Retreat retreat! We are blocked here and there’s no getting through
I don’t care where you go from here but you’re not coming in
And you don’t move
And neither does it
And you start to notice the atmosphere around you meaning the door is floating literally in the atmosphere, the universe, the galaxy of stars.
There is a door, it is white. Floating in the universe and you are also floating, and the door stands open and the guard, a cross-looking cartoon creature, is on the other side with its arms crossed shaking its head. You hesitate, not knowing what to do or where to go. You could simply leave but you’re curious about things, like the door, and even more so, this creature blocking it. So you say,
Do you live here?
It stares. Says
For how long?
It stares. Says
A long time.
What’s it like to stand there all the time?
Yeah, I bet.
You know that it’s a door in the vastness endless solar system, right? That there’s endless endless here, there’s forever, and this door is somewhat, well, arbitrary. (you blurt this out before you can think about it)
I catch the guard off guard. He slams the door. I sit down to wait for the guard to open the door again. I don’t wait long before the guard opens the door just a little, looks around the corner, and, clearly upset, says
What do you want?
Good question, I say. I don’t know what I want, that’s why I am here, outside the only door in the universe, talking to the only thing I can find that will talk back to me. I’m hoping you can help.
The guard stares, responds
Well regardless of all that what you want is not in here. This doorway leads only to pain and suffering - big pokey things made of metal, sharp edges, machinery - and you wouldn’t have a fun time at all. Did it ever occur to you that some places have guards on them to keep you out? The whole universe is yours; don’t waste too much time here.
I hesitate, not knowing whether to believe this cartoon creature or not. I like its poutiness and its honesty. I like its disposition towards grumpy no-saying and its instinct to protect me, despite its orneriness.
Well, I say. I guess I should be on my way.
Part of me is sad to leave this interaction, the doorway and the guard somewhere, somewhere in the universe.
I say Thank you, and nod, and the guard gives a slight nod. Then I say,
You’re doing a good job at your job, you know.
And the guard smiles and says,
See you next time.
And I say,
Yeah, see you next time.
And I look to the right, to the left, up, down, behind me.
I feel my mass and my weightlessness
I see the purple outline of galaxies far, far away, and slowly I begin grow, expand, float like a balloon
Not just up but down and out and all around.
I have no destination, but I don’t care.
At the time being, floating is enough.
copyright 2016 Nicola Bullock