Open Your Eyes. Start the Adventure!

The dream was strange. He was lying in bed with a sensation almost like he was floating, but could still feel his weight on the mattress. It didn’t feel the same though. Lighter maybe? He imagined that’s what sleeping on the moon would feel like. He wiggled his toes happily.

Little non-existent needles poked into his skin. It didn’t hurt, only tickled, and gave his fingers and toes the feeling of being mildly shocked. It felt warm, tingly, and fuzzy. It felt like being tucked in as a kid. The feeling slowly crept into his arms and feet, and further up and into his body. After an excruciatingly blissful few moments, the needles and fuzz embraced him. He vibrated in place on his bed and wiggled his toes some more. The lamp next to his bed shut off and the medical equipment that he didn’t even notice in his room stopped their incessant beeping. Weren’t those supposed to mean something to him? Something important? No, that was when he was awake. He didn’t need them now, he was dreaming.

The lamp was out but there was a glow in the room. Was the sun coming up already? No, the window was as dark as ever. It was night. He was sleeping. And dreaming apparently. He rolled his head around trying to find the source of light, a pale bluish glow that seemed to radiate from the walls themselves. Slowly he realized it was him; a glowing ball of energy on the bed tingling his entire being. He raised his hand and it was radiant like a full moon beaming onto freshly fallen snow. In December, it was obviously December snow.

It all faded into another deeper sleep and there was nothing.

Wake up. Wake up. Wake up. Wake up. It was his heartbeat saying it in his chest. He had heard it his entire life but never noticed it before. It almost sounded like a woman’s voice if you listened hard enough. There was nothing to do but to listen, so he listened. The voice became clearer: Wake up! Wake up! Wake up! The voice was gentle, more asking him if he’d like to wake up, coaxing him to open his eyes, than being a strict order. She said, “Don’t you want to wake up? You’re ready to do this. You don’t think you are, but you are. Open your eyes. Start the adventure!”

After an eternity of nothing that passed in an instant he opened his eyes. 

There was still nothing. The room was black and his eyes saw nothing. He blinked a few times to ensure his eyes were actually opened and they were. He sat up, or tried to sit up, but all there was was a sensation of movement like he was floating in a pool. He moved his head to the left and right but it only moved his consciousness around. He went to move his arms and there was nothing to move. He felt around for his body but not having arms made this a pointless gesture.

He lowered his consciousness down a foot or two and there was no bed. He shot forward ten feet and there was no wall to stop him. He traveled further and no matter where he went there was nothing.

There was nothing but he never felt alone. All around him were people — things, spirits, entities — that were just like him. In the silent and still nothingness around him he made friends with everyone. One Black Thing smiled and laughed at him as if it told a joke, or if he was the joke, and then he laughed along with it. A vibration rang out amongst all of them: You’re the joke! And I’m the joke too! And what a funny joke it all is!

Love, passion, humor, wisdom, yearning, and longing, every possible mix and matched mismatched emotion was around him. He was nothing but he was nothing with all the other nothings around him and he was whole. He was fine. It all made sense. What made sense, he didn’t know, but it made sense. He was there amongst all the things he loved.

WAKE UP!

This time the sound was an alarm clock mixed with angry yelling. “Wake up! You need to get your ass ready for school! It’s already 7:15 and you’re going to miss the damn bus again! And I’m not being late to work again because you woke up late!”

She opened her eyes, rubbed them, and smashed a button on the alarm clock. It was 7:15 — 7:16 now — and it was going to be a rough morning indeed. A flood of memories came back to her in the early morning sun. She had a paper to turn in for social studies. And they were going to learn fractions in math soon. Ugh, all her friends were scared of fractions. And maybe she’d play with that one cute boy during recess if only she could get the courage to do so. Maybe that could wait until tomorrow though…

As she sat up something clicked in her brain. It was only a flash — something she had forgotten about, something really important — but it made her think. Did she forget one of her homework assignments yesterday? Did she leave her art supplies strewn about the living room? Did she forget to do the dishes? Feed her pet doggie? No, it wasn’t any of those but, dang it, she just couldn’t put her finger on what was tickling her memories.

Before she stood up she wiggled her toes and giggled.

The Cosmic Being

During the Formation and Transcendence Eon of the Universe a Cosmic Deity was punished to 10,000 reincarnations. Then he got hired where I was working.

Another, boring, bland, and typical day at Apex again. Many of these chapters begin this way because work usually is boring, bland, and typical. And it’s probably because of this that when anything remotely interesting happens it serves to spice the place up. As much as having random things occuring at work sucks, it does keep time moving forward.

Dusty and I were loading some gaylords, the same shit we always do. He nodded in the direction towards a coworker. 

“You see that guy? He’s the Cosmic Wonder.”

Now I didn’t see anything abnormal about the guy. I even had to ask him who exactly he was talking about. Dusty had nodded towards a group of five people and I didn’t know who or what this Cosmic Wonder was.

“That guy. The tall lanky guy with the cartoon girl on his shirt.”

Oh, he was talking about Denzel. I had never talked to Denzel myself, but knew who he was. And like Dusty said he was tall and lanky and did have a ‘cartoon girl’ on his shirt; I didn’t know what anime she was from but was culturally aware enough to know that she was an anime character. Denzel seemed like a normal enough person on the surface — he didn’t have five arms or anything — but he did seem slightly ‘off’ in certain ways. Like just a little more hyper than a normal person would be and who would hold eye contact slightly longer than a normal person would like he was drilling his consciousness into your mind. He was ‘off’ in a really subtle way though and I assume most people didn’t notice.

“Oh. Denzel? Why is he called the Cosmic Wonder?”

“You never talked to him? James, you should talk to him sometime. He’s insane. Say’s he’s a ‘cosmic being’ or some shit. Someone who says he’s a cosmic being isn’t right in the head. Maybe he ate too much acid one day and it unscrewed a few things in his head. Acid can do that to you ya know.”

“Woah,” I said.

***

A few days later I had the honor of finally talking to Denzel — the self-described ‘Cosmic Being’ of Apex Logistics. Once again it was Dusty and I loading gaylords, but this time Mr. Tuna Fish Joe was also present. Tuna Fish Joe was on friendly speaking terms with Denzel, so by pure chance he wandered over to our group and stated helping us load the infernal Amazon packages into the infernal gaylords.

Denzel walked over in a sort of hyper, angular, energetic walk and gave Tuna Joe and the rest of us a head-nod of greeting. He then jumped a few times. Not really high, but they were still jumps.

Joe returned his greeting by saying, “Hello Denzel, or if you’d prefer to be called, The Cosmic Being.” Joe said all of this with zero irony or anything. Sort of like greeting someone by the name of Robert and asking if he would prefer ‘Bob’ or ‘Bobby’ instead.

Denzel looked totally unfazed, once again like someone called him by his proper name. “Joe,” he said, “you can call me whatever you prefer. I do not mind. And also ‘hello’ to you as well.”

Me and Dusty exchanged looks. Dusty looked like someone just took a shit nearby and the air stunk, and I was wondering if I was properly processing reality. Sometimes in life I just blink a few times and wonder if things are real, and this was one of those moments.

Dusty couldn’t contain his scepticism. “So, how the hell are you a Cosmic Being?” I was excited that someone brought the topic up. I was genuinely curious about the whole matter. Was this guy joking, bonkers, or did he really view himself as a cosmic being?

“I am a Cosmic Being because I have always been a Cosmic Being just as you have always been the person that you are. Even if your name is different now than in the past, you are still you.” Dusty glared while I looked inquisitively at Denzel. I looked into his eyes to see if there was any otherness going on that you might expect the eyes of a Cosmic Being to contain. He just had brown eyes for all I could see. Joe Tuna kept working as if nothing extraordinary was being discussed at all. Like we were talking about the weather or how much it sucked to load boxes all day.

My curiosity finally got the better of me. I inquired in a passive voice trying my best not to sound judgemental, “You’re a Cosmic Being then. Right?”

Denzel nodded in agreement.

“So. How does that exactly work? I mean…” I searched for the right words, “were you always a Cosmic Being, or…?”

He closed his eyes, inhaled deeply, and then slowly exhaled. This took about a half-minute and we just stared at him (obviously Joe was still stacking boxes diligently). Finally, and with his eyes still closed, he said, “I was a Cosmic Deity in the Formation and Transcendence Eon until I lost my powers. I shall get my powers back after I have lived, died, and suffered through 10,000 reincarnations — now 10,998 reincarnations. Suicides are punishable by an extra 1,000 reincarnations.”

“How many lives have you lived so far?”

“Three.”

“Shit, that’s not good. You have a long way to go, huh?”

Denzel closed his eyes again and slowly nodded. It looked like he fell asleep.

I continued my inquiry. “So why did you lose your powers in the…Formation Eon?”

“I murdered all life on Mars.”

“Oh,” I said.

Dusty started laughing. He then said, “Yeah buddy, Mars is pretty devoid of life. So that was all you’re doing huh?”

Denzel nodded.

Dusty said, “You know that scientists believe that Mars only had microbial life in the past, if that, right? Did you kill that life or were there Martians you murdered off?”

Denzel seemed unfazed by being challenged and he was stoic on the matter. “Mars had complex life in the Early Eons. I killed them all.”

“So the scientists are wrong?”

“The scientists haven’t found the proper evidence yet. Some humans have figured out, roughly, what happened in the Early Eons through their insight and intuition. Dusty, have you heard of David Bowie?”

Dustin glared at him again. “Yeah. And?”

“His song ‘Life on Mars’ was inspired by his insight into matters that few humans can comprehend. He had an idea for what I’ve done, and even if his song is a mess lyrically, he was writing about my crime without even knowing it.”

Dusty apparently had enough of the conversation at this point. “Wow, that’s really fucking interesting. I can’t believe I didn’t know that before. Well if you’ll excuse me, I gotta go drop the kids off at the swimming pool if you know what I mean.” He walked away frustrated. I couldn’t blame him and I was only hanging onto the conversation for how ridiculous it was.

“So, uh, Mr. Being, who were you in your past life?”

“The first two lives I lived we’re uneventful and unfitting for a Cosmic Being: I was a peasant and a slave. I was constantly being beaten and starved for most of those lives. It is my last life you enquire about though. In that life I was known as ‘Adolf.’”

“Adolf. Like…Hitler-Adolf? That Adolf?

There was the slow and sleepy nod again. When he opened his eyes he shrugged. He then said, “James, it was a pleasure talking to you, but I must continue on assisting my fellow Apex workers elsewhere. My Powers of Energy are needed. Farewell.”

Joe was still stacking boxes and I wondered if he heard any of what was said in the past few minutes. I asked and he confirmed that he had in fact heard the entire conversation.

“None of that bothered you Joe? Not at all?” I asked.

“Nope. I don’t know if he is a Cosmic Being or not, and I don’t care I guess. If he wants to be that, then I’m not going to convince him otherwise.”

“But Joe, what if he is a Cosmic Being? Isn’t that crazy? A Cosmic Deity from the Early Eons or some shit and he’s working here at Apex shipping packages for a billionaire named Jeff Bezos. Shipping packages!” I shook my head. “Man that would be crazy if it was true! I’m sure it isn’t, but, what if?”

“It blows your mind, doesn’t it James?”

“Yes it does Tuna. Yes it does.”

For the next part: Comic brings proof of his cosmicness.