So, I’ve been working on this for way longer than makes sense, a little scene from a much larger-scoped book I’ve been working on off & on a few years… I lost 3-4 earlier drafts in different ways (paper, typed, phone, etc.) but now even if it’s all over the place, I decided to post it long ago, especially a year ago when I started meeting a lot of people who partially inspired this. To me, these people are many of you, but no one specifically represents any one person I know. I’m going to tag those of you who I have felt this way about, whether we cross paths sometimes and rarely if ever talk, or are best friends and have had more run-ins than seems logical, but I am not necessarily tagging my best friends… this is a connection that is of a certain level, and I hope the idea comes across at least somewhat. I went some different directions so I divided this into three main parts. We find our protagonist here after his reality has become completely unidentifiable and… I can’t give too much away about that… here we go:
I I was sweating profusely in the walk to the bus stop in the sweltering heat, but inside I felt an icy cold pain I hadn’t felt since my worst breakup… the thought hit me that I was completely alone; more alone than I could ever imagine before my world turned to complete random chaos impossible to follow from one day to the next. I’d never felt a hole so deep, as if physically carved into my chest. My sister calling the police on me, “the stranger” for sitting at her breakfast table is what did it, I think. No one knew me for my actual self anymore, and I didn’t know the world around me anymore. I was mixing yesterday’s version of the world with the relatively stable world a month ago with whatever world I’d found myself “currently” in. I’d spun out of any trace of sanity and knew I could not handle this on my own much longer.
A familiar sight then appeared ahead. The bus approached the light before the bus stop, out of what seemed like nowhere. I ran across the street, once again playing the catch the bus challenge. I suppose the bus would always have the same consistently impatient character.
Fortunately as I got closer I could make out more and more people waiting so I didn’t push myself further beyond my limit.
With all the weirdness and apparent randomness of what reality I was living in with each new day, the reason for my rush became blurry and almost completely unknown, even though I knew I was heading to a Freeman rally I had just seen an email invite to. Just in case I came out at the end of whatever psychological breakdown or breakthrough I was experiencing in the same world I felt sane in, I wanted to keep up my basic stable grounded roles. So the rally it would be, as long as Freeman was the same candidate he was before… ah, shit.
As I reached the bus stop before the bus’s stoplight even switched to green, I realized I recognized this “bag lady” out in front from many bus rides before my life went surrealist, all over town. I used to wonder about her since everything went berzerk. She was one of the most comforting sights in recent memory and I didn’t know her name or voice.
Just as I contemplated this, she turned to look directly into my eyes for the first time I could ever recall, and I actually thought I heard her say my name without moving her lips or uttering an actual sound. I opened my mouth and “Gloria” came out, beyond my understanding of why. She nodded. I nearly fell back, much like the feeling of dropping out of deep sleep or dreams, but my foot stopped the psychic topple.
Sort of as a reflex, I looked toward the bus, craning my neck, trying to continue/play the normal bus rider part, as it remained at the red light, and I felt like I was a bad actor forgetting my cues. I felt like Gloria’s focus was trained on me, deep into my soul, waiting for a response. I couldn’t figure out anything appropriate to say for either of us, even acknowledgment. But her eyes, from that brief penetrative eye contact, felt almost as familiar as my own…
I then felt a tap on my left shoulder from behind. I quickly turned, my nose brushing against a man’s glasses… he stepped in front of me, a black man maybe in his 60s, with curly brown hair the same tint as his eyeglass frames.
“You know,” the man said to me, with a wise assurance that made me feel he knew what he was talking about.
“I know?” I felt I did ‘know’ but I deeply felt I wanted some kind of explanation.
“Yes we know,” the man said with a coy smile, then opened his arms wide. I paused for a second then stepped in for a hug. It felt extremely comforting, as a hug might feel with my father, if I could ever remember one.
He pulled back, still holding my arms, and whispered: “Cymatics, brother.”
A white older guy with a Santa-like beard holding a whiskey bottle stood up. “Shut the fuck up with that cryonics shit, Earl!”
I recognized the old white guy from many bus trips, always walking around with old suitcases overflowing with clothes… but I’d never seen him say a word before. Actually, out of these people, I recalled seeing him more than anyone and he was the only one that had previously stood out to me as someone I repeatedly crossed paths with in seemingly random locations.
Earl (apparently the name of the old black man) turned away and shooed his hand off toward the drunk guy, and took a seat on the bench.
“Jacob,” a familiar voice whispered off to my right side, and a man I always used to serve at Chicken Chapel shifted into my view. At least I knew he saw my nametag almost daily, even if he acted like I was no different from any of the other workers there in the four years I served him. Always Chick Deluxes with extra tomato until the new boss came and barred the employees from giving him extra tomatoes and led to the disability discrimination lawsuit of the year.
That thought then sunk in and compelled a fear that maybe this was all some devious plan of continued vengeance cooked up by his powerful Jewish father. No logic was unreasonable in this new world of madness. However, as if on another cue at this thought, he smiled a sincere seeming smile I’d never seen him show.
“You knew Chicken Chapel wasn’t the end for us.”
Us? Him and his father, I guess? Or some shadowy group of opportunistic activists and mentally disabled clients and their lawyers?
“You and me, Jake.”
“What??” I blurted. I couldn’t play my normal-guy-amidst-typical-bus-crazies part for long. “There was no ‘us’ beyond me taking your special orders and I even went behind my boss’s back to accommodate you against his idiotic rule, remember? I only knew your name because- the lawsuit!” (Which I honestly forgot at this reunion, except for his family name Eastwood).
“Christopher. But you can call me Chris. And… exactly. You were the only one who chose the human-right way over the machine-arbitrarily-dictated way. I realized we were bonded for life upon that turning point, I recognized you finally. We’ve always been a team, a complementary co-op, just have remembered at different moments. In ‘time’. Do you remember when I kicked you out of the club?”
It suddenly hit me. We had also crossed paths confrontationally on his job, roles reversed… it seemed we were destined to be these enemies-through-employment foils to each other, or something, but off the job… no reason to not get along. “I always wanted to get back at you but never connected the instances, never recognized you beyond being a bouncer…”
“I remembered you, but only after you showed your humanity, your empathy. We’re equals.”
I stood there listening intently, as if he were a mentor. His face nearly seemed to take on the features of a Native American elder, until I blinked his appearance back into then-present focus.
I then became more aware of other faces and figures around us, in addition to the “bag lady” Gloria, Earl and the drunkard. I saw a young Hispanic man, maybe my age or younger, sitting against an electrical box as he looked up at me. He also was familiar but I couldn’t quite place him. To my left I then noticed my old friend Gray walk up, with his old familiar smile but eyes that seemed vacant.
“Gray! What are you doing here?”
He laughed and shook my hand. He was in the business suit he almost always wore the last couple years I’d seen him as he made his rise in the lawyer’s world. But I remembered that distant gaze that just seemed to get more distant over the course of our fading frienship, and now it seemed more distant than ever. He just laughed, nodded, and turned right back around.
“Gray?” I watched him walk away in sort of a half-slump half-confident strut. I felt sadness, but some sort of closure… and then suddenly a presence caught my full attention from the side, where I had just been looking, but hadn’t noticed this person almost seeming to emanate a light…
I turned and it was… her. My crush, my unrequited love… my best friend who never seemed to see what I could see between us… Emily.
However, the look in her eyes was new, as if she could “see” clearly. She had a look of knowing and comfort, as if everything would be ok, between us, and with this mystifying new world. She seemed to truly recognize me and our connection for the first time. All the other people faded out of view, and within seconds I was inches in front of Emily. Our faces leaned in together and I saw all light. I fell to the ground and the two old men helped me up by each shoulder. I regained my focus and Emily was now to my right, gazing at me sort of sideways.
I saw beyond her and my old friend slash ex-gilrfriend who kept crossing paths with me, Gwyneth, came into view and walked forward, arms crossed. I suddenly could not see Emily anymore. I anxiously turned to my left where again seemingly out of nowhere, my first and most serious girlfriend, Rachel, caught my eye… the sights of both old flames stirred up all kinds of emotions in me but I was only set on returning my attention to Emily. I looked up and all around, frantic to find her.
The radiant light that I felt from Emily’s presence cleared out, and her friend then appeared where Emily had previously been, directly in front of me. I think her name was Simone… she seemed to always recognize my interest in Emily but kept her beyond arm’s length form me, while pushing her toward the campaign executives.
In a haze, she spoke “you stay away from Em… I don’t care if you’re soulmates or we’re soulmates or we’re eternal enemies but you are no good for her.”
I backed up a few feet and lost my footing again. I continued inching back as she walked toward me, crawling on my hands and elbows. I looked up at my first lover Rachel, and her eyes were filled with tears. She looked down. I tried to get up but fell once I stood on my right leg, my knee buckling.
A man picked me up from behind my arms, and put me on the bus bench. I was the only one seated now. He pointed at my knee and my elbows and pointed away. I then followed his fingers back down to my feet and I felt a major sense of relief. He nodded. I got up and felt completely healthy and flexible, knees fine.
“Why… but I mean… thank you…” I looked up to the man who picked me up, thinking it was the old white whiskey drinker… he made eye contact with me, and within seconds, with a blink, in his place stood my first best friend in Vegas, Derek… taller, beardless, generations younger than Earl, never would have compared the two, but… the same eyes.
We shared a hug and I pulled back. Once again, it was the old white man. I shook my head and kept doing whatever I could with my visual focus to try to see “correctly”. My focus came in and out but ended up being clear that it was the old man.
He lifted his cane and looked into my eyes, his wide and nearly crystal clear blue, still so youthful looking and like Derek’s. I’d never made eye contact with him before, I realized.
“You, Jacob, are ready now.”
Earl stood up from the right end of the benches. He raised his cane, gesturing toward the white man. “Jim, you can’t just come at him like that!”
Jim (apparently the name of the old white man), turned towards Earl and stomped his cane on the ground.
“Damn it Earl, why do you have to ruin my schpiel?”
“You have to be natural about it, you don’t want to lead his expectations!” Earl argued as he stood up.
“I can lead what I want, I can even mislead, you can’t stop me, and who’s gonna stop me?!” Jim ranted as he slowly struggled to sit back down. I felt compelled to help him sit but he shooed me away when I reached in.
“Jim…” Earl loudly grumbled, sounding very aggravated.
Jim went on. “There ain’t no karma, no afterlife, no spirit world, damn it. Ain’t no heaven, ain’t no virgins, ain’t no hell. No spirits are gonna get mad at me for having some fun with this kid.” He took a wine from his jacket and drank it.
“Shut it Jim! Your cynical attitude ain’t gonna get you nowhere. Look where it’s got you!”
Jim started laughing. “What, where am I??? Where are YOU?” He broke into belly laughs. I couldn’t help but smirk.
Earl stomped his cane and his feet. “You and your there’s-no-hope attitude! I can’t stand it anymore! You got nothing to live for then why- why- you old, cold, old man! Why do you think Jacob’s here??”
I turned from Earl to Jim. Then back to Earl. Then back to Jim when I realized he had stopped laughing.
“Why am I here?” I piped in.
Jim stared up at me, and swallowed. He opened his mouth but remained silent. I turned to Earl who caught my direct gaze but would not say a word.
I turned back to Jim, and he asked me when the last time my best friend Tim actually remembered me.
“Remembered me? I… I don’t…”
“When did he last call you, text you?”
“I… guess not lately. Well I… haven’t expected that anyway, since I can’t go from one day to the next without, without… my job going from janitor to file clerk. Employed to homeless. My mother living in town to living across the country. How could I expect Derek to remember my number? If I have the same number?” I pulled out my phone and started checking the settings.
“Exactly, Jacob,” Jim said as he stood up. I stopped checking my phone.
“Exactly? EXACTLY WHAT???” I had lost my patience. I composed myself, surrounded by all my bus friends.
“Your world has ended, Jacob.” Jim seemed to say this with complete knowing and authority.
I stared at Jim for a few seconds as Earl’s voice faded into my awareness.
“Damn it Jim! It’s a transition, a realignment…” It seemed like Earl was partly correcting Jim, and partly just coloring the language less harshly.
Jim piped back in, breaking his focus from my eyes again to get back to arguing with Earl. “You say potay-to, I say potah-to! His world’s over! Your world is over Jacob, kaput! You know this.”
I nodded without intending to nod.
“But now you’re here.” A smile slowly grew on Jim’s face. I just came to realize my mouth was agape. Out of the side of my eye, I saw Earl nod.
“You got that right, now he’s here.” I looked over to Earl. “You know us, you always have. You’re just now noticing us.”
I looked in between them, and realized Emily was once again there. Her eyes were fixated on mine, her mouth also agape, and she drew in a breath. Tears welled in her eyes. I just simply felt in shock, but totally at peace, and… it felt right. Finally.
“Jacob, you’ve found me. You’ve found us. We’ve… found you,” Emily whispered, but her soft voice filled my head.
I lunged forward into an embrace with her, and it almost felt as if no body was there, with my eyes closed, but she was there, fully.
I backed up and noticed the girls to the sides, my exes Gwyneth and Rachel and Emily’s friend Simone, all faded out as quickly as they appeared. I turned to the first lady, Gloria, who was smiling knowingly toward me, without eye contact, looking ahead. I returned my focus to Emily, who had her eyes dead set on me, following mine with every turn. I locked her gaze for moments lost in time. I blinked and then everything seemed brighter, and our gaze continued.
The familiar and beautifully disconcerting harmony replayed in my head, faintly…
I turned to look at the others, who all seemed casual and not looking directly at me, but attentive of me. I felt lighter and heavier at the same time, present and not there. I suddenly couldn’t see anything but Emily’s eyes and it felt a little “too real”. I felt true love but also fear of the unknown. I closed my eyes for several seconds and shook my head, loosened my body, to try to snap out of whatever this new glitch was.
I opened my eyes, regained my focus, and saw everyone still around me, though now most of them looking at me. Then I realized everyone was looking at me. And I realized they were all with me, and for the first time, I found the friends who stayed through every reality, as much as everything else around me became completely unpredictable and random in the most bewildering ways. My recent feeling of being an alien in my home world, my home town, at once became replaced by the feeling of being more at home with family than I ever was, just in a setting that would never be what I once knew.
Emily then spoke to me, for what seemed like the first time ever directly to me. “Time is the most precious commodity in the universe.”
Finally, the bus came. I stepped on, put my money in, and looked behind me. No one was there. I looked inside the bus, which was half full, but nobody I recognized.
“You getting on or what?” the bus driver impatiently asked, shutting the doors.
“Yeah, we are…”
The bus driver shook her head and I continued to my seat.
two parts I was going to put in but they may veer too far into other territory… who knows what will end up in the actual book:
A woman in a flowing dress adorned with roses on the skirt, wearing a crown, came out of the shadows and walked up to my side holding a rose. A robed man followed her. She stopped and we bit on the rose stem, and twirled around. We drifted off into opposite spiraled directions, clockwise and counterclockwise, into the shadows of the lampposts. All was dark, and she was bright. A light glowing beautiful woman, human being to the fullest, emanating all kinds of color into the dark environment. I felt a bright whitish glow around me radiate towards hers and the static cling was otherworldly. Then fans of some sort overhead started whirring, blowing cool beach-flavored air.
The man in the robe stood forth, the color of his robe unclear, seeming to continuously blur and mix.
I moved forward, feeling he threatened the woman, with a 3-pronged staff.
“Why would you use that?” I protested and he held up his hand as if to silence me.
“No, what the fuck are you doing?” I felt like I couldn’t move. Was this a dream? No. My feet clearly burned. I looked down at the hot asphalt and stepped forward, barefooted.
I tried to step forward again but couldn’t, I was slowed to a standstill. I reached out towards him, then her, but couldn’t move. She seemed to become further away, equidistant from him, forming a triangle between us. She was looking away from him as he walked toward her.
She turned towards me and smiled. He stopped, and from his robe emerged a bouqet of sunflowers. The trident staff was simply no more. He moved towards her, as if floating, his hand extending the flowers closer to her. She turned to face him and held her hands out.
A warmth swept over me, and I could feel they felt it too. The entire area, the street, all brightened up as bright as could be, until nothing else was visible except their outlines. They reached each other and held hands, as she cradled the bouqet in her arms. The flowers of the bouquet and the roses on her dress all began to float, and encompass the sight of the two.
The more “Matrixy Morpheus-Neo” type segment:
Jacob: But how come you’re all from such different backgrounds and I’ve hardly actually gotten to know any of you? What’s this binding thread?
Gloria/Iris: It’s not something physical or visible… We are all tied far beyond this 4d world… You can call us family, team, inner circle, cosmic collective, soulmates, YOU, whatever you’d like, if you need a title association. We don’t need to have anything obvious in common, but we are drawn to the same direction, meeting at a convergence point where we can hardly tell where one of us ends and the other begins.
Jacob: What about everyone else? Genetically related family… Longtime best friends… Lovers? Coworkers, politicians, employers? Are they all in different “families”?
Iris: Everyone has a soul family- we’ll use that term for now, and they come in all kinds of forms. You’d never guess who’s part of your closest loved ones’ soul families. Only you can identify, however long your soul chose to undergo the recognition and remembrance process, who is in your soul family. It only makes perfect divine sense to you and those within your inner circle, your soul family. You can’t figure out all of your best friend’s soul family members, but you might make a few astute yet lucky guesses. This, of course, is not our entire family. We reach all corners of the world, we’re simply mostly centered here in Las Vegas. It’s where we chose to create our central village. Soon, you’ll see why, and you’ll be reunited with the rest of your soul family, and we will all be together for the first time in this timeline.
Jacob: Wait, this timeline… I’m pretty sure my problem I still haven’t heard any solution for has to do with switching timelines or randomly falling through different ones… I dont know. My first best friend, whom I guess is not “one of us” since I don’t see him here but he lives here, has been telling me about this theory of tones or ah frequencies altering our “timeline” or like bumping us into new timelines. What does… Is there any way I can stick to one stable timeline? Ever again?
Iris: I think you know that our bond transcends timelines and that is related to why we are here for you now. In your greatest time of need, the kind that the usual “fixers” of your accustomed physical plane can’t “fix” in the current paradigm. You’re basically jumping around, unconsciously guided by your “music”, with time trailing behind your fast pace and no longer being perceivable by you in a linear fashion. Your friends and blood family may seem oblivious to and controlled autonomously by these reality shifts, because they are still in mostly linear time (with much smaller less frequent timeline shifts and glitches), and their linear perceptions of you continue as if nothing changed… Except for your increasingly weird appearance of behavior… By now they may have dismissed it all as a mental breakdown you are going through in every version, and we understand how profoundly this has alienated and isolated you. And in ways they are right in quietly diagnosing you of total breakdown from their detached and limited observation points outside your sphere.
Jacob: Ok ok my sphere, my loved ones are detached observation points, I’m misdiagnosed without knowing I was diagnosed- this is all gonna take a while to absorb, I’m still trying to figure out if this is a magic bus stop and if the bus actually like teleported or just appeared in my broken head or what. I’m sorry it’s hard to make any sense of anything right now. Ever, anymore.
Iris: Yes, we’re here for you and we are patient, as patient as you are, beneath the chaotic dust cloud created by your ego’s most desperate fight for survival in your entire journey, throwing up all its defenses against the incomprehensible higher self comes closer to your primary awareness; takes the pilot’s seat of consciousness- when you your higher self tames your ego and keeps it in a minimally basic functionality seat of macro-focused adaptive survival mechanisms. You’re not far off and it’s impossible for us to tell you how it will play out or what you will experience, because none of us have been in your unique and highly important position, and you need to discover for yourself what you are here to learn and accomplish, the way your self-designed blueprint lays out. Who knows if you’ll remember the blueprint once you realize what it comes down to. Remembrance is a level we all yearn for, perhaps the only essence just out of reach that we may feel indefinable frustration or longing for beyond our 3d/4d selves. We know, we feel that it’s attainable if only we unlock our next plane ascension within this pivotal lifetime.
Jacob: Oh… Um ok next plane ascension, got it… But wait, why is there a deadline of this lifetime? Don’t you all transcend all physical planes, all timelines? How many levels can there be?
Iris: As we said, our bond, our soul family transcends all linear measurements of our travels through space, time, densities and star clusters- no we’re not getting into that advanced education yet- but as individual souls still assigned to these human body vessels, we have individual relatively “human” missions and needs and desires, who may feel a little more at peace than most standard young souled Earthers because we have our egos in check. It’s entertaining and cute, like watching a toddler play a miniature piano and then push it into the wall because it’s not making the tunes he wants it to make, watching these “grown adults” naively try to shove their ego into hiding or battle its aggression thus attacking themselves and adding strength and resolve to their parasitic but perfectly natural and vital egos. Without any ego, the human could not survive long surrounded by millions of ego shells containing their human counterparts.
Jacob: Ok I don’t know if you stole any or all of that from the Matrix or maybe One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, but I’m pretty sure all of it is pulled from your favorite movies. I like those cerebral kind too. But this… No thank you I’d rather be in an air conditioned movie theater with kids yelling obscenities at the fantasy hero who keeps making stupid decisions until he saves the day. I’m no hero.
Iris: All in due time, Jacob… Close your eyes.
Jacob: Are you still gonna be here when I open them?
Iris: Yes, we will “still be here” from the moment you close your eyes and forever after.
Hesitantly, Jacob shuts his eyes gently. Iris touches the center of his forehead just above his nose, his “third eye”, and his face starts twitching in a million little spots rapidly. His eyeballs dart around beneath his eyelids, as Iris maintains a calm, still, serene closed eye demeanor in front of his face. Her hand appears to shimmer subtly, and she directs him to “take a breath, inhale…”
He inhales deeply and she removes her hand slowly. “Now exhale… And open your eyes.”
He exhales and opens his eyes, seeming clearer than ever, almost crystalline… and the soul relatives are all gone.
Jacob: “Oh no… Shit. I knew it.”
Iris: “Knew what? That’s your trusty ego talking… Told ya we’d still be here.”
Jacob sort of makes a noise like a cough/gasp/laugh and looks around before closing his eyes. A huge smile sweeps his face, his biggest since his “normal life”.
Jacob: Well ain’t that something… Friends in my head… Yeah yeah ego, whatever ya say, I’m already starting to see how you have way less use here than in my “previous” life. But I think we can reach an understanding.
Iris: But remember Jacob- never underestimate or challenge your ego. Things could get ugly.
Jacob: Got it, so I guess you’ll be like my support group voices in my head? If I need an intervention you’ll just all meet up in my mind and talk sense into me? Can I ever put you on mute?
Iris: You decide when you want our help, when you want to communicate with us. We will sort of reinforce and backup your conscience, which is also tied in with our collective conscience. This links straight up with our larger umbrella star family, if you will, which inhabits at least 33 measurable dimensions, derived from a single ethereal heart-mind. All of our family’s souls originate from this central “organ”. Before this, we can not explain in any language humans can comprehend, verbal, visual or otherwise. Patience…