The Dream of the Condemned
Twenty-four hours don’t seem like a lot. The dim green glow on my watch flashes 12:01 and thumbing through my catalogue of memories, the various
ways I’ve spent this hour, it all seems so hollow: the Pan-fueled riots and the burnt candles and the sticky-sweet embraces-- the all-consuming
desperate impulse; that never-ending striving for something unknown and always unattainable. Coming up short at every endeavor. And now here at the
end of the rope for me.
Tomorrow I pay the debt I owe, a life for a life. For seemingly the thousandth time, I weigh the value of mine, dropping each memory on the
scale--some heavier than others--the balance is always too dear. I note a dropping sickening sensation in my gut with dispassionate interest… at
least I can feel my body (for now), I think, spreading my hands out for examination. I look at every line, spot, hair, with a scrutiny I’d never
shown myself before. These hands, chubby and unlined, ages ago in another lifetime, would reach up impulsively to grab on to the nearest grown-up for
balance and security. They have tested the earth, gripped handlebars, steadied the path for others who stumbled, falteringly brushed against a
smooth, flawless cheek, have held innumerable bottles, objects, and tools, have held on despairingly to my own sobbing face-- the only comfort I
allowed myself when the last person on this earth to love me departed-- have remained clenched, throbbing with impotent rage, for hours on end, have
come up grasping and empty time and again, all leading to the tragedy in their final act when with brutal and blind impulse they stole that which
can’t be given back.
Not knowing what to do with them, I let my hands fall limp at my sides. Enervated, I too drop down on the pallet and thin mattress which will support
my last respite on this earth before that terrifying and final rest I face tomorrow. I close my eyes, let out a bitter sigh, and drop like a stone
into the cool depths of the unknown, where I reemerge feeling refreshed and pure.
I am walking through a rippling and changing landscape, breathtakingly stunning in peripheral, and wherever I train my eyes dissolves into brilliant
rainbowed fractals. I’m home. My awareness expands and I realize there is another being next to me, we are two in form only, and conversing
without sound but with the deepest love and respect. From the peripheral glance I have of my companion he (?) is blindingly beautiful, and I know I
am his brother. Our words are not so important. I agree that this time around it is I who will wrong my brother, for it is his time to inspire love,
pity, grief, empathy, forgiveness, and finally and most importantly, MERCY. We both understand that this is only part of a very long but
transformative process, that our souls are still becoming. Here we know that perfection cannot be created, that it must be earned and attained and
that the trials leading to great things will also be great. With that understanding embedded in our breast, we embrace, show our gratitude and love,
and depart, knowing we will soon meet again here, but as fuller and more aware beings.
I woke from what must have been the most restful sleep of my life and though the first thing my eyes focused on were cold stone walls, and despite the
realization of my impending final hour flooding over me, I felt at peace for the first time I can remember. I wondered greatly at this peace.
Perhaps I could ease my relentlessly violent conscience finally once my debt has been paid. A small, mean, life, I thought, but a life nonetheless.
And what man lives who can weigh the value of a human soul?
edit on 12-8-2018 by zosimov because: (no reason given)