Sleeping In The Shadow Of Morpheous – Part Three
I woke up. The couch cushions hid my pack of cigarettes. I ripped them off and lit one. The tar and ash accentuated the cotton dry mouth. My thirst became more real with every passing puff. The kitchen furniture was rearranged, and not in a unfamiliar way. Pots in the fridge, silverware in the cupboard, glasses in the oven. The pantry door swirled clockwise as it opened, and my eyes gravitated to a spotless vessel. I put the rack back into place and twisted the door the other way until it locked into place. The sink was clear of the stockpile of soiled porcelain. The faucet was like new and green water ran from its spigot, filling my glass to overflowing. Several deep gulps and I was vital again, the water had restored my soul. I sat down to a meal that had materialized on a golden blonde dining room set. The cherry released its last bit of fumes in a crystal ashtray to my left. The few remaining drags of cigarette trembled between my fingers. I stood to return the flatware to its proper place in the cupboard but I turned the corner. I had returned to the dish pit I had just left an hour or so ago. I was aware of what was going to happen; I couldn’t stop it. I scrubbed the dishes and sent them through the washing machine. I rinsed the silverware and sent them through. I was forced to pay penance in a livid limbo. The pile returned exactly as it was before and I kept washing; trying to beat the repeat. I sprayed down another batch of plates and Jackie’s voice rang out behind me. “When can I come over to get some more of my stuff?”.
“What about..” I said turning around. I found myself outside in the cage, 8 garbage cans filled to the brim, waiting for me.
I collected the bags of trash and strained to open the lid to the dumpster. Pushing with all my might yet no amount of force I could produce would move the thin plastic lid. The door opened and Jim came out; cigarette lit. He opened his pack to me and the lid released; opening as I walked to grab a quick coffin nail . “You ok man?” he asked, “You’re not the same today, you got something on your mind?”
“It’s just stuff with me and Jackie. It’s pretty much falling apart.”
“Shit, you gonna be OK?”
“Yeah boss, I just gotta get back in the pit and work it out.”
With a snap I was back in the cycle. The dishes piled twice as high. I sprayed the ramekins and sent them through; I scraped the boats and sent them through. I sorted the silverware and send them off for rolling and I washed the dishes and sent them through. I collected the trash and took it out. The pile was still there. I washed the dishes and sent them through; I sprayed the silverware and sent them through. I collected the trash and took it out. The pile came back. I scraped the boats, rinsed the ramekins and sorted the silverware. I washed the dishes and sent them through. I collected the trash. I sorted the silverware and sent it off for rolling.
Finally expunged from the perditious loop, released into the bathroom, toothbrush in hand. Toothpaste foam in dripped from the corners of my maw. Staring into the mirror at a stray black pimple I noticed a small door behind me, no taller than knee high. Forgoing my blemish inspection, I got down on my hands and knees. The door creaked open as if it had been there for years upon years. The handle stuck ever so much as a twist released the latch. The tiny corridor was black as night and only just fit me at the shoulders. A crawl on my belly was the only way through. The small square of yellow orange light at the end that beckoned to some primal part of my brain. She finally came into focus near three quarters of the way through. All I could see where her well formed legs and bare feet. The carpet she stood on was shaggy as a sheep dog and I fumbled gripping at it. I pulled myself out of the crawlspace into this new area of my apartment hidden in the walls. My balance faltered as I stood to greet the figure in the room, I knew it was her. She was a little shorter than I was; her skin had become a fair, pale, milky white and covered in a fine blonde hair. Her body curved and sloped. My eyes wandered, touring her striking contours; looking her up and down and back again. Her golden hair framed her still black and wispy face. Her ruffled locks fell into place right about where her eyes should have been. She brushed the bangs away to get a better look at me. It revealed a remarkable darker impressions of her red glass eyes. She smiled a mouth-less grin at me as the fine threads of a black smokey effusion fell from her face.
Her fingers intertwined with mine and she led me further into the unfamiliar room. A crimson red paint covered the wall. Some of the brush strokes dried darker than the rest. It gave the impression that the walls were smeared with blood. I turned looking around, surveying the rest of the room. The wall where the tunnel was, was covered in an algae green color with the same streaks. The corridor to the outside was gone. The most intricate and feminine decor adorned the “T” shaped room. the bed sat in a long hallway in front of a curtained window; black with the cover of night. A low hanging canopy dressed the bed’s banisters, beneath a bohemian chandelier. It hung wile large shards of beautiful broken glass trembled in the weak air current. She laid back, supine on the mattress spread and invited me to do the same. I pulled the burgundy comforter over my body and she began to giggle. She said “You’re lying on the top sheet.” between laughs. It was as if she had never even thought that was possible. In the intimate and pure moment I came to the realization that she was undressed but she wasn’t. I wore clothes but I was somehow naked.
A question realized as I rolled to meet her face in the warm queen bed.
“I don’t have a name,” she answered before I could ask, “but she does.”
My mouth never opened but she spit out the answer to every question I could have asked.
“I don’t know her name. I never needed to.”
“I’ve always known her; I was there when she was born. We’ve always been together”
“I’ve just been waiting here for her to come around. The stars haven’t aligned up till now. She has always loved you; well I’ve known she does. I spotted you from the day we were born into our existences. She’s your bride, and you’re my groom.”
“It’s almost time. It’s been too exciting lately to wait all alone. I’ve been waiting all her life to meet you.” She stood up from the bed and kissed my cheek through my beard. The coiled hairs tickled her nose. She giggled again. She began to sort through one of the closets and chose a strapless white dress. It had lace trim around the hem that stopped a little bit above her calves. She mock modeled the garment in my direction. She became clothed when the dress draped over her welcoming curvatures. No longer between clothed and bare. She walked to the other side of the room and sat in front of a haint blue vanity and began to inspect her face. She pulled makeup tins from the ragged and worn drawers. She picked a brush from a mosaic painted container and swirled it across a pressed powder pack. I struggled to stammer out a simple sentence. Awe struck at this unfound beauty encompassing her. I pressed and pressed to speak while some unknown force pushed against my jaw, and my mind frozen in thought.
I strained on the words as the fell from my lips “W-w-wh-who a-a-a-a-a… a-re-re you?”
She spoke as she applied the cream colored powder to her clouded raven semblance. “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness. I am the stage hand setting the stage for the what is to come. I am the compass guiding her to you. I am what makes that which should be. Don’t be afraid of what’s to come, or how it should come to pass. It’s all done in love.”
I woke up lain out in my bathtub, water beating down on my face and naked as the day I was born. My puke swirled down the drain and Jackie’s face came into view.“Hey babe.” She said, out of habit. “You ok?”
first chapter: Sleeping In The Shadow Of Morpheous – Part One
more by JORDAN CLAYTON
photograph by The Pic Pack