Code Seasickness

I was in the realm of decision making. There was little way to know whether I should choose Un-iteration or Un-interruption. I wasn’t sure what kinds of places these places ultimately were. My mind’s eye pictured the two arrows, pointing away from each other as if I was having a ping-pong battle inside of myself. In my mind’s eye it shifted to a silvery flourish. “Who, who, who” it rang out.

Who, who, who. I was feeling less uncertain of my uncertainty. “It’s time to just make a decision,” I said. I remembered a story I was told a long time ago: A donkey is in a shed. To his left, there is a pail of water. To his right there is a pail of water. Both pails of water are equidistant. The donkey has no criteria to measure which pail he should go to. Because he can supply no rational explanation for choosing the pail to the right or the pail to the left, he stands immobile in the shed until he dies of thirst.

I wouldn’t be like the donkey. My mind was made up: I’d go to the land of Un-iteration Un-interruption Un-iteration.

“Sleepy Morning!” A voice rang as loud as the universe. “You are a mere Sleepy Curiosity. You’ve failed us.”

I turned around to see what I thought was a 700 foot tall owl, before realizing I had hallucinated slightly and there was no one. No one but the voice, which had its own presence all the same.

“You must wake up as soon as possible. You’re too tired. Your attitudes and perspectives are all musty and brown-old, decayed in the amber dying of your restless, covetous soul.”

I wondered who would talk to me so elaborately. Who says such mean things with such a pompous, verbose style? Who, who, who?

“There is something very bad coming for you.” At this point I felt I needed to look around in attempts to find who was truly saying these things. There was no one. There was no one. The voice was like a P.A. system from the dimension outside of this one, where all notions of space, distance and insurmountability are nullified.

What more bad can come for me? I wondered. I had given up all hope of securing for myself something that could remove bad entirely from my life–I wasn’t even ever sure if there was something truly called “bad” that I could said to have been afflicted with. So what is this large voice saying? I began to sense a slight shift in the center of my stomach though, a vague sense that I would be leaving behind a large portion of myself were I to offer resistance or attempt to depart from under this loud and regal voice.

“When I am done talking, you will need to move quickly. I’ve read it in the bottom of a cup of Macha. You will soon begin to ache with the deepest remorse if you do not behave the way I tell you.

“You should trust no friend. Trust the trees.”

It was five seconds of silence before I realized I needed to move. What had I decided? The land of Un-interruption. I was running, satchel in hand, my thoughts blurred into silver.

When I made it over a ridgeline I saw a giant Cloud Banner in the sky. “SINGING SUNLIGHT, MORNING GLORY.” It took up most of the cloud cover and left a shadow that draped the field.

There was a bear in the clearing. The bear was dressed in a lovely silk brocade, a strange top hat, and was riding a unicycle. For the first time since I had snorted the owl, I thought to myself I hate myself. I knew myself well enough to know by now. I had been Sleepy Morning for long enough to accumulate a strong reserve of memories. They were enough to suck me into the echo chamber of my own Sleepy-Morning-ed awareness. I hate myself. The bear laughed with his head turned to the sky. His laughter seemed to cackle at the Gods themselves. Every burst of sound from his bear mouth was a delight, maple syrup, orange juice of joy. He saw me.

“I am Singing Sunlight,” he said. “I have come to give you happiness.”

I stood paralyzed. I hate myself, I thought again. I’m back to where I can’t make a single action. I’m fraudulent.

“Are you ready for my happiness?”

I stood silent.

“Are you ready for my happiness?”

I stood muted. I stood dumb. I hate myself.

“I am giving you my happiness. Would you like it?”

In a way, I knew what I could do next only because I had once been a child. Caught in a bad dream, I would raise as much of a fuss as I could. I would topple things, shout. I would disturb the social order of my environment. In response, my mind would collapse upon its own scene. I could wake up.

I’m going to wake up now, I thought. I will break this.

“I’m handing you my happiness.”

Singing Sunlight was riding his unicycle toward me. As he approached I saw he was much taller than I first realized. His fur was a delicate as crab grass, his body a lawn of brown delight. He took off his hat and was reaching inside of it to grab something for me.

I felt a nausea like nothing, like a melting of myself. I was losing who I was, when I had only recently been given myself again. “You will have a Wakeful Morning,” Singing Sunlight told me. “You will be a Satiated Bear.”

He held his happiness in his hand and, in a glorious smile, reached his paw out toward me. I had never felt more embarrassed for being who I was. I was convinced he could’ve been a Sleepy Morning if he wanted to, a perfectly happy Morning, he could be myself better than I was prepared for this role at all.

I dove my face into the dirt. Writhing on the ground (a common nightmare strategy) I fumbled for my bag of moonflowers.

Singing Sunlight appeared to have short circuited and could say nothing. I couldn’t see his face but got the vague wonderment that he was dumbfounded, which helped my low self-esteem.

I stuck the moonflower into my throat and pushed until my mouth couldn’t feel it anymore. The clouds rushed inward toward the center of the sky. Clouds came almost to the tops of trees. A fog closed in on all of us. When I looked up, Singing Sunlight was gone.

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About vurinstitute

Horatio Somersault is the Director and Regent Chancellor of the VUR Institute, a think tank involving some as-yet-unknown and slightly spooky manipulations of time and interdimensionality. In his spare time Somersault enjoys writing poems and fables. You can read his writings, as well as those of other VUR inhabitants, at vurinstitute.wordpress.com. Though he lives a wanderer's life, his hometown is a domed biome inside the water core of the moon Europa. You can follow his experiences adapting to the customs of the early 21st century on his Twitter @VURdirector and can email him at vurinstitute at gmail dot com.
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