There He Goes Again, Thinking He Knows What's Going On

There He Goes Again, Thinking He Knows What's Going On

The bass pulses through me like a vicious heartbeat. One of my hands floats along with the music, and for an instant — just one tiny speck of time — it all makes sense. Here it comes. I can see it. Please, tell me what this all means?

And then I’m back, tapping along with the beat. I feel the rhythm moving through me like waves — but then my vision suddenly spins away from me, like the arms of hurricane, and I sense a voice. I can’t hear it, but it still feels like I can understand it — like it’s some kind of deeper truth reaching out to me.

And then I hear: “We are racing.”

I open my eyes and see my friend staring at me — a crazy look in his eyes. I’m already back under control, back inside my mind’s eye, so I toss my balloon onto the table and tell him: “No, we’re not.”

“Yes, we are.” His eyes are bouncing around now, and part of me wonders if he’s about to have a freak out. “We are racing. I am last, and you are first. You are finished already.”

“You’re only racing yourself,” I say.

I try to replay that tiny moment from earlier, but I’ve got nothing now — just a weird feeling and a memory that seems to be evaporating away from me. Looking around, I see that nobody else is out of their hole yet. Most of them still have their eyes closed — except for my friend, who’s staring at me like he has something important to say. Then he tells me, “You are the moon.”

“Does that mean I’m responsible for the tides?” I ask, noticing that all the staff are watching us. They look a bit nervous, because they’ve seen too many people lose control to let their guard down just yet. Somewhere inside, over the sound of Avicii, I hear another long hiss. The table of backpackers across from us must’ve placed an order.

“What about me?” Jess asks. “What am I?”

“You are the Earth,” my friend says. “Matt is the moon.”

“And him?” I ask, pointing to our guest.

“Half moon.”

I hold up my hands like they’re overlapping concavities. “Guess you and I are crescent moons, buddy. Is this how we find religion?”

“Everyone close your eyes.”

I try to tell him I don’t want to, but he’s convinced I need to hear this. “Fine,” I mutter. “What’s the word, oh wise one?”

“There’s a mountain … the beach … a fire. I am the sun in the sky, and you are the moon. She is the Earth.”

“Why can’t I be the sun?” I ask.

“No, I am the sun.”

“You’re the half moon, Matt.”

I hold my empty bottle up in the air until one of the staff notices and relays my order inside. Then I tell my friend, “I’m also a sun.”

He shakes his head. “No, you are the moon.”

“Half moon.”

“Yes, the half moon.”

“Sorry, but I’m the sun in my own story,” I say. “You’re the sun in your story, but that’s not how I see the world.”

“No, there is a home … the mountain … the beach — “

“And the fire — Yeah, I know. Sorry man, I’m the sun in my story. That picture you’re painting — the beach, the fire, the mountain — it sounds nice and all, but that’s not me. I’ll be gone someday, and you’ll need somebody else.”

He stares at me for a while — his eyes a bit less crazy now. Then he says, “I understand.”

“It’s not that I don’t like your home,” I tell him. “It’s just that I have to do my own thing. I’m different. And also: we’re not racing.”

He looks a bit sad now. I think I might have destroyed his vision of paradise, but he was better off finding out now. That way he doesn’t expect me to be there, shining over his nights.

“We met hundreds of years ago,” he says.

I laugh. “Old friends, are we?”

“Yes, and I think this life won’t be the last time we meet.”

He’s smiling now — a knowing smile. I think he understands. Our eyes meet over the table, and we both take a second to enjoy the moment. The image that pops into my mind is a droplet of water shooting into air as two waves collide. I see our inner movies meeting each other, sending out beautiful droplets of awareness, which will forever stain the cosmos.

“It’s still nice though, isn’t it?” I ask.

Someone outside our little moment asks, “What the hell are you talking about?”

I shrug. “One more balloon, I guess.”

We order another round and listen to a woman we’d just met tell us about her awful first date — also showing us her cat tattoos. Half listening, I start thinking about that smile my friend gave me. It was weird in a way — like our worldviews had seen each other and made peace. His will be the mountain … the fire … the beach — the eternal home for a wandering mind.

Where will I end up? I don’t know for sure, but I suspect this movie in my head won’t be playing anymore — and maybe that’s for the best. Sure would beat the hell out of that infinite purgatory I saw that one time. Jesus, I sure hope so…

As I’m flicking back through those horrible memories, the servers start delivering the next round. We all tap our balloons together and try to get ourselves as comfortable as possible — in case we go in too deep.

“Remember,” I say, eyeing my friend. “We’re not racing.”

He smiles. “It’s okay. I know.”

In and out. Then again. And again. I start to feel my mind slipping away until … there it is; I can feel it. My vision shrinks into a singularity, but then I’m bounced back out, everything spinning and folding over on itself.

And then I hear the voice inside my head saying, “There he goes again, thinking he knows what’s going on.”