical fashion. There is no blurriness caused from the transition of restful slumber to absolute clarity. No urge to wipe away the unexplainable tears falling down his face. He doesn’t know how to react to what he sees. In the distance he sees a city burning, the earth seems on fire.
He looks down and sees his naked body with scars, stretch marks, cuts, bruises and infections. The sight startles him yet he is fixated on a bruise that seems to devour his hands. It’s as if he’s mashed blueberries and the rich pulpy fruit has stained all the way to the muscle. He touches one hand with another and in an instant, just like an old horror movie projector starting up; a scene unfolds before his eyes. He sees a woman naked, tied to a wrought iron fence, gargoyles staring down from the pillars. It is a scene flooded with gray and white, mist all around. Coyotes are heard howling in the distance while he winces from pain radiating from his wrists. He is paralyzed not with fear, but with a comfort that he all of a sudden realizes the pain that he has caused so many in his life. The coyotes appear, inches from the girl, blood flowing from her eyes for she has no more tears to cry. The steamy breaths of the mangy animals caress her quivering body as she prepares for inevitable pain. They pant and paw at the mystical area hidden behind crossed thighs. Her breasts are bare and cold. He feels himself reaching out to her, trying to accept the fate she is faced with. As he feels the sharp pain of teeth puncturing his back side he falls to the ground. The warm blood flowing down his back onto his feet clothes his nakedness and as he fades into a sort of unconsciousness, the girl is free of her bindings and disappears into the mist.
The damn neighbor dog is barking once again as the morning sunlight creeps through the broken blinds in his closet sized room. The pale yellows and browns that he sees through sleep-filled eyes gives him a sensation of normalcy. Peeling paint frames a yellowing window offering a view of the urban world in which he has immersed himself into. He rolls over to her, pressing their warm naked bodies together. She’s lying face down, exposing a tattoo on her neck. It’s a simple design of dogwood flowers. The smell of her hair drowns out the stagnant odor of sex from the evening before. He draws a line from the back of her neck to the small of her back. It’s a silky smooth burning sensation in his calloused fingertips. The ancient alarm clock flips a page of numbers and screams in agony as he flops a hand aimlessly, stopping the noise before she strains to mumble a word to him about calling in sick to work.
He arrives at work, stale coffee in hand trying to avoid eye contact with the bitchy receptionist. Halfway to his cubicle he stops. He slightly cocks his head to one side appearing as if he is staring at the stanchion of a cubicle wall for no apparent reason. He remembers the taste of her skin from the night before and the absolute trust she had in him as he took her soul on a ride that she has accepted as a condition of their relationship. His coworker looks across the aisle at him preparing to ask if everything is alright. She refrains, seeming to absorb the intensity of the experience he is having. He continues on in a daze. It’s coming to him. The answer he’s been waiting for is right under his nose. His life will begin now…