I was a harmless soul at the bottom of society living with other pariahs, like wild beasts and birds of prey sharing life together, respecting the law of the jungle and never bewailing our fate, for one knew his needs and others'. My outer senses were dulled by living long in the dark, but my inner ones grew ever keener: I saw those floating on the surface billowing with the current, while I sat below undisturbed by their muddy thoughts or excessive light, clearly watching them through layers of darkness protecting me from them. Although their images came through distorted, I saw their inside well, like a subterranean god who knew their every thought and deed.
My honesty has turned me into a sleazy character no one applauds. Hiding backstage, my piercing eyes never tired of peeping, nor my ears of eavesdropping—I watched them sleeping, eating and mating, and ogled their naked souls. I loved the good in them and wished they saw it too. Undressing each of their earthly attire, I offered them instead griffin wings, radiant suits and space capsules, that they all rejected, mocking me while wallowing still in the coarseness they chose. So I retired, wishing them well in the ignorance they worshiped, from which I hoped sometimes they would never wake up lest my peacefulness end.
* * *
I have had long night walks, away from day disturbers, prowling the City to find a new spot or thought I hadn't met before. When I rest to absorb what I found, I am no longer aware of time or surroundings: the night chill sneaks into my body, through the grass or an icy park bench, without me stirring; I don't hear or see the swishing maple leaves between my feet urging me to leave; nor do my eyes blink when a fast-going car flashes its light at me, fixed upon the ground as if they could see through and beyond earth—with stone-like orbs of some poet of old, perpetually petrified in a waiting pose till the Muses arrive.
Although a forlorn figure, a pale dot in the infinite picture of Universe, I was alive, my mind teeming with thoughts and my heart beating like all the living, full of love and warmth, that Nature couldn't give.
I passed the better part of the night sitting alone in the City's largest square, bitten by the cold yet happy. My sole company was in the neon signs and dark silent buildings around me, who looked at me with pity I well deserved. The colossal edifices seemed indifferent to my childish gaze, as I wondered: "Is this Civilization?" The more I searched the night sky for a planet I loved or a constellation to trace, the more they hid it with their unshapely cement figures, parading their height and might while their lofty tops despoiled the virgin sky. They looked different from how they had been in daylight, now clad in ominous silence like a mythical city whose all inhabitants were dead, except me.
Sometimes I fell into sleep or stupor, engulfed by the quiet, where my mind travels far beyond its frontiers, acting like a god for eons sketching the universe he would later create. Alas the sun rises and most sketches are trodden and destroyed by the reckless City's feet. I long for Mother Nature's bosom to bury myself in and escape to.
I close my eyes and see myself rocketed to another planet, era, or earthly place no one knows, thankfully safe from man's abuse.
* * *
I was flying over fields, rivers and cottages, crossing vast spaces of terra incognita, until I landed among eccentric people with long spears in hands and loincloths around their waists. They welcomed me and asked me to stay, and illuminate them on life and the universe. Every time I spoke they grew anxious to learn, and every day they yearned for more wisdom, like children with insatiable curiosity. I tried answering all their questions, to slake some of their lifelong thirst.
They loved me and wanted me to live among them forever. They even wanted me to be the head of their Order, but I refused. They insisted, until I finally accepted. I remember during the rituals when the old former Head approached me, saying in words and gestures: "Look to the sky!" The festivities for my coronation lasted for several days and nights: they sang, danced ... and I danced with them too, until I was exhausted and fell asleep!
I opened my eyes to find myself still in my bench in the Square, with my head spinning and body aching everywhere. The night was drawing to an end, and the living statue of the City square decided to move. Life was returning slowly to my rigid limbs, that almost cracked by the sudden jolt of reality.
When I went home, I kept ruminating the dream all the days after. It had a message I had to know. I shut all the doors and windows, switched off my senses, and, with eyes closed and mind open, I traveled again, farther and faster than ever before, to unknown places no man had reached. My vehicle was the one that made all vehicles, and gave life to the lifeless: my brain.
A vision or not, I felt responsible for my people. Else I will only live to submit a report on their behalf, estimating the damage and casualties, inquiring into what caused the disaster wrecking my City, and surviving alone in a nuclear winter after all my race had hastened its doom.
I had to warn them before it was late.
* * *
It was early morning when I left for downtown. I kept walking until the sunlight was everywhere and the streets buzzing with life. I was on the Main Street gazing at the windows nonchalantly when my thoughts were suddenly interrupted by hearing my name called by a familiar voice.
It was an old friend whose name I couldn't remember even after we parted. After we shook hands, and the stereotyped questions about health, work, marriage, etc. went on, the noise around us grew louder, reminding me to hurry up and not forget why I was there. Pointing to the crowds, I was reminding him to "return the favor to those we love while they live," as the primitives taught me. He thought me upset about something personal, although I was referring to those who daily upset Nature, warning him, like the two angels had warned Lot to leave Sodom and Gomorrah.
After he left, I was trying to pick up the threads of my thoughts he had interrupted. Despite the deafening car horns, peddlers hawking their goods, children with their parents, and mosaic picture of chaos, I was detached from the noise, people and reality. Time felt motionless.
Suddenly, I saw the street full of people I've never seen before, as if from different eras they emerged: those who have lived on Earth since the beginning of life, and strange-looking others coming from the future, all walking by my side on the endless street.
Not finding a scientific reason, I sought a religious one, thinking this could be the Day of Judgment, where all humanity lines up to be judged for eternity. But there was no Jesus on a flying cloud with angels around appearing yet. It wasn't Doomsday; it was an ordinary day.
Sadly none of the faces I recognized. They looked like armies of puppets with no life in them. I felt lifeless too. Life and death, synonyms and antonyms, were all one; even those feet I had, walking with a diabolic monotonous rhythm, seemed like not mine. All life came down to "a conscious non-existence." A moment later, the street was empty. A big silence followed!
A little angel, with yet short wings, came to make an announcement. He hemmed, cleared his throat, then—he changed his mind. Nobody was there to listen. They were all gone, why should he stay? He spread his wings and disappeared.
A silence followed again. But this time it seemed eternal.
The angel returned and lit upon the ground where I had been standing in front of the windows. It was a white, skinny pigeon searching for food. Looking at me for a second, with my reflection on its bright eye, it almost said "I know you." Finding no food, it flew away, forever.
No one heeded the message it was carrying.
It was only a warning.
* * *
Those who don't value science would favor a prophesy over a scientific fact, for them to take action. They prefer a prophet, a pseudo-scientist, or a scientist talking like a prophet, to accept advice from. I chose the latter, to get my message through, as I was desperate to help them by any means or game rules they set. I followed their incoherent childish fantasies to the end, hoping, when they return to reality, they will have learned something. Like other prophets' messages, mine had a divine background, except that my message remained strictly factual, and the background fictional.
I decided to travel in time and space as far as I could never before, to the Universe long before it ever existed. Passing through endless epochs and ages, I was searching for its origins, and mine.
There I fancied someone, sitting silently on an ethereal throne, like a motionless statue, gazing forward at nothing, pensive and lost in deep meditation. His awe-striking appearance was nothing I had seen the like of before, leaving my head in the clouds, as my boggled mind couldn't tell if he had seen me or not, or pretended he hadn't. This must be him, God.
But God only knows (nobody knows) what ideas were teeming in an all-knowing mind that seeks no more knowledge, or what feelings were stirring in a self-sufficient heart that misses and fears nothing. I followed the contradiction, however.
I hoped he recognized the stranger I was, from a distant future coming to meet him. Alas, the faraway look in his large eyes couldn't betray whether he knew me or thought I was a Pinocchio or Adam he had created and forgotten long ago. I ran quickly toward him and put myself before his eyes to see me. I kept staring into the fathomless pupils, unwilling to talk unless he talked first. I was filled with awe by the dead silence the whole existence was shrouded in, and a million thoughts began surging in my head by the presence of such supernatural being I eagerly wanted to converse with.
I felt strangely peaceful, trusting whatever I had been skeptical about, where everything seemed perfect, as if I was doped, emboldened even to approach, touch and enjoy more of him. I eagerly wanted my heavenly Father to embrace his long-lost Earth son. Yet, the human in me woke up suddenly, argued, and hesitated, unable to lift a foot or move from where I was standing. I saw no ground beneath me, I was about to fall, but I didn't. I stayed there, easily treading the air.
For a fleeting moment I remembered the "future" I came from and tumultuous life I had left, like a muffled faraway noise, that I felt disdain for with my present transformation. I remembered my impression of God then, with a large hoary face and foggy features hidden behind the clouds I was trying to trace; and the overwhelming joy at the end of my prayers, where I thought God was really talking to me, like a dear friend sharing my innermost feelings. I remembered my search for harmony in all my surroundings: in the colors of a picture, notes of a melody, words of a poem, and relationships between life's events. I always felt him lost here and there; but now he is no longer shrouded in mystery, because here I am, seeing, not just imagining him. All my thirst has been quenched and emptiness filled to the rim, with ineffable lasting gratitude. The best thing is, I don't need a name or description for my feeling.
A fear has suddenly crept into my bosom, not knowing whence it came. I couldn't find my self or even see my body! I felt lost, torn, decomposed, unable to control a single thought I had. I felt mindless, heartless, powerless. I became nothing.
From the womb of emptiness my soul was struggling for re-birth, in the heart of sadness an involuntary cry took volume and pitch in which I put all my strength, and the man I used to be materialized again and stood before God. With tearful eyes I said, "You have killed my self! I can't me or anything else. Where am I?" Wherever I looked I only felt his presence; all else was endless emptiness.
With fixed eyes and a deep low voice, he said: "Don't you know you are part of me?"
His words went instantly into my heart, that I felt I was really part of God, sharing his body, thoughts and feelings, that I didn't care to find my self! Yet when the image of my predestined return to Earth flashed before my eyes, I was sad again, with a lump spoiling the pleasure I found with that being. Recalling the life I came from, I knew evil and pain were still part of me, just as God was, which I couldn't understand, escape or change. My early euphoria was wearing off, and the happy dream about to end.
I voiced my fear, "I don't want to go," then I broke out in tears. He said, "I am on Earth as I am here. Go and I will be there with you. You will regain your self and free will you miss here." I cried, "I don't I want them." He replied, "No, you will keep them while you live, and return them when I ask you to."
His words were as clear as a sword. I was decreed to return to my damned freedom. At this very thought, I saw a sparkling anger in his eyes, and his voice dramatically changed: "Do not insult my gift!" I was scared because he read my mind. I tried to run away from his sight and escape his anger, unable to bear that part of his nature, so frightening and unpredictable. I found myself running in every dimension, searching for my dear self to protect me from him, from a power beyond my power, and a will opposing mine. My ego was hurt and the human in Me was as angry as the divine in Him.
As time went by, I grew weary, then bored, knowing he didn't want my company. I stopped dreaming, wanting to return to the real world I knew and missed. I left him finally, torn between two intents, to challenge or surrender to him.
When I returned home, everything was the same, except for a strange feeling I had not felt before, vague, foggy, blurring the vision of whoever tasted it, before metastasizing to the rest of the brain. Like sunrays descending from the sky, it had many followers on Earth. Now and more than ever, I know why!
How sad I became to find my mind, that absorbed much of man's wisdom and science, still refuses to follow those beaconing clouds, try the mystic ecstasy others enjoyed, or even acknowledge it. Yet, ignoring reason, my heart craved to march with the marching, chant along and cry tears of joy with them, tasting a pleasure it has long been denied by the laws of logic it strictly followed.
It was almost sunset, when everyone left and the chanting faded out, and I remained alone. I sat between my heart and mind looking at the clouds, trying once more to trace the face of that faraway God, who'd been with me minutes before. I almost saw him smiling, unsure the smile was of mockery or encouragement, to ignore or use the brain he himself has given me.
* * *
How I wanted someone, a human, alien, robot, or god, to help me save my Earth from the apocalyptic scenarios it awaits! Of all those I met, I couldn't believe that someone with natural or supernatural powers would plan the worst scenario ever, to annihilate all creation, why? Long before, why on Earth, inflict earthquakes, volcanoes, plagues, where millions of lives end, children playing, students learning, animals living, and people working to make it a "real" paradise on Earth! Rather, he/she/it should use their power to curb Nature's anger, and Man-made evil, where killers win and innocent human lives end, or endlessly suffer, with or without hope for another life thereafter!
I could no longer dream or hope! I sought human and divine succor, natural and supernatural, to save the world. I tried, and failed, to stop nations destroying each other, with millions of lives therein; to end hatred, terror and myths; to have a fair government representing all world peoples, and stop killing machines made by Man and fight those made by Nature: diseases and catastrophes, from Earth or, more widely, from space that we still know little, almost nothing, about—to "look to the sky," as the old seer has told me, where our annihilation is doomed unless we move fast.