On the 19th of April, year of our Lord, two thousand and twenty-one, in what can only be described as the reception of a gift from up on high, I achieved a breakthrough so utterly reality-shifting that I am still questioning if it really happened. It was… hmm. Give me a moment to gather my thoughts, it would be a shame for the gravity of this epiphany to be tarnished by my explanation, or lack thereof. Let me retrace my steps.
I was taking my evening smoke and stroll around the Greater Burlington area. Making my way to the Old North End, I found myself looking up at the worn balcony of an old friend’s house. In freefall, the purple crystalline structures refracted the setting sun, my hypnosis quickly turning to blindness. The Ziploc bag nearly slipped through my fingers. I left a 20 under the doormat, spoke of making a plan that would likely never happen, and marched on… wait! That’s it! Plans!
Something about making plans? People, people in my life, friends? Friends I don’t see enough? No, no, no, I’m getting ahead of myself. This thought, this realization, this Truth was unveiled after the sun had set. Where was I?
It’s a beautiful time of the year unless you are prone to Seasonal Affective Allergies, for which I offer my most sincere condolences. You can walk all night wearing just a light fleece and hardly even break a sweat. That’s exactly what I did. After rolling something of great girth and scent, I turned south on North Prospect, which eventually became South Prospect. Victorian compounds gave way to beige brick, who retreated at the sight of the old campus.
Somehow I’m on top of the Williams fire escape, shooting the breeze with the gargoyles lounging in the windowsill. They told me about all the people they’ve met over the years, what the different noises from the steam pipes meant, who was lurking in the shadows of the attic, and how everything isn’t the way it used to be.
It was a nice enough conversation, albeit I was pretty stoned and my companions completely. But that wasn’t it! The passage of time, nothing ever changes, blah blah blah that was it, this was really something special! Even though I wasn’t there yet, I knew, due to the tightness in my left Achilles, which has been known to experience some discomfort when encountering powerful energy fields, I needed to keep going.
Rolling and walking, walking and rolling, smoking and walking, smoking and rolling, walking and coughing. I continued my unconventional cardio routine all the way to the shores of Lake Champlain, to the inappropriately labeled Lone Rock point, where I almost slipped a disk traversing dozens to the power of a dozen of boulders. It was either the end or the beginning of the day depending on what school of thought you subscribe to but either way Orion was beginning to loosen his buckle over the Adirondacks. I looked for something in the night sky, a planet, a shooting star, I would have settled for an airplane. The final The last thing I remember is shaking the glow-in-the-dark skeletal remains of my score onto a miniature metamorphic mesa as an even smaller cross-section of it skipped on to land. I noticed because I always thought of how many more skips you could get if the rock were allowed to ride up off the back of the wave instead of charging head-on into the tide.
That’s when it clicked. All the questions I had never even thought to ask were answered right then and there. Stars were born, planets died, mothers wept, and babies cried. I had dunked my head in the proverbial ice-water which in this case took the form of the lake, the world seemed more clear than it ever had, and I wondered if this was the first time I had ever been awake in my entire life. A message so loud and so clear that it was inconceivable that I would ever take another breath where it was not the foundation of my being. I lay down on a California King of pebbles, drifting to sleep hurtling through something.
I learned two other things yesterday. Number one being that even though Champlain is no longer part of a vast ancient ocean that covered much of the Eastern part of North America, it is still large enough to the point where it can fall victim to lunar persuasion. I discovered this first thing in the morning as the tide licked the back of my soon-to-be-discovered stiff neck.
The second and final realization of this, which I am coming to right now as I am writing these words on this keyboard, is that no matter how resonant something seems, how self-assured you are that you will remember, it is always a good idea to write it down before it completes its journey out the other ear.