Being in the present moment: “And the following morning”

by LJ Frank

Sometimes what seems to be fiction turns out to be non-fiction. Reality, presence, perception, and illusion may appear to converge at an inexplicable moment. An event may point to a thing, but  it’s not the thing itself.  The thing that one thinks one sees may be a veil over that which wishes to remain unrevealed.     

I’d like to suggest that the presence of a person is a portrayal, knowingly or unknowingly, they give of themselves…as physically, we see only the surface for life is lived in parts, pieces, and details here and there…never the whole.  One would have to wait to the end of a life to see the whole and yet that would not tell all, rather, only that which was perceived, for a person even within his or herself may not be aware of their total experience of self.

Reality, perception, and illusions are at times a thoughtful glimpse. There are surfaces a person may not wish to explore deeper and there are others effectuating our curiosity…to feel, to taste, to experience, to cherish…to know the depths of that person without judging.

Such experiences may be like that time between sleep and waking – a memory is coughed up in the early morning in the throat of one’s past but for that gasp of a mirage like a distant oasis of a reflected joy wanting to be repeated …as if you could touch that which appears before your eyes….but once the eyes blink, become distracted in a split second…you find you’re looking back towards the person that has now vanished.

And in the depths of the human heart a person that does not know his or herself may disappear into another person’s opinions…and the result being that when the person speaks, he or she does not reveal his or herself, rather only what is expected and the people hear and see not the reality, but what they wish it to be…

And yet?

And so, one day I found myself in a vaguely familiar place. I was sitting in a Spanish Mission style house situated on the side of a hill overlooking a body of water- a sea perhaps or an unusually immense swamp…I’m not sure. And I’m not sure how I arrived there. I rose up from an oversized leather love seat in a spacious living room facing an arched window looking towards the water. 

 I rubbed my eyes and noticed a tall mirror on one of the walls. I turned to look at it, but it was not me reflected in the mirror.  The man’s movements were different than mine. Perhaps it was glass looking into another room. I walked over to the glass and touched it. The person in the mirror remained motionless staring off to the side. I looked behind the mirror. It was attached to the wall with bolts and there was a space in between the mirror and the wall.

It was at this juncture I heard a sound coming from a room down a hallway. I walked to the room after hearing a longing sigh. I peered inside and a woman was lying on a king-sized bed. I thought that I recognized her. Still, something wasn’t right.

And just as I was about to walk away, she propped herself up with elbows on an over-sized pillow and said, wait…it’s you. But how did you? I mean…I’m at a loss…how did you get here…now…after all this time? And, at that moment I heard a harsh and rigid voice calling from an adjoining room…who are you talking to the voice demanded…followed by a flush of a toilet.

No one! Just talking to myself. Her lips moved, her teeth biting a thick lower lip…she blinked, looked over at her overnight bag alongside a dresser, shook her head, and ran her fingers through her hair, a tear began to streak down her cheek and she then looked up towards me….

I had vanished.

Later in the morning I woke up staring at a ceiling fan at least ten feet above me …I thought of her…it was a mirage of the mind, my reasoning suggested.

I was laying on a makeshift bed in an unfinished beach house and the sound of seagulls could be heard while waves lapped the shore …I stood up, slipped on my blue jeans draped over a chair…looked around the dwelling…I was alone…there was a wood table in the center of a partially remodeled kitchen with a corked bottle of wine and two empty Bordeaux glasses atop the table. I noticed a piece of paper under the bottle…a breeze blew in from a nearby screened patio door causing the paper’s edge to slowly bend up and down as if beckoning me…I hesitated, walked over to the table, lifted the bottle, and picked up the paper with the following written on it – Thank you for being present in my dream.