Some Things Left Constant

Genarro Rafael Pascual

“The world is what we define it to be,” her voice ripples like the fluid she stands upon. I cannot see my own feet, myself submerged knee-deep in wet, electric blue.

I am in a dream that is my only reality.

She turns, blurring as she does so. She starts walking, a slow, elegant gait – her every step without the evidence of weight. I waded through the pools, feeling the pressure against my legs.

The waters ripple, constant as the swing of a pendulum.

“There is blackness in most places,” she says, as slow as her walk, as if she has all the time to tell me the story of the universe. She probably has.

“Black is the color of nothing, it is emptiness – defined by the possibility of containing something. Defined by possibilities.”

The liquid laps at the cavernous walls all around. Chemical messages travel in millisecond intervals along forking veins that cling to the walls, painting the waters blue. In the new world, the waters will still be blue.

“You have chosen, yes?” she asks.

I nod, voiceless as the clay to be spun on the potter’s wheel.

She stops, and shows me the cause of the water’s constant rippling. It is a heart, my heart, half-sunk in the waters she walks upon. It throbs with life, but barely filling the chamber with blue.

“Let there be light,” she says. And the room fills itself with her statement.

I am in the light. There is blackness before me, and after me.

I am standing on top of a building twenty-four stories high -- a high-rise building. I remember briefly what it was like being before. I remember my heart. But the memory dissipates as fast as a midnight dream, as insignificant as a badly told joke.

My heart is inside of me, I tell myself. No longer rippling blue, it throbs to push the red that nourishes my flesh.

I see the tiny cars like ants, physically irrelevant to the whole of creation. But each contains at least one human – a universe of one’s own. A stellar maze -- a man’s path is as random as every form and color in the cosmos – and as hazy. But the man’s shape is his own mold, gathered from the darkness of looking back, for the darkness that looms ahead.

“The world won’t spin for you,” she says, tip-toed, touching me on the shoulder, “if you keep staring at it like that.”

“I was waiting for you,” I tell her, my voice as crisp as the cracking of a terracotta pot, “as for the movies... that's a different matter altogether, m'dear.”

We hold each other’s hands in equal footing. She walks as if every pace was a word in a story she didn’t have time to tell whole. Her smile’s as solid and smooth as the tiles we walk along. I tighten my hold, thinking of a pendulum, swaying, stopping in increments.

I am in a reality that is my only dream.