Burning …from my journal

Posted: August 3, 2011 in Handwritten Chronicles

August 1, 2011

It was a peaceful place, but it was a false peace. Like a commune, perhaps everyone was naked, or close to it. There were things you knew, but tried not to know. You had two choices: spending time here, which was a spa sort of like a slaughterhouse, or being hunted down in the jungle. There was no peace in the jungle; the knowledge was too sharp. They were always watching, knowing who was next. You didn’t know until you were being chased. They didn’t kill you then, just brought you to the spa to relax. That was one way to get there. The other was simply being drawn there by the temptation of peace. In the jungle, there were snakes, and hunters, and knowledge, and fear. At the spa was quiet, and civilization, and TVs with remotes. In the jungle was survival — raw and savage. You didn’t have to survive at the spa. They brought food to you on little trays while you watched TV and lounged, munching and waiting for nothing — peaceful. But we were waiting for something, it was just so hard to remember with all this peace. The servants spoke in soothing tones and wore gentle smiles. There was something to remember, though. It was hard to find the memory — the real reason we had come. It wasn’t just the lure of safety that brought us out of the jungle, though that’s all that was easy to feel. It was a lie, we remembered, but what was the truth? We watched the screen — I held the remote — and we searched for the memory. We shared a sort of telepathy once we began concentrating very hard on figuring out the truth, which was very helpful. You really couldn’t do this on your own. We weren’t sure we could do it together — it was just so peaceful, and we had everything we could want! The food was to die for, and the people were so kind. But it was a lie. We found the truth, secretly. We kept watching TV and smiling, but when we remembered, we were burning inside. It had to burn to stay alive, for the peace was so strong. David asked our TV companion — there was only one, because there were only three chairs per TV — how her husband was. She smiled and said she was not married, then she turned back to watching TV and delivering cheese, meat, and crackers — stacked just so — to her mouth. No crumbs or mess, just peace. But it was a lie. She was married. We came for them. We came from the jungle to get them, because we knew the truth of this place. In the jungle, with the snakes, we knew. They were scared of the snakes and the hunters, and the lure of peace was great, so they came here. We came to tell them the truth and take them back to the jungle. We knew it wouldn’t be easy, but we didn’t know it would be too late. They had him already, and she was in grave danger. How to tell her without being overheard? Would she even hear? She’s so far gone — she doesn’t recognize us and doesn’t remember him. We have to try. We decided so while laughing at the TV, to look normal. We turn to seize the moment, which won’t look normal, so we have to be fast, and we are facing an empty chair. A servant appears to re-fill our drinks and soothes us with the reassurance that our friend would be back in just a moment. She won’t be. We know. We have to keep the fire alive and keep thinking about the truth — they already got him before we came, now they have her and she won’t be back, one of us is next, and don’t eat the meat. It’s hard to remember and keep smiling at the TV. Oh, here she comes, the servant smiles. Our friend is back. We were wrong. She just had to go to the toilet. She’s back to watching and munching. We settle in. We were wrong. She’s back — at least there’s time for her. We have time. This show is funny. We laugh — we are not faking. It’s really funny. I look over at her so we can laugh together, so that it’s even funnier. She laughs with me. It burns. It burns. I keep laughing, but it burns. He looks over, because he feels it, too, but doesn’t know why. It’s hard to keep laughing when it burns so much. We see the truth — we don’t eat the meat, we know we have to get out, we have to tell her. It is not her. It’s hard to see, because it seems like her. She would say she just got up to go to the toilet, she hoped she didn’t miss much, but it is not her. It is too late. Now we know we must go. The servants fluff our pillows, but it’s a lie. We must go. We shovel cheese and crackers into our robe pockets — no meat — and wait until the servants are preoccupied. We run. I can run as fast as him — that is new. We find a wall and climb it. That is new, too — how are we scaling a 20-foot concrete wall? We do, but I am seen. She’s a wispy girl with a broom the same color as her hair. We are nearly to the top, though. We have time. She’s going to tell him, but we have time. I’m scared of the top, because I don’t want to jump down the other side. I keep going. We get to the top, we pull up and swing our legs over and feel grass. The good, thick kind with no weeds. We look around — the wall is gone. There are people everywhere, having such a good time singing and dancing. They’re all making their way into this ancient building — looks like a ziggurat or something — and the music is coming from inside. A strong beat. We feel it. It doesn’t burn. It is sweet.

[This was my dream last night.]


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