The Cave

Posted: September 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

“The Cave”

Stay awake long enough, and you come to a point where you dream while you’re awake. Your body makes the same sleep cocktail every day whether you use it or not. Severe insomnia causes hallucinations; people see the Virgin Mary in their toast, and swear their dogs are talking to them in a voice that sounds like James Earl Jones.

Bat-shit crazy may sound like a free ride on ‘shrooms, but I had no desire to go there myself. With new sleep medication, hypnosis, and meditation, sometimes it felt like I was asleep when I was awake.

A few days ago I went for a ride, and after a while the lull of the road made me sleepy. It took all my concentration just to keep my eyes open. A gravel strip appeared along the edge of the road in the distance—a good place to pull over and get some rest.

My door yawned like a tired dog, as I gave it a shove and climbed out. Tilting my head back, I cracked my back—stretch my legs. Above me, a gull circled in the crisp blue sky.

A trail opened before me, winding through gravel and into the weeds to a set of stairs. The weathered lumber steps disappeared over the crest of the hill and begged climbing.

Near the top, the sound of waves breaking carried over the hillside. You just can’t get that close to the ocean without wandering down to it. You have to stand beside it, and feel its raw power. You have to pay your respects.
Sure enough, as I reached the top, her roar spread to the horizons

Hardly new to me, an image of this beach emerged from the slumber of my memories. I had been here before.
A path appeared in my mind, and I knew that if I followed it, I’d find a place where the water carved a little cove into the rock. A skinny trail wound its way to a cliff, and if I found the courage to climb, I’d find a cave.

My eyes fell shut. The sweet smell of wood smoke led me into the cave. The wood from his fire crackled and popped. A warm gust of air blew by me, and I felt his presence. Without even opening my eyes, I knew he saw me.

“You came back?” A voice as mellow as a wine barrel spoke to me.

My eyes opened to the blue glow of his crystal ball. He sat behind it—cross-legged on the ground, looking up at me, smiling. His boney fingers stroked his long white beard. He adjusted his wire-rimmed spectacles and studied me carefully.

He nodded, as if he had come to a decision. “You must die a thousand times within this life.”

“Excuse me?”

He snapped his fingers, and my eyelids fell shut. When I opened them, the dark gray ceiling of my bedroom hung above me.

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