EVEN THE SEA WAS YELLOW
The earth, as such, was not as it once had been.
Some said it was because of the air, but, to me, it could have been more than just the air…. It seemed apparent that something was damaging my brain—that is to say, what was left of my brain. This so-called illness caused me often times to stagger and fall. It was a troubling fall through a strange semi-darkness making consciousness difficult.
The earth, as such, was not as it once had been.
For example, as I travelled past several miles of ruined--but, quite common— landscapes, I had to wonder if this wasted vision was perhaps just bad memories, reality, or both. Since, in my state, there was no way of telling, I was deeply puzzled and confused. I wanted to turn back, but there was nothing, or anyone, anywhere to turn back to, nothing that I could recognize—not even my past.
Suddenly, a mechanical noise; difficult to describe—certainly not a human voice—sounded something I distinguished as: — You are on your way. You cannot turn back.
I was not afraid, but there was a very sharp pain continuing to rampage within my brain.... When I stopped falling—if it can be called falling? —the pain was still there.
A short time later, in one way or another, I had arrived in a room I’d previously visited, but only in one reoccurring dream. It was a room on the top floor of a decrepit mansion; at one time, it had been a rather beautiful room, facing the east, it did. I entered the room feeling insecure, aware of the pain, feeling the pain—even my eye lashes felt the pain.
Oddly, the room felt like a prison without bars. It appeared, however, if escape were necessary, there was no chance or way to escape.
Off in the background—real or imagined—I head a constant chanting: — All dreams are islands.
I did not know if I were asleep or awake. It seemed to be the same.
I assume that I was there only a short time—if time can be noted as such—when I was again mysteriously pulled away by a strange magnetic force that is impossible to describe, because it deals with a physical-electronics that I do not understand. Notwithstanding, as time possibly advances and I receive additional, competent information—or specific up to the hour environmental reports—upon this matter, which could perhaps arrive from the incompetent National Environment Police Agency, via dispatches sent through a host of subterranean environmental sources, perhaps, at that point, I will be in a position to offer a more precise and educated account….
As could be expected, I awoke to find myself on a typical deserted road, located in a wretched, heavily industrial area, and this is where I was left—abandoned! This, I knew was my future.
The air smelled of burning sulfur, gasoline and wet ash.... Near and far loud mechanical noises sounded, clapping in my ears like piles being driven into rock. It could be described as overpowering. The pain in my brain was so great I fell to my knees, covering my eyes and ears as best I could, but nothing would block the loud, clapping sound, or the sight of the endless rails leading into infinity, and huge aluminum and plastic storage drums with large red numbers: 5001 5000 4999 4998 4997 4996 4995 4994 4993 4992 4991 4990 4989 ... painted upon the sides. My brain twisted and turned with pain, I felt it crack in two. For some time, I knelt there, my knees pressing into the warm asphalt....
Off in the distance, I heard the sound of threatening footsteps coming rapidly closer and closer—a blurred figure in a great hurry, I could tell that much. I was not afraid. When the figure stopped, I noted the black outfit with suspicion, and I saw that under its left arm—if that was an arm? —it carried an electronic mechanism I'd not seen before. It placed the instrument of sorts at my feet, then it pointed to it with a determined index finger—I assume that that was an index finger—as if I were to understand—I did not. Next, it opened its overcoat or cloak and pulled out an advanced form of an automatic pistol, then pointed it at the queer instrument at my feet, firing away: TA-TA-TA-TA-TA-TA-TA, shattering the thing to bits--really. The pain in my brain caused me to lose consciousness. (Consciousness?)
When I came to, so to speak, I found myself in another strange room. It had the appearance of once having been quite elegant, as we used to say, but now the splendor had been totally erased. The walls were now ruined, like lines across a once striking face. The rose-colored walls were badly flaking; scarcely was there a square inch not covered by unusual graffiti. The marble fireplace, large enough for me to stand in, which I did for protection, was likewise cracked, chipped—the subject, I guessed, of countless shootings. The entire room was cold, having the feeling of ice. Soiled, black satin drapes covered the large windows, and the only light entering the room came from a doorway that lead to a large, run-down terra-cotta terrace, which I thought could well have been the east side of the house.
Though it was mid-morning, the outside artificial light cast a painfully amber hue across the room—our natural surroundings had yet to recover from the recent enormous chemical meltdown, especially the sun. I stood in the center of the enormous living area, wondering why all this had been allowed to happen? Was no one "briefed" on the consequences? Also, I was aware that I was not alone. I saw an elderly man of perhaps forty, sitting on a faded burgundy divan—the kind not seen for years--antique; it was called … antique … back than. The man was smoking a large cigar, really. He completely ignored me. I walked over to him saying: — Hello.
He nodded. I noted that there was an unusual stiffness to his movements, perhaps a symptom of the disease. What did I know?
— How long have you—? I began.
—Who cares? he shouted, shrugging his deformed shoulders, then after spitting-up a little blood on the dry-rotted floor, he added: — It doesn't matter, it's far too late.
— I think it does matter, I said.
— You won't for long, you little fool. Not after you've been here a spell.
— How did you get here?
— The same as you, only before you, and, before me, there were the others.
— Are we alone?
— Shut-up! Youth is so ignorant!
— And, obliviously, so is old age! I offered, looking around at the surroundings….
— You always think of yourselves as being more than social progressions, when, in fact, you're merely biologically ordered-up replacements.
— And the aged think that youth owes them something....
The gripping pain again began to carve itself into my brain. I felt that I was beginning to lose my mind. I had to move away from the old man. I started walking toward the door leading to the terra-cotta terrace but stopped when the old man warned: — Don't go out there!
— You won't like what you'll see.
— What could be worse than what I've already seen and been through? I asked as I made my way to the terrace. Once there, I was shocked. All the colors were wrong—the entire landscape was surreal, as though nothing were alive ... even the sea was yellow.... Not understanding such a clear vision of our infer-red horror and surrealistic illusion, I returned to the living area and quietly sat down next to the old man—who at this point offered me a cigar that I accepted gratefully....