photo: loyal nana

photo: loyal nana

It always catches me in the middle of a daydream. Driving along the coast of a warm place, walking towards nothing while the souls of my feet receive a million-peck kisses from dewy grass, or even swinging on a metal swing in the dead of a humid night. As soon as my reality loses the consciousness battle with my mind, it hits me like a gunshot. An absolute and intense longing in my senses, my heart, and my mind. It is almost tangible, as soon as I feel myself on the cusp of understanding, it slips through my hands infinite bit by infinite bit, like trillions of grains of sand.

The longing isn't the only thing that pulls me away from my dreamy fantasies. Sometimes its a hand waving at me, just a couple of inches from my face, or an earnest “Hello?” does it. The “thousand-mile stare” isn’t exclusive to the dead, and the living who surround me have found that, as more time passes, that stare has become my neutral expression. Days blend into weeks which melt into months, and the seemingly never-changing pattern of my life continues to print itself onto an endless cloth. The vividity of my daydreams and the rudeness of their interruptions, my complacency, and discomfort, my motionless life, over and over.

Once, it caught me during a real dream. I stood in layers of snow, barefoot, during a blizzard. Clusters of snowflakes swirled violently all around me, and I felt not an ounce of cold. It seized my body, and as if gravity decided I didn’t mean much to it, I began to float up and away from the earth, through the snow and the wind which carried it and into the blue of the sky, which always waits behind the dark, billowing clouds of a storm. I no longer felt as if I was floating upward, I was simply moving, not necessarily to, not necessarily away from.

I felt the endlessness of space, the intense heat of every star and the pull of every planet, but nothing could break or melt the longing which pulled me so far from everything I thought I knew. I felt myself collapse the way the stars do, I felt like infinitely small shards of glass shattering into themselves and like the individual threads of a cloth undoing and ripping themselves apart. I felt light, I saw temperature, and my sense of “I” collapsed along with my nerve endings, bones, and hair follicles. I was nowhere and everywhere, every last thing and not a damned thing at all. I felt every duality and every triality within every quadrality, I touched every sound.

But I woke up, in one piece and somehow exhausted. I pondered my daydreams, now unable to fathom the simplicity of each one, and felt the strongest urge to go. To drive with all the windows down, to walk on grass during the early morning, to visit a park at night during the summer. The little things I craved so real and so tangible and so possible. I felt myself grounded on this side of eternity, and I was fine with it because there will always be more to come. Lying there, I longed for nothing but the moment. Nothing but that then, nothing but this right here, right now.