Sunday, December 23, 2012


I’m beginning to notice things—people live in moments, not in spans of time. Or, better yet, we live in anticipations, hopes, memories, and dreams. Why? Because, seemingly, these grounds are better than reality. And, diving deeper, I believe most relationships are built on the foundation of anticipations or memories (in my case, I think it would be anticipations). It is better to share an expectancy with a girl than face the inevitable reality and realize that teenage relationships usually don’t last. And that’s what I’m scared of—the more I think about this, the deeper I submerge my mind in these swirling waters and see that if my reasoning is correct, only some of us actually live in reality. Maybe you flood your mind in religion (which, by all means, is not wrong. I believe in Jesus and the Cross, and respect the duties I am expected to pursue) but if that’s the case, shouldn’t you peek out from the curtain of faith and check up on the world every once and a while? Yet, I am not advocating to a life without Technicolor. These fictional worlds we have constructed to avoid reality have brightened reality to a respectful degree. It truly astounds me. My father evades reality in almost every way imaginable. I sit up here in my room for hours on end, absorbed in this space of crafty reasoning—but am I escaping reality in doing so? I haven’t really thought about it in this sense, but I suppose I am. I’ve seen the cruelty of the world and how it can make its inhabitants wither and fade. My mom hides from the fact that her mother is passing. Realty is gruesome and we naturally want to shove it into a dark closet, lock the door, and swallow the key. Humans have spent so long creating ways to avoid actuality that we can’t define one from another… the dictionary definition of reality is: the quality of being true to life. If I understand correctly, being true to life means to remain true to yourself, and others around you—be yourself? And since when did reality become a quality? I believe qualities are just accessories used to accentuate the emotional and physical attachment humans have sewn to their formidable bond with fictionalism. Pointless words used to dictate human privilege. Divert your sight from your head and center them before you—examine how autumn leaves change color and fall to the dirt. But not seriously—I added that last sentence mainly for metaphorical appeal. However, keeping to the topic, I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel: reality will always be avoided as long as humans have the tools to make it possible. It was almost impossible to dodge the perils of reality in the time of cavemen and monsters—as humanity unionizes and advances and the vortexes in which we can escape to become larger portals to happier times, reality will eventually be a folklore myth and childish nightmare. The future with render reality to be yet another bland word listed in a book of many others. The future will consist of fiction—it will take the high role of reality as reality becomes formally hidden behind the patchwork of centuries worth of struggle. 

Autumn Fiends and Colorless Dreams

Crofton looked out beyond the shattered window cracked by trails of New York rain slithering to the concrete sidewalk outside the café. Thunder bellowed in the distance, and a taxi trudged down the avenue as water pelted the hood. A red neon sign flickered with dull life across the street above a sleeping Chinese deli.

It was a Sunday morning. Crofton had spent the night at the bar adjacent, and awoke to find himself in the café, a coffee mug in his hands, his face planted on last week’s newspaper. When a confused leer pounced upon his face, he attempted to take a sip of the coffee, but the stale, cold taste made his throat swell and eyes bulge in revulsion. He shook his head and tried to cleanse his eyes of sleepiness with his trembling hands, but it was no use. He had insomnia. Alcoholism. Depression. A victim of all.

About midday Crofton had gathered enough strength to leave the café. The rain had slackened to a steady sprinkle, and the cloud cover had lightened to pale silver. The streets of downtown were flooded and busses and taxis skid over the water like boats through narrow canals. His Cardigan jacket hugged his body, hid his body, giving feigned safety and reassurance…Confidence to walk in a world so cruel.

When Crofton finally reached his apartment, he collapsed on the davenport and let out a tremendous sigh. The pressure was too great. Too heavy. The weight on his shoulders was pulling him to the ground; by his judgment, he had already fallen to his knees. In a world engulfed in fire, can a man survive the flame? No, Crofton thought, like everyone else, I will burn and turn to ash. Crumble. Dissolve. Turn to memories and colorless dreams; haunt the ones still fighting the fire climbing their legs.

Crofton sat up and took his jacket off, ran his hand through his gritty hair, and started the answering machine. Several apologetic rants, some business messages, and then, finally, the unexpected voice of Atkins. He paused, standing over the table, listening to his editor’s voice.

“Mr. Landon…I um… I heard about the incident. I never realized…I—I’m so sorry…” Atkins gave a sigh, and Crofton simpered. The radio continued, “And I’ve been considering…Listen…You’ve got a lot on your plate. The novels due in two months, and with the fiasco that just occurred, I’m sure you’re very distraught. How about take a break? Don’t your parents live in Maine, is it? It’s quite beautiful up there, and inspiration, I imagine, will follow suit.” Atkins paused. It seemed he didn’t know how to end. Apologetic? Sympathetic? Or completely ignore the event? Finally the editor spoke, softly, lightly, sincere, “I know you, Crofton, and it wasn’t your fault. Don’t continue life burdened by the past… Call me when you can.”

A tear found the corner of Crofton’s cerulean eye. He winced. But Atkins was probably right in his sense of a therapeutic retreat, and Crofton couldn’t deny the fact that Moosehead Lake was a scenic paradise and a haven of childhood memories, and for a moment he caught himself considering it. He spun backward and turned the television on, dropping back onto the davenport. Absurd, it was, to travel to northern Maine eight weeks before a proof is due. But, then again, the last time he spent Thanksgiving with his parents was five years ago… Crofton heaved a yawn and laced his fingers above him, cradling his head as his thought’s clockwork slowed. “The stress should be saved for the week,” His father would always state. And with that, and the gentle putter of rain tapping the window, his mind slowed and thickened, his eyelids drooped, and soon sleep fell upon his body as it hadn’t done for several weeks.