… but I’m still here, moving down through air. The gravy-faced beings must be down below, farther down than I thought.  The moment of embarrassment, when I arrived too soon, must have been a false start, or else it happened long ago and I’m falling again now, after a fresh departure. I’m back in an image that to me is ancient: I’ve jumped off the balcony in a crowded shopping mall on a Thursday in winter, when it’s gotten dark at four in the afternoon so now, around five, it’s late evening. There’s a giant skylight overhead, black now holding up the nearly night sky and letting rays of it stream down onto the shoppers, and onto me as I fall. I’ve jumped off the third story balcony, overlooking the mall’s hollow core, and I’m going straight down toward the food court. But at the bottom, instead of foot-scuffed white tile, is a pile of the softest pillows that there can be. Silk and goose-feather pillows, pillows stuffed with soft things almost erotically illegal to my mind. So soft that I’ll never hit the bottom. I fall luxuriously, and the pile of pillows recedes, so that I keep falling and never hit it. I can tell that it’s deepening as well, more and even softer pillows floating in under the ones that are already there. I begin to grow impatient, wanting more and more to land and to feel this softness that’s been promised to me. In the air that I’m falling through, I see forms taking shape, replacing the mall forms. They’re the gravy-faced creatures from before, rotating in a geometric rhythm, and watching me fall. I can tell that this rotation is a language, and that they are talking to one another about me. I begin to fear that they’re saying something about the pillows, and I want to know what it is.

Advertisements