~ a short story

There’s a place I visit in my dreams. It’s on a coast where the sky is high and the shore is long. Small sand dunes mark one’s steps to and fro. There’s a lighthouse within sight and a field of grass that blows in a wind that never leaves. The sun is always setting. Or is it rising? I cannot be sure. Either one. The horizon is pink and misty.

Here is the thing to understand about this spot, this dream: I love everything about it. Every perception, every sight and sound. The smells? Invigorating. The taste of the air is sweet. It shimmers the belly, tickles the throat. Every feel? Sublime.

I don’t use the word ‘love’ lightly. This place is my destiny; it is a part of me.

Naturally, I wish to explore.

Inside the beachfront building, alone and left for me, I find a home.

Inside, there are open windows and long halls. Two stories and a loft. Antique relics, chests and wardrobes, a grand piano and a grandfather clock. Old letters, older pens that wrote them. No screens. No boxes. The furniture is strange and aged. Many of the windows are open, the blow of the air marking the only sound in here. It’s more than comfortable.

A home for who?

For me, I hope.

The place has no Real identity; not that it’s lifeless but because it’s a blank slate. No photographs, only paintings. The portraits are faceless and I can never quite catch a full view of the depicted landscapes. When you wander up the wooden stairs, every creak more satisfying than the last, new vibes arrive. Each bedroom carries its own. Baby blue and crimson red, each door introduced the remainder of its contents. Toys and teacups, dolls and figurines, arranged for war or party fall across the floor of the blue room, in between the twin beds; in the red room, there are desks and drawers, a big closet, tables and chairs and ladders, swings and harnesses, a bed for two. The loft lay above the red; it’s cozy and full of books.

The objects in these rooms are never quite the same. But the intention of them, the house, the structured world I wander here, certainly is: A life for a family.

Out of the loft window, the peak of the home, across the beach below, I survey the ocean. It calls to me, to stay. To keep eyes on the horizon, awaiting the sun’s rising. Or setting.

I long to. But, in the only flash of lucidity that comes here, I know I cannot.

I know this and feel the dread that I will have to leave. But for now, my exploration is not yet over.

At last, keep to the search, and eventually, I find the yellow door at the end of the hall. It’s never quite in the same place. But what is inside is always the same.

It’s a room that is both small and large. It’s pitch black but I can see just fine. I’m alone here, as ever, but now it doesn’t feel that way.

Arrayed in a circle, there are many panes of glass glaring back at me. Windows that look like mirrors. Inside every reflection is a door. Long corridors of trees. Swaths of waves crashing and roiling in the deep. Winding windscapes at the peak of a mount. A bird’s eye view of varied land below traveling fast under-wing, marred by the occasional wisp of cloud intervening the view. Another house on the sand, a neighbor.

I walk to every mirror and see myself in its flow, hearing the delightful conversations of the worlds at work, an elysium of every flavor for me to taste.

And then I wake up. ~