The skeletal man sits at a table in a café. He sits reading A Brief History of Time, to himself pointing out all the mistakes that one earthling can make never having ventured beyond one’s own atmosphere. He sits ignoring (but knowing full well of their pasts, presents, and futures) the other consumers that occupy the packed coffee house. He pays no attention to the lovely single mother who sits enjoying a coffee with her ten year-old son, the man who writes and writes spending hours upon hours at this home away from home trying to write the great American novel. He especially pays no attention to rapist psychopath who sits but two tables away planning his next victim.
There is one person that the skeletal man, how can I put this, it’s not that he entirely likes me, it’s more like he tolerates my existence. He once told me that I have an old soul. That I’m important to the way of the world. However, if not for that he would ignore me as he does everybody else.
I can’t say that I fully trust or believe the skeletal man in everything he says, I mean he wears suspenders and a belt, how can you trust a man who can’t even trust his pants. I bring up the subject of trust for this reason, and I know why he does it, to show me human emotions in their truest form, but what if something were to go wrong? How, if I’m important to the way of the world, can he ask me to come to a coffee shop that is five minutes from being shrouded in tragedy?
That being said I enter the coffee shop. Walk past the mother and the playful child. I beware of the psychopath and the knowledge of his evil deeds of past. Try to steal a peek of the writer’s music that he performs solitarily to himself. Only then reaching the skeletal man’s table.
“You don’t have time to order a drink,” the skeletal man says in his soothing voice.
“Wasn’t planning on it,” I sit. He lowers the book.
“Why haven’t I ever heard of this Stephen Hawking before?”
“You know, I ask myself this all the time, all the years that you’ve been alive, how is it that there are things that you haven’t done, that you don’t know. Sometimes I think you are pulling my leg, testing me, seeing if I’ll taste these silly little cakes you bake.”
“I could live one million years and not experience one tenth of the universe. You’ll come to respect these ‘silly little cakes’ when you see where your silly little life leads you. There’ll come a day when your eyes will open. When you stop acting like a naive little piss ant child and learn something from what I have shown you.”
A man, the man who’ll change the future of everyone in this café, enters. The skeletal man looks in his direction, closing his eyes.
Opening them, “We should leave.”
I stand, half running out of the café, leaving the skeletal man behind, for he never walks faster than a saunter. I’m about five hundred feet away from the coffee shop when I stop and turn to see the whereabouts of my acquaintance. He is slowly making progress; I stand and wait for him.
Once he is beside me he raises a hand and places it over my eyes, I immediately see the interior of the coffee shop and all the patrons, whom are no longer sitting, but laying on the floor. The scene that we had just left is a robbery that will soon take a turn for the worse. A troubled man tries to be a hero, costing everyone his or her lives. All of this I see in full detail, the single mother twitching after a bullet had ripped through the back of her skull, dying as her only son is slaughtered beside her. I see the body of the rapist, all life gone from him. He died in one last attempt to right his wrongs, wrongs he had no intention of stopping. He was a man of death, death he dealt in sexual violence he forced against his male and female victims, and death that came to others, not by his own hand, but by another soul just like his. A soul, in the words of the skeletal man that is a dire necessity to the planet earth, a soul that is used for population control. (I had a lengthy conversation with the skeletal man about this subject, how diseases were our population control, then we had to go and find cures for these populace regulators. So nature took control of the situation and caused a sickness that we couldn’t cure, human bloodlust).
Being under the skeletal man’s spell, I sometimes loose control of myself and I’m not aware that he has removed his hand from my eyes. For when I finally come to we are in my car, the skeletal man driving, me in the backseat staring out the window.
“Why didn’t you do something back there? Why did you just let those innocent, well except for the one, he deserved what he got, but you just let the others die. I don’t understand you. You have the ability to change the world. Just admit it, you’re a fake.”
“Exactly what do you think I am? I’m not you’re god; I’m not here to save you. I’m not here to change anything. I am here because of you, and anything else that happens I can’t change. You don’t know anything, you haven’t seen what I’ve seen, you haven’t been where I’ve been. What happened today isn’t the worst I’ve shown you and it’s only downhill from here. I just can’t believe, all this time that I’ve spent showing you the worst of your world, you just don’t get it. I’m not sure you ever will.”
I adjust in my seat. “I get it; I’ve known what you’re trying to tell me.”
“Oh yeah? What am I trying to tell you?”
“Humans need to make a drastic change if we want to save the world we live on.”
“I’m sorry, but you’re wrong.”
“I’m wrong? Okay, what the hell are you trying to tell me? What does all this mean?”
“I’m showing you the worst in people because I want to desensitize you of your love for this world. I’m trying to show that the earth is not worth saving. I’m trying to prepare you for the loss of what you call your home. I just don’t want to be playing mother to you when it’s gone.”
“And where is Earth going?”
“It’s not just Earth; your whole galaxy will soon no longer exist.”
We reach my apartment, the skeletal man helping me up the stairs that lead to my humble abode. Once inside he sets me on the couch and goes into the kitchen.
“Do you have bottled water?” he calls from the other room.
“If it’s not in there I don’t have it.”
He comes back in the living room holding a can of Pepsi.
“What are you so upset about?”
“I’m not upset; I have a headache from your stupid voodoo.”
“It’s not ‘voodoo’.”
“Magic, voodoo, whatever. I’m sorry I don’t know what your people call it.”
“We don’t call it anything; it just is what it is.”
“It really doesn’t matter. Right now, I just want to get some sleep.”
“Go ahead. I’m not stopping you.”
I shift positions on the couch, laying my head on the armrest and close my eyes. I hear noise in my self-appointed darkness. Opening my eyes, I see that I am alone. Then comes a bang and a crashing of silverware as it hits the floor.
“What are you doing?”
“I thought about making dinner. Are you hungry?”
I don’t answer. I just close my eyes and let sleep take me to a better place.
In my slumber, I don’t dream of kittens and mermaids. No, the skeletal man has ruined that for me for as long as I shall live. When I said I was going to a better place, I guess I was remembering a time when I didn’t awake in cold sweats. When my dreams weren’t filled with death and destruction. Maybe I was even thinking back to a time when a dream was filled with life’s longings. Not vulgar displays of violence from a past moment in my life.
I remember my last dream before the skeletal man reemerged into my life (we have met before, but that’s a story for a later time). I dreamt of a world just like ours. Lush green trees filled the parks that children (with no fear of sexual predators or the like to steal them away from their precious homes) played in sand boxes free of glass or candy bar wrappers or whatever else our deceitful winds decided to plant in them. A world just like ours only when a woman walked alone at night there was no fear, no suspicion of the man who just walked by.
All those great things and more, (breathable air, oceanic water levels that weren’t increasing by the day threatening to flood our way of life) there was just one thing that stuck out above all.
There was a brown eyed, brown haired girl (she seemed around the age of twenty-three) who led me around the city. I followed at her heels as she showed me the peacefulness that resided in this mysterious utopia.
However, the sites of the city played second best to this otherworldly beauty. She talked of the plentiful trees and litter free roadways, the words entering my ear but not staying to digest, my senses were heightened elsewhere.
She walked with a gracefulness and awareness. She seemed to stride carefully as not to hurt the microscopic creatures of this world. I watched as the wind caught her hair. As it danced to a symphony that only existed to itself.
Then the time came (you know the saying, all good things must come to an end) that my dream goddess had to leave. I was being called to another place. A place that I don’t know how I can, but somehow I call home. But who knows, maybe one day a genius will invent a way for dreams to come true.
This is the first chapter of what was supposed to be this great book I was going to write. It then turned into a struggle to write chapter two. I really like this, so maybe one day.