Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Wake Up

Yesterday there was a giant snapping turtle behind work where I take my hourly smoke breaks. Being from Washington state I had never actually seen one of these amazing creatures. I pulled a stick from the mud and wiggled it in front of his giant head and he (or she) responded by snapping his beak tightly around the stick; releasing only after I was able to pull the weight of his body to the surface of the water.

I spent the rest of the day pondering the battles that would ensue between a giant turtle and various other creatures if they were both the size of buildings - like Godzilla, and decided to name the turtle Gamera. As I closed my eyes to sleep - while frantically pondering the nature of the universe and the weight of the obligations that come to term at the end of a semester - I remembered that things are not as heavy as they seem and fell into a dream.

It’s night in the city. The falling rain coats the darkness with a sheen as yellow lights of distant hotel room windows reveal the shady behavior of shadow puppets behind them. I move quickly down an alley and past a car dealership. There are two giant inflatable monsters standing atop the building, swaying left and right in the wind as though they are walking in slow motion toward me. King Kong is holding a sign that says “SALE!” upside down and backwards. Godzilla just stands, watching, wearing a pink brassier. She is a novelty, a rather large one but I imagine her gaze traveling through me with such energy that my bones begin to glow. I hear footsteps running up from behind me at an intensifying pace; it is too much for me to stand in her gaze so I run back to the alley. The footsteps that I’m running from disappear beneath the wake of my own. Just as my stride ceases, my pursuers do as well. I stand in the dark of a locked doorway, trying to catch my breath. It is silent, save my beating heart. I see a movement in the shadows directly across the alley. From behind a dumpster, a hand lifts a chunk of metal the size of my head until it is pointed at the only part of my body still capable of making sound. I am silent and motionless for what seems an eternity. The barrel blows a couple of kisses my way, I fall face first into a puddle, and blow two bubbles. My body fades away and in its place is an outline of chalk. The world around it seems to shrink but the outline remains constant until it swallows the world, the universe, infinity.

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