The Heart Of America, what a gaudy nickname. Or maybe it’s cute. I haven’t truthfully made my mind up on the matter. In any case, I live in Kansas City. This is where I am real. This is where my mind is.
I realize my thoughts are making less and less sense as the night goes on. Wait, scratch that, when did my thoughts ever make sense…?
The Blue Years
When I was nineteen years old I sailed away on a shrimping boat. Away from my parents, from my girlfriend, from my beautiful car, away from everyone and everything I loved. Maybe it was simply teenage angst… or maybe something deeper. I’m still not sure, myself. In any case, the lifestyle on the job suited me very well. A tasteful amount of solitude, a tasteful amount of camaraderie, and all the time in the world to just think.
The sea eventually became my deep blue respite. Many a late night of mine was spent trapped in its hypnotic swayings. The fish beneath, and the way they slither and flow and fly beneath the water’s surface. Their mini fish-brains operate at full speed, thinking about whatever things fish think about.
I was a shit fisherman.
I don’t remember much from that time. I drank a lot, spoke to myself a lot, wrote a lot, that’s about it. I was awful at that stupid job. Yet, it began to define me. As a man, as a human, as a soul. I saw myself alone in the middle of the ocean surrounded by fish. Scrambling around somewhere just barely obscured from sight.
Alas, I still stand on the rusty fire escape, lost deep in my own thoughts. My stomach hurts for some inexplicable reason, and I’m very, very tired.
A cat loudly hisses from down in the alley below. I pretend not to notice and take another swig of my mysterious brooding-fluid.
How did I end up in Kansas City? What happened between then and now? Sailing is all I know. How can I live in a place drier than a salt shaker?
I can hear the television faintly playing some idiotic piece of advertising through the open window behind me. Its glow peeks out into the cold, dreamlike night outside and softly illuminates the otherwise black iron metal structure on which I stand.
Some vaguely pleasant-ish smooth jazz is squeaking out of the TV’s shitty old speakers.
I close my eyes with the intent of never again opening them.
Void & Beyond
Yet… I don’t cease to exist.
I’m not sure where my mind has gone.
But it’s certainly no longer confined within my body.
I am beneath a fire escape, looking up. I am in no pain. I feel… Oddly peaceful.
For a brief flash, I begin to feel some emotion resembling worry. But it doesn’t quite form. The notion completely diminishes before coming to any sort of negative flourish. The questions slowly drip out of my mind, and I embrace the feeling of contentedness it brings.
I feel no arms, no legs, no form at all. I am a spiritual blob; a worm made of raw emotion and desire. Where will it take me? I feel an odd sense of anticipation. Excitement, even. To see what lies ahead.
I begin to rise from the dark alleyway below towards the open window at the top of the fire escape.
In front of it stands a man alone.
His silhouette is highlighted by some faint light shimmering from inside the window. A soft harmonious buzz in low fidelity spills out from the homely little room into the night.
The man is leaning on the railing staring into the sea of darkness below. He smirks, and throws his head back for a rather large sip of whatever he keeps in his flask.
I continue my upward ascent into the night sky full of stars. He’s so small from up here.