Scenes from a Future Memory

Chapter 4: Absolution

2011-09-26 06:09:08 UTC by

Just before the sun creeps over the horizon, sailors far out to sea on their watch sometimes witness a brief ray of piercing emerald light. The lucky man who saw this light was changed from that moment. For, "He who has been fortunate enough once to behold it is enabled to see closely into his own heart and to know the innermost intentions of others."

Every morning, the green light came to Claire and spirited away all of her dreamed revelations. A faint sound like the crack of the whip was the only evidence of this injustice; as the bleach of reality faded her twilit memory to white again and again each morning.

Only the most lucid among the human race is gifted to recapture a hazy recollection of the enlightenment revealed to us each night: they are called, "heretics," or "madmen." They are called, "prophets". They are called, "oracles." Each who is able to remember the future must suffer the burden as he can. The future is heavy with unparalleled possibilities, and certainty is revealed as the illusion with which the past mocks us.

Our minds, like fractals—like the roots of ancient trees—" split and descend into darkness, only to give rise again into the tangible and real. This is the paradox of consciousness.

Claire slept, unaware of this malevolent and beautiful absolution as it swept over her in an instant. Hours later, she awakened, her mind in lockstep with the present as it marched on-wards: in seconds, minutes and hours.

Downstairs, in the old cape cod typical of the area that she shared with her cat and her 2 flatmates off-campus, Claire began to beat two eggs for her omelette breakfast. Salt and pepper, chedder cheese, chopped onions and finely diced ham added, she took a moment to reflect on the rest of her day. A fly buzzed around the stove heavily as though exhausted from a night of revelry. It paused for a moment next to the sink.

"Damn," Claire mumbled to herself as she crushed the fly with a deft swat from a dirty wooden spoon, "Bio exam after Composition." She hardly noticed the maggots as they wriggled to escape from the fly's ruptured abdomen. The mess wadded up in a paper towel, Claire threw it in the garbage pail, quickly wiped down the counter and folded over her omelette.

As she reviewed her notes while she ate, she couldn't avoid her minds' drift back to the conversation she'd had with Geoff the day before.

"I really like you, Claire," he said softly, with his arms wrapped around his knees in a warm and quiet corner of the dorm attic. Claire sat to his left in another of the faded red captain's chairs.

"It's like we never see each-other," replied Claire, adding, "it's not working any more."

"I know. I'm sorry— and I don't want to say goodbye,"

Hope was there, flickering, but she would not intervene this time.

"Is it really possible to still be friends? Or is that just a sad old cliche?"

Fate, Claire thought, is just a word to obscure the connections we all share like flimsy threads. She didn't believe in fate. She believed in relationships, and you can't throw away a beautiful connection because the romance didn't add up the way you hoped.

"I don't know," she lied.

Looking at her watch, Claire furiously thrust her plate and silverware on top of the mounting pile of dirty dishes and made a mad dash for the door as she snatched up her backpack. She sure as hell wasn't going to be late for Composition if she had to show up for Biology on-time.