As the chatter of the café in The Bookstore continued around us, I paused for a moment to look in between my hands which hovered about a foot apart in front of me, slightly resting on the table. Within seconds I was again reliving the world contained within them and had Paulo not requested my attention there is no telling how long I would have lived there.
“What did you see?” He asked.
“I’m sorry?” I asked, shaking off my mental displacement and bringing myself to the present moment and place within the Universe.
“When you looked into the span in dat’ tiny world you had in yo’ hands? What it was you seen?”
“I saw…I saw him.” I mumbled.
“Do you ‘member that name now, ole boy?”
I nodded and unconsciously brought my hands together, interlacing my fingers into a fist. Just as I slowly brought my double fist up, it came down on the surface of the table with a silent explosion within the atoms underneath seemingly simultaneous with my low whisper “…Alan. His name was Alan.”
“See now, you ‘dun said it out loud. How’s ‘dat feel?” Paulo asked.
“Sticky, and kinda depressed to tell you the honest truth.” I replied.
“How come ‘dat be?”
“Because I feel like I stole something from him. I think he got a bad deal, Paulo, shit man.”
“He was set to die anyway. Whaddunt nothing eva’ gone change dat.”
I nodded in reluctant agreement and reached for my caramel macchiato, inhaling its aroma first, sipping on its goodness second. Alan was the name of the guy whose body I would come to inhabit after the world, as most knew it, came to an end. Not with a roar, but with a giggle. He was a good kid, what I know about him, his memories I carry around; they are for the most part, good memories. In his heart he genuinely always tried to be a good person but also realized and struggled with his own faults, but at his core, he was a good young man that would never have the chance of becoming a good old man. The cycles of civilization here on Mother Gaia can only get away with so much naughtiness before she wakes from her nap and demands a spankin’ to all her little ones who trashed the house. That time for mankind, came in 2012 and with the exception of a few, myself included, and no one even remembered it happening. Sometimes in situations like that there is always collateral damage. Alan was collateral damage.
He was in his early 30’s, married, living in the suburbs with a steady and reliable job. He was just living day to day in that little twelve inch world. His life in no way resembled what he wanted it to resemble by this time in his journey and he knew that was not because it wasn’t possible to achieve. He had always wanted to be a writer, a god of the written word, able to craft beauty and art and poetry into the minds of his readers and for a time be a guest in their imaginations; hoping to enhance a thing or two while he was there. The ultimate aspiration for Alan in his formative years was to one day see his name on the cover of a novel, a tiny Universe that came from his mind able to fit in the palms of your hands. Alan knew this dream was possible and what was better was that if it was possible to do once; it had to be possible to do again and again. In that way a writer becomes Shiva and can feel the outstretched arms of imagination surrounding and expanding round about them. He knew these things were possible and deep within him he knew it was the ultimate path for his being, yet for so long he had done absolutely nothing to bring about that reality for himself. The reason wasn’t for fear, or doubt, or lack of motivation, faith or belief. He refrained for …in his mind anyway…sacrifice. Would you give up your dream so that another can have theirs? If you did, who would you really be?
Alan had married Red at a young age and even when they were simply dating he found himself writing in his journals less and less as the days and months progressed. No longer was he writing poems late into the night with a pot of coffee within arm’s reach and a Led Zeppelin album playing in the background. Time was no longer spent hovering into the glow of a lap top with the echo of keys bouncing up and down to the tune of his fingertips. His time was being completely consumed with a young woman that eventually became his wife and little by little Alan left his world for the sake of saving hers. In that world things like college were important and the ideal circumstance for coupling was to buy a house in the suburbs and have about two kids ho-he-hum. Send them to public school while the two of you go off to stable and reliable jobs that will never define you as people. You’d be doing swell if you could manage a time share on a lake or in Florida or something and went on tacky vacations from time to time as the basis for your kid’s formative years after you stick them with uninteresting names you picked for something as sloppy as numerology or whatever cliché method seems easiest at the time. Might be some soccer or baseball lessons or some other horseshit like that mixed in there, but for the most part the existence of that world was let’s just say…not as grandiose as Alan’s preferred world had been. Alan had always hungered for a life rich with some kind of adventure. Not routine. Not get up, go to work, go home to watch a little television then go to bed to do the same thing over again in a few hours. Yet this type of world was most ideal for Red. Shy, introverted, nervously safe.
By the time Alan realized he was slipping away from his world and living in hers he made the decision that he would willingly forsake his dreams as a symbol of covenant. He made his world, for her, a living sacrifice. From that point on it was family reunions, little vacations in cabins, births, deaths, weddings, divorces, careers, homes, time … with Red. He decided that he would build his happiness in her world, regardless of what he was denying by living there, on the foundation that she would always be there. He dedicated himself to the philosophy that she would be the object and anthropomorphized projection of his definition of Love in another body. He made her his compass, his north star, his sole confidant and friend and soon defined himself as simply, her husband. That definition, and living in that definition was Paradise for Alan and soon he had completely forgotten about the world he left behind. But little did he know that I was in there, buried in his sub-conscious and locked away like an encrypted file on a hacker’s computer. You see, I, your narrator was downloaded into Alan’s consciousness shortly after his sixth birthday. That was when his first so called near death experience occurred which is typically the point in the life of a host that’s chosen for my kind to come in unnoticed and with minimal residual damage on the psyche.
The mind of the host as a result of the trauma that’s happening to them has their brain firing off in so many directions that the carrier signals we come in on can just slip past any conscious alarm systems that might be in the thinking patterns of the host. Always through the back door, always the baby in the manger or the tot in a basket on the river. Once we are inside we go into a sort of sleep state or dream state within the sub-conscience of the host that allows us to absorb the experiences of the host as dreams within us. So as a host experiences life the same recordings of life pass into us for use later when we are triggered to wake up within the host. When that transpires the life experiences of the host interlace as memories with our memories and for a time we can’t distinguish which memories are indeed ours from the memories of the host. We may feel the guilt or joy of the actions and effects of those actions that were performed while the host was in control of the vessel as if we ourselves did those things. Depending on the host, this could be extremely good or extremely bad. Whatever the case, it is imperative that a certain period of adjustment time be given after one of us overrides the host in order to sift the two identities apart; or to remember who we truly are. When that is done, we can successfully perform our task in the Universe while navigating out of the lives and away from the people that belonged to the host before they realize that the person they are looking at is actually no longer the person that they knew.
I know, I know. This sounds a little bodysnatcherish and its natural to be concerned with our motives and means but I assure you as your humble author that the saying “…this isn’t what it looks like” applies in this situation in more ways than you can imagine. It isn’t like we are parasitic or that we in any way shape or form bring about the death of the host; that is not the case at all. That being said, there are entities out there that are in fact parasitic and get quite the kick out of driving people to self-harm even to the point of fatal self-harm but me and mine are most certainly not of that kind. No, for the most part we do not interfere or affect the host one way or the other but in some instances the host can manage to do certain things to tap into us which is when all sorts of crazy things start happening like addiction or mental disorders and what not. Those instances are kind of like premature awakenings for us and are just as awkward to us as they are to the host. For the most part what we do after being downloaded is stay kind of quiet in the mind, all wrapped up real snug waiting for the day a host will die as recorded in the Akashic Records or as I call it, The Bookstore. All lives from beginning to end are recorded here and on occasion some loopholes for some exceptional souls may be found, but for the most part The Bookstore pretty much has everyone’s number. Whatever number that may be. So from a place outside of space and time we choose when, where and who we will incarnate to carry out our work like picking up a glove just as its owner’s hand is leaving it to make it our own. We slip into a body before anyone that knows them can observe that they actually died at the appropriate time of their death anyway. We are simply…borrowing what they don’t need any longer.
Alan had no clue that his number was coming up. He had no clue as he approached the 13th year of his life together with Red that his time would be cut short after a rapid succession of events that began when I was triggered to wake up and get ready to take the wheel of the host I am in. When Iris woke me up the day we met in the vitamin shop I was completely disoriented due in part to my host’s actual death having not yet occurred, so it was like being roommates for a while. From that moment until the moment she and I were sitting beside one another in meditation it had been like walking between two different worlds. When I was around Red, Alan was running the show however I was aware of it but felt compelled not to interfere. When I was in the presence of Iris everything shifted into a completely different vibration. Everything slowed down, everything shined with light, everything made sense and words were just a polite garnish atop a cuisine of communication that was nothing less than ethereal. In her company, I was me. The one coming in to take over for the poor unfortunate soul whose life I would have some part in playing to his destruction. The fact that this was fore ordained and quite unavoidable in terms of what the Universe wants to happen is a little comforting but the truth is; you always have a kind of sympathy for the host for a while after they die.
But I have to wickedly admit that while Iris and I were meditating together and I could see Alan’s little world within my palms I took a guilty satisfaction in knowing that it was about to be coming to an end. I was able to perfectly perceive the distinction between him and his life with me and my life; and Iris was not only a part of it but had been for more incarnations than I care to remember. The longer she and I were in that trance like state together with chimes and candles all around, more and more of who I am was unzipping the person suit I was wearing and the only thing that I knew for certain was that I have known her since the beginning. And I don’t even know what the fuck that means, man. It’s just this solidified knowing within you when you come across a synchristic soul signature that nothing or no one can ever take away from you or make you doubt. When you get the chance to work with them again after perhaps life times of longing in absence, let’s just say…it makes you remember why the Gods made the Universe to begin with.
“So dat right there is when you first came online 100%?” Paulo asked.
“Yeah, when I was able to see Alan separate from myself. That started when Iris triggered me but didn’t really coagulate until we were meditating and our past lives together began to unzip for me to recall. So many memories came rushing at once, like a flicker show but no matter how vague it always stopped hard in Egypt.” I answered tensing my forehead.
“Don’t start that horseshit, Paulo.”
Paulo snapped into a muscle spasmic laugh, covering his mouth with his coffee colored hand. He has always been one of those relaxed, Yoda like guides for me in my travels and the thing I appreciate about him most is his ambush style wit cloaked beneath awkward dismiss ability. Though some of his methods of aiding me through the identity separation phase are unorthodox and at times jolting, I have to admit Paulo is very good at what he does.
“Now what you think dat means?”
“I dunno, I guess if I had to go with my intuition it means that the first incarnation both she and I had together on this plane was in ancient Egypt. I mean that kind of feels right but to tell you the truth Paulo, I don’t really know.”
“Then go with yo’ gut. If that’s the first and simplest thing that fits the pieces of the puzzle togetha then you aint got to force the jigsaw togetha, now do ya? If it fits it fits. ” He said.
“And she was my wife.”
“Uh huh. Bet that scrambled Alan’s brain a little bit.” Paulo sniped out of the corner of his mouth while sipping his beverage.
“Yeah! Ya think? I mean put yourself in my shoes, Paulo. You pop into full awareness after a twenty plus year sleep when your widow wakes you up in a different body in a different time and a different place other than where you last saw each other as if there was no separation or passage of time. Which is all hunky dory and all except the host you wake up in is still alive, awake and aware and married with a self-destruct mechanism built into his being that will most certainly go off at the first signs of impending infidelity. I mean that guy was losing his shit in my head.” I said.
Paulo straightened his posture and steepled his fingers together bringing the steeples to his lips. His eyes looked down and then back up to lock with mine in a kind and humble way. He was silent for a moment as a half-smile slowly began to curl on his face.
“Daniel, was Alan losin’ his shit in yo’ mind when you was wit’ Iris?” He asked in a low, serious tone.
I closed my eyes and forced my head to shake from east to solemn west.
“Why dat is?”
“Because when I was with her, he was nowhere to be found.”
“And what did you want to do to dat lil’ world of his. You know the one that fit in between yo’ palms, like you said?”
“I wanted to destroy it. I wanted to make it blink out of existence. But I knew that I couldn’t. I knew that was against the rules. He was a good kid, with a good life and he was truly happy for the most part. He had the potential to be a father one day, and probably a damned good one too. His life could’ve been … nice, I guess. I mean, I knew when I was meditating that it was scheduled to end soon anyway but when I was with her I just wanted it to happen faster. I wanted to be free of that person, that name, that adopted world that existed for the sake of another that I didn’t really and truly know anyway. I wanted to slam my hands together and watch his world explode into light so that I could begin my work with her in this life.” I answered honestly.
“But you didn’t do it? Did ya?”
“No. I didn’t. Now I wonder if that was the right thing to do or not but whatever. What’s done is done or what isn’t done aint gonna be done I suppose.”
“And what happened when the two of you was done doin’ dat deep thinkin’?” Paulo asked.
I faked a smile in preparation for what I was going to say. Had to get that muscle memory working just right for understating a reply.
“I opened my eyes a little before her and knew I only had a moment to steal a snapshot of her in my mind. I stared at her while she had her eyes closed almost in a state of prayer and tried my best to memorize every single feature of her sleeping face. I wanted to know every line, every lash, every facial mannerism and the names of all the hairs upon her head. I think I did a pretty good job. And then she opened her eyes and lifted her chin, turning to me face to face with the warmest, most familiar gaze. As she exhaled and shrugged her shoulders the only question running through my mind was ‘does she remember too?’ but of course I was too terrified to ask. I was terrified the answer would be no.”
A SONG TO PLAY US OUT…
Chapter Nineteen Coming Soon