Scratch. Scratch. Tickle. Sigh.
There is the sky, with pillows like marshmellows, only they float past in the dark instead of hanging over a campfire. They smile and wave as they go by.
There is the empty stretch in front and on every side, unfurling itself beneathe the marshmellow-y pillows that float by all smiley-faced, and there is the slim bean of a soul who stands on the edge of the deep empty stretch that unfurls itself in all directions. The slim bean freezes into position as if cold from the bald head worn along with a waif-like form, a huge grin, two beady eyes that glow with depth beyond repair, combat boots that glisten with orderliness beyond expectations, fatigues with wrinkled stains chiseled in the knowing, cheeks with white war paint smeared in the unknowing.
And the slim bean also wears a giant light bulb.
There is the roar of the void and then twin tunnels on either side of the slim bean that wind their way down as if marching in cadence to some invisible drum for some unknown mission. At once, there is a roar whooshing up from those same tunnels, a rush that grows louder, larger…like a sonic bomb of whoosh!, hurtling itself through time and space, screaming to be heard…roaring to be seen while locked up with a thousand gag balls into complete silence.
The screaming silence bears down on the smile traced with undying hope into the slim bean, who has no secrets in her heart and only her truth to live into, and so she turns her wide grin into the craning pain of nothing. First left to right. First right to left. First up then down. First down then up. First, foremost, forever, all around she smiles into the exploding void. She does not run. She does not hide. She moves her hand, instead, slowly in front of her.
Scratch. Scratch. Tickle. Sigh.
I know I am sensed, but the time to remain indifferent has long since passed by. Like those pillowy marshmellows that smile and wave endlessly so, silently so. So, I withdraw my hand.
An echo of light penetrates the abyss at the far reaches of the long empty stretch, far far beyond my hunt for a wall or a door or a path or any kind of purchase in this place. Farther still beyond the billowy light of my giant light bulb. The other light ahead, the faint light there, barely radiates from two round cavernous openings through which I suddenly see something step…as if in search of a wall or a door or a path. As if in search of any kind of purchase.
The something is an image, more like a hologram. A hologram wearing a nametag-hologram that says “Ego, Id, SuperEgo…or just call me Hastings.” I stare at the hologram-something wearing the nametag-hologram that says “Ego, Id, SuperEgo….or just call me Hastings.” I stare at the atomic driver. Here with me now. Glowing and transparent, now. The idealized version of her presented before me. She glides closer to me, directly in front now and reaching out as if in search of something. I stand perfectly still, mesmerized by the sight of her — she looks so much more fragile than I originally imagined — but mesmerized mostly by the white t-shirt she wears. The white t-shirt plastered with a giant neon “?” on its front.
Mesmerized by her Ego. Mesmerized by Hastings. Does she recognize me? What if she has heard me all along, all those times when I thought I had been all alone? What if she came here just for me? To release me…because she knows?
Hastings does a slow 360 degree pivot, surveying the long stretch of nothing. Somehow she doesn’t see me despite her agonized visual pirouette. I step forward, directly to her, a mere inches away. My giant lightbulb blazes out her hologram nametag. I feel the heat of her neon bright “?”…then, for a moment, her neon “?” flickers far less brightly and nearly falters.
She knows…she does!
“Hastings?” I ask with confidence, and she blinks with annoyance, as if sensing something. Then she frowns and reaches out to me…reaches right through me in fact. I stare down to witness her hand as it plunges through my torso, plunges fully up to her elbow, then sweeps across my entire waist before moving on with its methodical search for something else somewhere else.
“Hastings!” I yell now and she shakes her nametag hologram as if to rattle the answer out and onto the ground. The giant “?” on her tshirt flares into a megawatt brilliant neon glow that sets my entire being into blinding white light and blasts me fully to my knees.
I fall back onto my heels before the energy of Hasting’s unknowing sends me hurtling in a circle through the long empty stretch of the place. Any ground I had sensed crumbles away. Any walls I thought existed whip themselves into a froth that recedes from my grasp. My giant light bulb blisters and sears and I see a blur of Hastings as she stands frozen in place while I spin wildly and madly around on every side of her, nearly colliding with her, ramming right past her and back again.
Flail, seize, grab, God! SIGH!
At once I claim purchase, grabbing hold of the edge of something. My giant light bulb bounces itself and its light around and I realize I’m hanging by a thread onto the edge of one of the cavernous orbs, just barely out of the vortex of Hasting’s frustration. I pull myself with all my might into the quietness of the cavern, pulling every minute cell of my slim bean of a soul with a giant light bulb into the clear, as far away as possible from Hasting’s howling winds punishing the air in every corner of her unanswered places.
And then I heard her.
“What is this?” she stammers. “What’s going on?”
She sounds pitiful. Alarmed, angry, frustrated. Even scared. Like a child, unsure.
I reach my hand. As if in purchase. As if to soothe. As if to be felt. As if to be seen. Within the safety of her eye sockets, I reach to be fully known.
Scratch, scratch, tickle sigh.
“It’s me,” I answer, my voice echoing lightly in the caverns of her eyes. “Strange person that you think I am. Strange person living in your head. My timing is always impeccable,” I laugh to myself. I laugh to Hastings in hopes of calming her.
“Me…” I say quietly, confidently, knowing she hears me as surely as she now sees me with her own two eyes. “I am an Idea…whose time has come.”