Passengers 2017 (Prologue—Concourse D)

DSC_5433© 2017 City of Broken Dreams

If this is a dream, then allow yourself to dream deeper.

The alacritous movement of life surrounds you, it drowns you; it pulls on you like the waters of the deep ocean black carries a piece of petrified driftwood out to the forgotten sea.

And if you are lost, then allow yourself to lose yourself further.

When your head breaks the surface of the cool black depths, you are no longer afloat in the amorphous ocean of subconscious uncertainty. As synapses trigger like machine gun fire across the surface of your cerebral cortex, your primitive simian brain begins to construct a simulacrum, a construct of familiarity, a vessel to contain that which overflows from the well of your unrelenting psyche.

And as numinous cataracts dissolve from your immaterial eyes, your vision begins to sharpen and clear, and things around you begin to slowly take shape.

The formless begets form; the chaos begets order.

White noise.

Human traffic.

Bright daylight bouncing off of highly reflective surfaces.

You know this place; it all seems so strangely familiar. Your consciousness is drawn to it like the proverbial moth is drawn to the proverbial flame. And you’re pretty sure that you’ve been here before.

The first time you were here, you were only a young child. And as you stand in this place once again, it is exactly like before—when you were here for the very first time: awe, excitement, and a modicum of fear impinge upon your innate senses like a fine falling rain.

As is often the case in the hypnagogic fugue state that is your dream, you are merely a passenger here; your unconscious motor functioning has been hijacked and bedeviled by a much greater and enigmatic power.

You now embody paradox; for even though you are still alive, make no mistake about it: you are also a ghost. And so, you move and dance as ghosts are wont to do.  

You float above polished floors. You pass through throngs of fellow passengers as if they are composed of gossamer curtains. You bypass and insubordinate security checkpoints because the technology of metal detectors and x-ray machines are easily defeated by your ghostly form and relegated to the rank of costly refuse. 

You are a ghost-god here.

And every ghost needs a place to haunt.

So you surrender yourself to the stream of unconsciousness that runs through this place, just like that piece of petrified driftwood that once surrendered itself to the ocean black, one centillion years ago. 

Time moves on. Time moves back. Time folds in on itself. Time stops. Time ceases to exist.

As you continue to ghost-dance through this place, your subconscious senses are assailed by a potpourri of sensory pornography: The swirl of a crimson red dress, quickly followed by the abrupt flash of tantalizingly long silken legs. Chanel No. 5; the grease from a Burger King Whopper; the fading, lingering scent trail of jet fuel interlaced with an unyielding sadness. Fragments from “Midnight Train to Georgia” by Gladys Knight & the Pips swallowed and subsumed by the cool, almost-robotic voice of a woman announcing [轻淡 随机 随便 宣布] juxtaposed against the din of two dozen simultaneous whispered conversations.

But still, you have yet to find your haunt

Meanwhile, haunt me, haunt me, and do it again, this place begs of you.

And so you do, and so you oblige.

How many lifetimes must pass until you finally stumble into your proper place?

For if you are a ghost, then purgatory is clearly the perfect place for you to be.

And this place—this place that suddenly materializes around you, beneath you, above you—is indeed a purgatory of sorts. A beautiful purgatory constructed of steel and glass, buzzing with electricity, flickering with neon light. And of course, populated by so many lost souls.

The passengers of this purgatory are all around you. Some swiftly pass through you, barely raising their heads as they do; they are ghosts not unlike yourself; transitory apparitions traveling through this space like somnambulists passing each other in the lonely night.

But most of the other lost souls here—most of your fellow ghosts—are in a state of stasis. Some travel alone, some in groups of two or four, sometimes even more. And just like you, they are stuck in time, frozen in a moment; they are standing on the threshold, waiting for the journey to begin. They wait patiently, somnolently. They sit (although some also lie) upon mid-century modern chairs in hues of red, orange, and blue, that have been strategically arranged in rows set at the most pleasing and satisfactory of angles.

Some occupy themselves with mobile devices—cell phones, tablets, laptop computers—while others regress to an earlier time period, occupying their hands and minds with various forms of material paper. Some cover their ears with headphones, choosing to mute the ambient noise of this place and replacing it with music for airports of their own choosing. Some choose to sit silently, almost motionless, as they meditate upon the nature of their transitory state. And some—well, some even choose to sleep.

And of course those who sleep, also dream.

And do you remember what I once told you?

I once told you: Sweet dreams are made of this …

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