You realize this is the beginning of the colorless life. Wish there were still time to learn, taste, travel and live, love the world more and in so many more ways. Your time is up, of course, that you do know. It’s your time to come into the real world, so you come into the real world and take your seat, your seat that waits and leers. You’re sitting at a desk, which is now your desk and will be for a very long time. Those strangers sitting around you you are told will be your friends. You will follow the schedule and will espouse the routine. You will do the work and smilingly accept the paycheck and accept that all is planned forever, or at least for your forever, for that long and prolonged stretch of highway that is all clear, that cloudy white clear that makes you seasick, all clear until that last part that goes under and where that forever ends and a longer one begins. All of it is cruising speed from this point, no more pushing on the pedal because gas is expensive and you’ll burn less staying put. No turns.
You go home that night, because you’re allowed to go home to crumple up on a mattress for a few hours. It doesn’t matter which night that night is because they’re all the same, have been for months or maybe years already and soon you’ll have no more eyelids. You collapse and you sleep. For once, you dream, or maybe you nightmare. The girl… she’s been there forever, camouflaged among those suits that are your friends, disguised in a suit herself although clearly not belonging. There’s a flash and we’ve skipped a minute and now you’re standing in the coffee room, sagging like an abandoned marionette, somnolent as you stir you coffee though there’s no sugar nor cream and never has been. You’re there alone in the coffee room and suddenly another flash and she’s there too and comes very close and she looks at you with the angriest of disillusions. You don’t know her but she knows you so well. And now she’s screaming screaming screaming crying crying How could you? slamming fists and palms against your chest and the coffee is erupting all over you You promised! You promised! You promised You promised so much You promised so much more You promised now look where we are screaming and you’re crying now too tears not washing away coffee stains and you’re a child once again and you don’t understand you’re trying to console her reassure her make her calm again but she’s screaming more thrashing still and that look won’t go away tears keep spilling she’s swinging at things now knocks over everything else and suddenly she’s rushing out the room smashing into more suits things papers are flying suits toppling but she’s running still and suddenly there’s a momentous booming crash a detonation and she’s through the window which does not exist anymore now suspended in suspense not suspended long and then she’s forty floors below not existing anymore either.
When you wake up you don’t remember everything but feel like you’ve felt more than you’ve felt in years and feel that you could start feeling again and maybe even want to. And when you come in and take your seat you don’t take it for long and it becomes just a seat again you can’t see anything sitting down among those suits that are not your friends so you stand up not knowing what you’re looking for but feeling there’s something to find and you see her. You recognize her now and she does not recognize you yet she doesn’t have that look that you remember now and you’re happy she doesn’t and she doesn’t react like you thought she would at the collision of your gazes but that doesn’t stop you and you hurry up to her like there’s not much time left and she’s about to protest but you seal her lips with your index finger and speak before she can. I know! I promised! I remember now I remember everything! I’ll remember even more I can’t believe I’d forgotten I’m sorry so so sorry so sorry I promised and the promise is everything and it hasn’t been too long can’t be too late isn’t too late so come let’s go let’s go let’s go now before something permanent happens and she’s perplexed one second protesting one second like she doesn’t understand but that’s when she remembers and understands and now you’re walking together faster together dashing together and the elevator is taking bloody forever and you’re still holding hands you’re still holding hands holding on but gushing down forty floors almost wishing you could fall all the way to get there sooner and in no time you’re out in the streets and you run in the same direction taking turns at every turn avoiding the big stretches never hesitating not knowing the end of it all, not knowing the way but following it.