Brave. Then - empty. This was his first and last memory of his previous life.
The light kept flickering, but his first reaction, of annoyance, diluted quickly, under the torrents of new thoughts who rushed, following the laws of physics, hanging in the abstract, to fill the void.
Nothing. The word appeared in his mind, and nothing else followed. He could see it, floating, immaterial, of a transparent, heat like color and he knew he felt something but there were no words anywhere to describe that.
Then he realized he was trying to blink, his eyes still closed, and the eyelids' muscles rallied in syncopated, almost arrhythmic, distributed between jerky and barely perceptible movements, soon assumed by their upper counterparts, those of the eye browses’.
When that stopped, his eyes, opened, saw a room, under attack, by colors, which despite their affiliation to a highly dynamic color scheme, most did their best to decrease their perceived contrast in the current environment. Depressing colors of a decomposing nature fought two other groups, one, composed of pastel, ethereal, light tones, contrasted ad-hoc with the other of strong, lively basic ones. He closed his eyes back, confused.
It took a while for that image to depart and before he opened them again. And then he saw, in front of him, a bit to the right, neighboring the blind spot, and the thoughts kept pouring in, trying to make some sense even when they clearly appeared not to, a woman. She moved, perhaps sensing her inclusion in the story, as if to check her intuition. And then she move more, closer.
Hi, her face was skinny, lightly tanned, and she kept her dark blonde hair in a ponytail, a guess he made with ease, only to be checked critically, moments later by his other, more serious self, still in waiting for the invisible ponytail's appearance.
How do you feel? He started to answer and what followed for the next few beats, increasing at an ever slight rate, was an intense conversation between parts of his mind, some thinking there was nothing yet ready to be said, others simply feeling and wanting to follow the urge of the moment, while yet another observing all these activities, was rather unhappy, but not trying to show it, aware of being online, in direct communication with the nervous system.
At rest.. The words out, his mind went back itself, as if ordered, to rest.
Welcome back. And her eyes smiled. Quickly.
What .. ?
She talked at the same time. No one knows.. Yet, she added, only to realize the other possible questions. We were talking and you're looking ahead, suddenly tense, looking concerned. It started to rain, lightly and your eyes grew tired. We were talking earlier and your silence started to linger ..
What were we talking of?
I was telling you how one time someone told me I was disconnected from the reality. That was genuinely funny, that someone being connected, fully immersed in a manufactured reality, but the only one he wanted to believe in. Irony is that someone was an atheist, a person who could not understand blind faith.
You said, the more stronger your conviction in the sole reality of your world ,, the less reason to believe in the possibility of others. And then, continuing to look ahead your voice went low and soft. How do we get here? How do we get to bet so heavily on a reality, to pass the point of no return?
That was the last thing you said.
Were you driving?
The woman looked at him. No. We were in the 7:42 train.
There was no response but yes, he could sense it was morning.
What is your name? asked he and his voice sounded alien, devoid of any meaning, as if to match the colors around them. Whether it was the tone or the meaning, he could tell the woman became more secluded.
I need to go, she said. I will come back to see how you are.
What was my name? the man asked, almost against his wish. And there were threads of fear this time in his voice.
You did not say.