Rays of sunlight broke pillars of dust as it fell along its downward path. I watched.
The slanted beams, three, four, then two, then none, appeared before progressing backward.
Again, I watched in awe.
I was breathing heavily and looking upwards from my back upon which I was lying. How many pillars came and went, or how many dust particles fell? I was not sure about anything.
The amazement faded. I wanted to know where it had gone, the wonder, the innocence.
The solid and stable dust shifted quickly at the slightest change in the air. How could this be so?
My desire to reach out and touch it was so human, so fleeting and pure. It lacked holiness. I lost a sense of understanding when I recognized the light's ephemerality. I was no longer worried about disturbing the pillars. I reached up and put my hand through the beam, letting my fingers mingle with it. I was rotating my hand, rubbing my fingers together - thumb on the index finger, thumb on the middle finger, and so on.
The particles that once stood out so clearly and intensely now slipped away into nothingness.
Pure childish wonder and curiosity squelched by the adult mind.
I was elongating my words and stretching them within the walls of my mind. I hoped that in doing so, I could understand the new dialect.
"So that I can speak with you, my love."
But, of course, these words and sounds are fractions compared to what I feel. But this is how language evolves; the shift in tongue from me to me, to me, to you.
Consider that this all started around a fire when someone, struck by some otherworldly force, decided to say "me" and then desired to express "you."
Consider, eons after the flame, and it became even more splendid. The same otherwordly being, full of courage, said, "I am golden." But that wasn't where true fearlessness came from. That arrived when "you are light" was spoken with clarity and resolve.
“I am golden.”
“You are light.”
But even these fall away, slipped through fingers like the pillars of dust that disintegrate when the mind of an adult enters and will not stop probing, questioning, and wondering.
I told you this is how it'd be.
No, you didn't.
I tried to raise my hand, but my body was incapable; it wouldn't listen.
No, not now, it said. Now is not the time; maybe it will never be now, and perhaps now will never be.
Go! A voice exclaimed.
What? I asked everyone, and no one.
With that, I was far away, in another universe.
A soft hand was holding mine, and words were being spoken in French:
The voice carried along the floorboards upon which I was lying. At first, they were just murmurs, gentle hums. Then, they morphed and slowly became shapes within my mind as I became more lucid. Finally, I managed to form words; they spilled into sentences, coherent thoughts which turned into bodily sensations and linear mental patterns.
I was returning.
I felt a hand around mine, holding it firmly, comforting me. Gentle skin wrapped around my rough, aged skin.
Shhh, a voice said, just breathe now. Breathe.
The once short gasps flowed into measured breaths, and soon the breaths became regular intakes and releases of air.
My thoughts were turning into bodily sensations. I was returning. I drank it in. The world fell into my open mouth. In that, I found beauty.
I returned from this, from this place of both knowing and not knowing.
"Just this, that is all, just this."
I said this to no one. I said it out loud.
So the conversation with myself commenced.
I wish you wouldn't say things like that
about us and things that happened in another universe
I don't know; it just feels weird
it just sounds weird
but don't you want to entertain the idea
the idea of what
that in another universe, we were something
but we are something
yes, but something else
I like us as we are now
so why change anything
it's not changing anything; just that there might have been another path, another way in which we exited
I still don't see what you're talking about and why anything would or should change
in another universe, we never left the park
the one where I was supposed to meet you at
the one where
yes that one
and none of this would be as it is
everything would have gone a different way
but I love this
I love this too, but I can't help but entertain the idea of how things would be
would we still be in love
we will always be in love
in this alternative place, does that mean you would be healthy