Ignacio Marquez was a man of quiet, calm temperament that when he noticed that his vision was becoming blurred, the first thing he thought of was he was tired from work and needed a rest. With blurring vision, he looked up from the book he was reading to the wall clock on the wall to see what time it was already. Yet, he could not read the hands of the clock. There was a slow progressing dimness around him. Then like the certainty of the coming of the night, everything around him was enveloped in full, dense darkness: the gray ceiling where the fan was, the portrait of his family on the wall, the window through which he could see the street outside went black.
He groped through the darkness fearing he just went blind but he could not remember any previous instance when he had a problem with his vision. He did not even wear glasses even if he was reading. He walked on the floor barefooted but what he felt was a strange softness of the earth. Turning his head around in search for light, he saw a flicker somewhere before him: a tiny point of white light. The ground was rough on his soles still he strode forward.
He knew he was somewhere else already. Where was he before? In his room, sitting on the bed reading the evening paper as he listened to the stereo blaring Yanni’s Aria. The day had been long and he was beat up dealing with numbers on the spreadsheet balancing a book.
As he reached out for the light, he had difficulty breathing. He could not breathe; he was choking on the air that he was inhaling. He was being poisoned by the strange nature he had found himself. He was on the verge of passing out and thought he was already dying. There was already heaviness on his limbs and fear was starting to get a strong grip on him; strong enough for him to defecate in his pants. While his hair stood on its ends.
The thin light shone brighter; bringing into light a rainforest where he stood at the center. The smell of the richness of the ground carpeted by dead leaves wafted through his now extra-sensitive nostrils.
He found himself crouching on the earth with all his limbs on the earth. He tried to walk but he noticed that he was walking with four feet. He had no arms. He roamed around the forest, moving in full gait.
What can you feel?
I feel strange. I feel like I’m a prehistoric cat, a panther maybe. I’m tired and beaten up and my tongue is drooling with saliva. I can feel the rich foliage of the rainforest; I can even hear the succession of thunder in the heavens and see the blast of lightning hitting one of the hundred-year old trees before me, splitting it with force of fire. I feel surrounded. There are a thousand enemies surrounding me, hooting as they lurk behind the trees. I am their prey. Any moment they will feast on my flesh and innards, toss my bones to the ground like a useless trophy. I know it will happen soon. But I’m ready for them since it seems I have known them already. Yet, I’m running away from them; they are too many for me to fight against with. I can hear their hoots and the grinding of their teeth, flashing white for my precious flesh. I feel sleepy but I cannot afford to sleep and rest.
Now I feel I can’t move. Roots are beginning to grow on my paws, digging within the earth. I’m stuck. My agile slender body metamorphoses into a tender soft stalk. I’m a plant now. A plant. I can breathe in the pure universe: oxygen. And fear has subsided now. There are no more enemies, no more predators hunting and running after me. I’m safe.
On the tip of the roots that slithered deep into the ground, I can sense a weak stream of water running along within. I’m hugging the earth and I can hear the brooks and streams and rivers streaming down toward the sea. And the soft winds caress my leaves as I sway with it.
Are you afraid?
Nope. I can sense everything around me fading into something; a marsh of clear water with a muddy bottom. I’m already swimming under it, free and without fear. I’m with a school of small fish heading for the river. Everything it seems is marsh and river. There is no land. It is the beginning of the world.
I can feel oneness with everything. I’m the prehistoric rock, boulder, sand and earth.
A flash of light come whirling with me; fast and even becoming faster. I’m being hurled in the void of space.
Then time is advancing. Fast. The sun, earth and the planets are forming.
Give me a pen.
Here is where I am.
It’s a circle with a dot at the center.
The dot is you.
You are at the center of everything.
Can you remember your name?
I have no name.
Do you know where you are now?
To be continued….
This is a new story I’m trying to work on; the first this year. Evidently, there is still that propensity to tell stories in an inward perspective, brought probably by my long years of writing journals which are all about my thoughts and experiences. I have been noticing that there is always an inclination to write stories that only deal with an individual. Nevertheless, I hope this one will be written until its last word so finish the story. The struggle is still on and I am in my lab still scheming and dreaming and working on my text.