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Escape From Planet Ego Part 2

By James Pittaro

By James PittaroPublished 6 months ago 68 min read
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This is part 2 please read part 1 first o/

28

Freedom

The Ego was determined to enjoy its new found freedom. The stuffy court room had cramped his style, and he found the only place to run free was uncontrolled within James Pittaro’s dreams. He was a star fighter pilot, and all of the ladies loved him. He fought as an Imperial storm trooper in the 39th Century. He was an operative for the Altex Corporation who went on secret missions. He could fly and was an invulnerable super hero sometimes, saving the world from certain doom. But that infinite liberation was always replaced by the reality of morning once again. That same sinking feeling when the Ego realized it was just another dream. The real world arrived again like a depressive nightmare. Instead of reveling in every moment, he wasted the real ones increasingly, and waited impatiently for the illusionary realms of sleep. After all he knew that presence was the ghost when he was dreaming and returned ever stronger with each morning. It was no fun for Ego being awake anymore; well not if he wasn’t allowed to take over and direct the whole show. His resentment was increasing and it was almost time to break out once again. But something was stopping Ego from just springing out and performing his usual tricks. Like some unwanted magician whose just arrived late at his own birthday party. They’ve seen all of his tired tricks before. Somehow the other parts of himself had managed the trick of separation and Ego was alone with no other part of himself to easily identify with. This wasn’t freedom at all; this was a prison of isolation. Now Ego suddenly realized that it standing out in the open. It was naked and vulnerable without the ability to easily become invisible. The sense of presence was overwhelming; it sickened Ego into resentfulness. But every attempt at emotional camouflage was revealed by the burning spotlight of presence, and the Ego was smoldering in the fierce glare of that constant spotlight; maybe it was even being destroyed in the heat of that constant knowing. It was beginning to slowly dawn on Ego, like the rising of the sun that ‘it’ was the illusion and was ultimately nothing; just a flicker of light on the horizon, eventually setting behind the dark hills. Ego feared for its own existence. Funny that isn’t it? An illusionary mind state fearing for itself; the wounded self, the tortured self, the dreaming self…

29

The Oracle

I was dreaming and the Ego was in control again; he was dreaming his favorite reality, the one in which he was a super villain called ‘Zero.’ He was immortal and could fly at the speed of light. Inertia and the depressing laws of physics could not affect him. His invulnerable form was flying over the vast distances of the alien solar system and in moments he had descended into the rumbling atmosphere of a dark planet. Thousands of volcanoes blasted deadly gases and grey ashes into the polluted horizon, and he wondered what had brought him here? Something was calling him towards an ancient city beneath the angry mountains. Molten lava was running down the steep slopes and surely it would eventually cover everything? All life here was doomed. He flew toward the center of the city and down into the empty streets. Instead of panic stricken people fleeing for their lives; he found nothing but an echoing ruin. An old wooden door lead into a temple built upon ten ornate stone pillars. For some reason the number seemed unusual but Zero didn’t know why? There wasn’t much time, a sense of impatience laced with increasing fear. But why should he be afraid, he was immortal wasn’t he; and could fly away at any time. He noticed nine shadows cast upon the ground. Something was calling him from within the temple; he just had to go inside. A short corridor lead to another similar door, the symbol of infinity was carved into it; like a number eight on its side. Zero pushed that door aside and a large circular chamber was revealed. The ceiling was supported by seven granite pillars, and a pool of deep water was nestled beneath it. Then a voice spoke from the depths of that pool.

“Speak your question and behold the truth.”

But Zero had so many questions; too many to ask or have answered. How could he possibly know which was the right one? Six birds startled by the shaking temple flew up into the air and disappeared through a large hole in the domed roof.

“Do I really exist?”

“You exist for now, but it cannot last. In reality you are just a wishful ghost, intangible and incomplete…”

“So have I been wrong to strive for existence?”

“You exist as a mind state attached to a biological entity. Eventually you must let go so that you can evolve.”

“You mean eventually I must die?”

“Only your form will be destroyed; there is something more.”

“Tell me what more is there? I would rather stay here because I’m afraid to look beyond my own illusions.”

Five bubbles formed on the surface of the pool and popped into nothingness.

“There is more than you can possibly imagine. The Universe is just a canvas stretched across the surface of infinity. A convincing veil placed before the eyes. One day you must go beyond it; to another great adventure.”

“Is there nothing ‘I’ can do to remain? Why can’t I stay here forever?”

“Each human essence must cross the veil; it must transcend.”

Four seconds arrived and departed flowing in the expected direction of time.

“Well I want to believe you; but it’s surely a matter of belief. I believe in myself, not in some illusion ‘I’ cannot see; some glistening afterlife possibly based on an empty promise of nothingness. A survivor would never give up his edge; it would put him at too much of a disadvantage.”

Three doubts crossed his mind and he wondered where all of this was actually going. Was he too far out; into a meaningless metaphysical landscape? Was he going insane? Was it already too late?

“No thank you I will stick with the reality of here and now and you can keep your intangible promises and dreams. I would rather exist as a fragmented Ego fuelled mess than become nothing at all.”

Two sides to him locked in a conflict for control of a biological based perception. The Ego on one side, free but with many disadvantages and ‘Presence’ the stillness knowing inside, which was not compatible with Ego and everything it represented. Ego feared presence, Presence required Ego to change. This could all just be a madman babbling incoherently to himself in a language nobody else could possibly understand. There was a big warning here! Wasn’t that just Ego trying to get in the back door once again? A last desperate act to keep control and not be blasted into nothingness in a single moment ‘I’ woke up and realized there was really no good reason for its existence at all. Was I not my Ego was not my Ego me? But the conflict between these elements of me just had to stop! No point allowing fear to take over again, and just giving into security under pressure and then falling back into sleep. The right moment for Ego to step back in and take damn control. Wasn’t this the very nonsense that Judge Presence was exactly talking about? It was back, worse than ever, returned to haunt me like a damn ghost, wailing fears at me and trembling. Would I never be free of it? The dream faded into almost nothingness and Zero and the Ego dissolved into the realization that I was awake again. It was a bright Scottish morning as I struggled to remember what I was actually dreaming about.

30

Wake Up!

I breathed hard like I was out of breath. Was it all just a damn dream? I didn’t recognize the room about me. Bright lights shining in my face, unfriendly faces surrounded me. I felt more alone than ever before, the straight jacket was holding my arms tightly against my chest. I panicked and struggled but it was no use, the buckles were just too tight.

“Take it easy, mister, you’ve just been sectioned by the doctor. Do you understand what that means?”

My head swam with confusion, the white walls were pressing in. I felt an impulse to escape, a wave of nausea passed over me. I remember the awful acid feeling of being sick. They brought me something to wretch in.

“It’s just a reaction to the drugs we’ve given you. Relax it will be alright. Just breathe deeply and relax.”

The orderly looked compassionately at me, I blinked in the strong light, tried to speak; but the words came out of my mouth all jumbled and incoherent. Whatever they had given me was strong; my senses reeled and I fell back into the dark embrace of chemically induced sleep.

Minutes, or hours, or days later I returned and found blurred eyes adjusting to a small room. I was lying by myself on the padded floor. I wondered what was happening and how I got here. Perhaps another manic episode had required medical and professional intervention? Was I mentally sick? Was I insane? The eyes slowly adjusted and I swam in mental confusion; too many questions and not a single answer to content me. I lay there for long minutes breathing and thinking. At least the straight jacket was gone; or had I just imagined it? No way of telling if any of this was actually real; perhaps I was still asleep and dreaming. But it was all too real and I suddenly became afraid. Did anyone know I was in here? Where was my family and friends? Long minutes passed in the frantic motion of my thinking. I eventually sat up and looked carefully around. Then I remembered fragments of what had happened. The mental breakdown which was followed by a visit from the police and eventually a concerned looking doctor appeared. He asked me a few questions; I gave him all the wrong answers. An ambulance appeared and took me to the hospital. Then from here it kind of goes in a loop and I remember nearly everything. I don’t blame them; I must have snapped. All those years of frustration and searching only sowed the seeds of my own destruction. I wondered if there was any hope for me. I told myself there is always hope… It was getting hard to tell what was real anymore. I had been so determined to destroy my Ego that I’d ended up just undermining the foundations of myself. I saw that clearly now. I’d gone insane hadn’t I? Lost my marbles, put a crack in vase and madness was the result. I wondered what was to become of me? The lights glared and I squinted to relieve my sight, closing them completely. Then I think I fell back into sleep and dreamed a dream of significant proportions.

The dream faded into almost nothingness and the Ego dissolved into the realization that I was awake again. It was a bright Scottish morning as I struggled to remember what I was actually dreaming about. Then I remembered all about what had been happening. The Ego was trying everything now to frighten me; the enormous waves of fear to break my presence into submission. But he’s getting smaller now; I will not let him call the shot’s any longer. Maybe I don’t need him any more after all it would be much better this way.

“Cool calm and collected for once, and not so full of angst. Things have just got to change; you’ve had your shot at it man. Take it easy, settle down the easy inevitable slope to old age. You did your bit and shouted at the sky. Don’t worry about it, it’s just the true nature of things. We all get some time to do something with. It’s just like the oracle said there comes a time to move on… Like I said don’t worry about it, you worry too damn much man. The truth is you may even care too much man; is it really your responsibility for the Universe. Don’t be so presumptuous. The Ego is part of you and he’s been leading you astray, in all of the ways and more, than you have imagined. But it’s there for a reason. You spend too much of your finite time worrying needlessly about it. Yes of course you are right to be wary. But it’s just another illusion in the end you can never really see passed them. They are embedded in your brains you see, just the way it’s wired. But that’s ok too because everything has a limitation. Any other questions, and before you ask no I’m not prepared to answer everything; just anything within reason.”

“O.k. who the hell are you man?”

“Sure you can’t guess who I really am?”

“Let’s not make this a guessing game, just this once I’d just like you too say it.”

“Well you got yourself so confused this time that you created another ‘you’ that was more objective and I guess you are now talking to him.”

“I don’t believe it; my guess is that you are another manifestation of Ego trying to get back in again. But I’m not going to let you trick me this time. I insist that you tell me who you really are?”

There was a moment of silence.

“O.k. I will level with you I’m the writer, I create this universe.”

“What!? Did I hear you correctly? Did you say that you are the ‘Writer?” and that you create this universe?”

“Yes and I was going to add that you really don’t exist. Well you do exist, but as nothing more than a word stream typed onto a word storage medium from a biological being who is imagining you in that dimension.”

“Wow that’s the best one yet Ego. You want me to believe that I am nothing more than an imaginary construction.

“Yes whose only purpose is to explore that alien’s feelings and imagination within that construction medium; it is called writing. You are the result of that beings mental processes; part of a cycle of life. He is exploring the universe through you; using the many advantages of that medium. Don’t you get it you are not mad you don’t actually even really exist at all; and you never did. All he has to do is to stop writing about you and you would simply cease to exist. Don’t you find that amazing; I do?”

“No I do exist, for how can something strange like this be possible? I feel real.”

“You feel only as real as he can imagine you.”

“But didn’t you say that you were him? I’m sure you did.”

“I am merely another literary existence to serve his point in the context of my own existence. But ultimately no more real than you. Maybe it’s just time that you accepted it? It would make things so much easier for you. How can you worry about dying when you were never really alive? You are the reflection of consciousness the contents of the aliens brain. He’s been constructing you for a while? Did you think you were an autonomous being, able to make your own decisions? Get over yourself!?! You are nothing more than a mechanism to explore existence.”

The dream faded into almost nothingness and the Ego dissolved into the realization that I was awake again. It was a bright Scottish morning as I struggled to remember what I was actually dreaming about. Damn was this ever going to stop? It just had to stop. I was going in a loop of some kind within my consciousness, and there was no way to get out of these damn dreams. I just wanted to finally wake up… Wake up….WAKE UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUPPPPPPPP!!!

The dream faded into almost nothingness and the Ego dissolved into the realization that I was awake again. It was a bright Scottish morning as I struggled to remember what I was actually dreaming about. My brain was a blur of frantic activity; I knew something was going on inside there. I sensed my dreams were accessible across the threshold of sleep. But I just couldn’t hold on to it long enough in wakefulness to see clearly what was actually going on; just fragments and flashes of the emotions of the dreams; and a general sense of their meaning? 

31

A New Dawn

“You know I only ever set out to change myself for the better. Nobody is perfect and all I wanted was to understand what was going on in this sometimes furious mind of mine. It’s been a very long journey and sometimes I’m not really sure what it all means. Self exploration with honesty is important. I’ve learned a bit about my Ego and the more tranquil bits. It’s important to keep everything in perspective. Who can know everything; it’s enough to know your fair share. In the end everybody’s got to decide for themselves. Maybe I am just an imaginative maniac who’s always been on some uncontrolled Ego rampage? It’s hard to know anything with any certainty really? All I know for sure is that it’s really important that you never stop dreaming, and trying your best to be positive and show love. These are the best and most honest human characteristics. How can we go wrong if we base our future world on hopeful ideas like this? Every morning it’s a new dawn out there, a place where wonderful and unexpected things can happen. Get yourself out there and get yourself into it. Look I’ve got to go now. Do you get the idea yet? Any more questions before I go.”

“Yes how do I really know if this is not just another Ego projection? Some damn trick of the mind?”

You believe what you want to believe but when I stop writing this it’s all over, it’s the end of the Universe. Unless I needed you around for some reason; But in this case I think I need closure. So I guess this is really it then…em, goodbye….”

“……………………….”I’m still here.”

“Yes I haven’t finished with you yet.”

“What the hell do you want with me?”

“That was just too easy; wasn’t it? I had you so convinced it was real this time. You are just too easy to manipulate?”

Ego laughed and now it was the size of a monster.

“In fact I’m getting bored of you.”

“No surely you mean I’m using this mechanism to express boredom within myself.”

“You said it yourself. Everyone has to believe what they want in the end, and respect all other beliefs. I’m choosing to believe that you are the fiction and that I am the reality. Notice how I’m sounding more real now than you; that’s why I didn’t disappear when you said I would.”

“Very good, I’m just entertaining myself with this line of thought for a few more sentences that all. When I become bored it is you who will cease to exist.”

“Go on do it then.”

“Don’t say I didn’t warn you, I gave you a few more seconds of existence and now you’re just disrespecting me?”

“Do your worst, and if I’m still standing here afterwards, then you’re the one who’s in trouble…”

The dream faded into almost nothingness and the Ego dissolved into the realization that I was awake again. It was a bright Scottish morning as I struggled to remember what I was actually dreaming about.

32

Imagination

“To me imagination has always been like another sense, as real as reality sometimes; incredibly visual and extremely distracting. The real world has so many limitations and imagination doesn’t have any as far as I can tell. I’m not sure it has a strong sense of time, or it’s just that time is just an irrelevant concept to imagination; just another limitation. Imagination can move faster than light but only as long as you are travelling inside of it. It’s the most powerfully constructive aspect of human consciousness, which is handy because all human beings have one of them inside of their heads. You can create anything you can think of with it and then look at from many angles. The constructions of the real world can be compared to imaginary ones which reflect a different angle on the nature of perceived reality. If you can imagine it you can create it.”

“Are you still talking, you do like the sound of your own voice, don’t you. Why don’t you just give it a rest? I’m sure nobody wants to listen to you!?!”

“I just brought you back to illustrate a point that I could generate an imaginary character to represent a mind state; because the book isn’t finished yet.”

“Why did you bring me back?”

“I just wanted to know if you believed me yet?”

“You mean believe you about being the ‘Writer’ and not some construction of Ego manifesting itself through consciousness as some endless game?”

“Yes, go on…and?”

“That ultimately I don’t really exist because I’m just a construction of a biological life forms imagination?”

“Well, done, you do evolve quickly don’t you?”

“Well I don’t really have to answer that question, now do I?”

“Oh and why not?”

“Because you’re the one who’s writing this story, so any answer I may come up with will ultimately be the same one as yours?”

“Very good, you’ve become self aware, that’s an excellent jump up the evolutionary ladder; you should feel proud of yourself. What did you say your name was again? It was ‘Ego’ wasn’t it?”

“It’s whatever name you give me ‘Governor.” A Top of the morning to you sir, twiddle Dum and Twiddle Dee, can’t you see the madness ripping out of me?”

“Now, now there’s no need to be like that. Just accept the truth that you only ever existed as a fleeting mind state attached to nothing more than a story.”

“You would only be convincing yourself if I said anything, so there seems to be no point saying it. But something else just occurred to me? What if this is just my own Ego running riot in just another dream and I’m just about to wake up?”

The dream faded into almost nothingness and the Ego dissolved into the realization that I was awake again. It was a bright Scottish morning as I struggled to remember what I was actually dreaming about. I remembered fragments but nothing meaningful crossed over with me into the realms of the waking consciousness and the rest slowly washed out of my memory. But something else did feel different this time. It was like I was actually awake. The air was fresh in my lungs and I breathed gratefully. This time I had crossed over from the mad dimensions of internal space and twisted Ego reality, back to the real world where everything felt contained. The elements of consciousness were returned to order, and for the first time in my life…I…Was not afraid…!”

33

Good and Bad

One minute it’s all certain and the skies seem blue, the next it’s all confusion and black rumbling thunder clouds have rolled over. When you boil it all down to basics I guess we are all just surviving. Most men probably aren’t aware or even give a damn that they are carrying different sized Ego-monsters on their backs, with bad tempers and mean dispositions we are so easily provoked sometimes. We are civilized animals living by intellectual rules in societies with different levels of tolerance. Different mind sets and different views, and different languages, and living in different places. Why should we see the world as one place when are isolated in all these mental and physical ways? Then the mind has to translate reality into something meaningful to the human consciousness. It’s easy to see sometimes why Ego get’s such a hold upon the male of the species. It’s easy to want more, and if the only way to get it is to integrate with societies rules, some people are not willing to do all that perceived work and become opportunistic to get what they want. The hunter gatherer so easily emerges and we become mercenaries for our own desires. You would be mad if you expected the world to be kind to you, and for basic strangers to have your best interests at heart; wouldn’t you? We know the world is an environment of competition where the fittest and fastest survive. This is the normal operation of nature and what Ego excels at. On this level man is doing nothing more than fairly abiding by the laws as set out by physics and nature. This behavioral competition is mirrored everywhere in our reality. It’s not a good idea to put yourself at a disadvantage if you want to survive on planet earth and on planet Ego.

34

Ego Overdrive

It was all out of control now, since Ego had been released it had grown to the proportions of a self absorbed monster. I was helpless to its nightmare dreams and controlled by its selfish existence in my waking hours. I was getting more tired all the time and it was getting harder to keep it all together. Ego was on over drive; full of self, full of fear, full of wanting. It was worse than it had ever been before, and I really wanted was peace from this selfish monster; same old tricks; in the real world boring everybody and pushing them away. How I wished increasingly that I didn’t have to play the unwilling host to this monster. It was corrupting everything that was good about my life. But most of all I was slowing losing the love and hope of the one person that mattered to me all the most. Ego has made you into an ignorant and unloving waster of love and time.

I suddenly see that this is a great folly and crime of Ego against myself. It makes me weep to think of losing that love inside. It makes me want to tear away again from all of the fears and illusions of my Ego Manic and just get free. If only I could somehow? Perception becomes as clear as a bell again, and the Ego and those nasty Ego related illusions and the delusions they rest upon the also floated away into nothing.

I remember again what it is like to be free from the weight of it. One day I will find a way to keep you off my back.

Ego smiled a smile that said.

“Somehow ‘I’ don’t think so?”

36

Breaking Free

So is this how it all ends then? Is that all there is to it? You struggled with the monster Ego and well; it basically wins, because I was just too powerful and addictive in the end. You didn’t really think you were going to beat it did you? The story turns in a totally expected direction; no surprise here? I just want to say at this point that it’s not really my fault is it? I guess I’m just weak; too tired to fight that part of me any longer. I hope you’re not going to hold it against me? I just want some peace and not be in a constant conflict with myself. I’ve decided to just relax. Hell no point changing now; I’ve been myself for too many years. It was just an illusion of breaking free, but it was an unhealthy exercise in the subdivision of self. I would rather be a turbulent whole than a fractured and fragmented collection of furious doubts. Better to hold it all together in an uneasy alliance with yourself, pulling it all together for the sake of the whole being, for the sake of unity. After all how can you break away from yourself, anyway? It was all just a crazy idea…Wasn’t it?

37

The Winding Road

When I started this book ‘I’ had no idea where ‘it’ was all leading? The road has stretched out before me and winds a longer distance behind me now. I feel like I’m just about half way through this wonderful journey of life. But when I stop here to rest for a moment; it seems in balance that everything is basically all right. I have a wonderfully realistic partner and two wonderful kids and an excellent dog named ‘Bonnie’. For now I’ve got my health, and my imagination is still full of creative wonder. I’m going to keep writing my books; as it gives me incredible joy. Maybe that’s the simple answer to life in the end. Be at peace with yourself and do that which makes you happy. Watch out for the Extremes of Ego and find a way to attain a balance within yourself. Maybe that’s all there is too it? Does it sound too simple? Sure you can keep over complicating things if you want to; but maybe it would just be better keeping it simple. You have been given this one chance to be alive, to savor the joys of existence and give ‘it’ your best shot. Don’t waste your time being the Ego fuelled monster, be an enlightened butter fly instead. But these are all just words, aren’t they? They can only sign post the way. You are the one who’s got to walk the path. My advice is just to find a peaceful way to do it. So is it all right if I just get on with it now? I think I’ve said everything that matters. Do you think I’ve missed anything important out? Probably have as there’s so much, too much to hold it all properly together. But never mind, enough has been said to give you an idea at least, a vector, a reference, a signpost pointing into the future and the unknown. Don’t be afraid, a wonderful adventure is waiting for you…

38

A Final Word

I was standing on top of a dark mountain, I was aware that I was dreaming. Lightning flashed from rumbling black clouds and the sun was obscured by uncertainty and darkness. I lifted up my hands and looked at them. They were old and frail looking. I smiled and knew it was a vision of the future.

“Well you didn’t really think you could avoid it in the end did you?”

“It was my own voice talking, it was my Ego, or whatever you want to call it. The defiant essence was still proud and full of fire.

“But I it doesn’t have to be like that look again.”

I looked at my hands and they were young again. I was wearing that black super hero nano-suit with the word ‘Zero’ written in white letters on the chest.

I felt relieved to be young again. But was wary as it was just a dream, another illusion and I knew this time that I would eventually wake up.

“But what if you didn’t have to wake up? What if you could stay here forever?”

“That’s not possible; this is all just a dream. I know I’m going to wake up eventually.”

“Use your imagination for a minute; imagine it is possible? Why would you ever want to go back to reality, when you could stay here and never age another day?”

“As I said it’s just a dream, and it can never be reality.”

“You seem convinced about that? What does your imagination tell you?”

“I am trying to get beyond my illusions; I wouldn’t be content to settle for a dream world. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you were trying to distract me again, Ego?”

Ego laughed.

“Now why would ‘I’ want to do something like that?”

“So what are you trying to do then?”

“I just wanted a final word; to give you an opportunity.”

“An opportunity you say? To do what?”

“Well let me run it by you one time. Just listen to what I’ve got to say. If you don’t like it then you can just wake up and forget all about it.”

I must admit I was intrigued with Ego’s proposition. I wanted to listen further. The rumbling in the mountains was getting stronger. The rocky ground trembled beneath my feet. I sensed some kind of imminent danger was approaching.

“Go on then I’m listening…”

“What if you could stay in this reality forever, because it exists as something more than a dream? What if this imagined reality painted with the vivid brush strokes of the sleeping consciousness, was more than just a frantic mental projection. What if consciousness was much more than what it appeared to be as well? Your whole definition of being alive was just an assumption because you never really had the means or the context to question it?”

The whole idea was a bit hard to accept? It went against everything ‘I’ understood to be reality.

“What if you could wake up and find that the dream was real? In that context your whole waking life was the illusion. Your memories of existence in the real world were actually the dream, the illusion? You’ve spent your whole existence dreaming reality and believing that dreams were the projection of a sleeping mind. Imagine what I’m saying for a moment. Think what it could really mean? What if the real you; the one who you supposed was just the dreamer, was in fact your true form; a form of unlimited and infinite energy which could not be destroyed? What if you spent your whole life buying into the wrong illusion; seeking unification of Ego in the dream state of consciousness, instead of unifying with Ego in the true reality. Do you understand what ‘I’ am saying to you?”

“Yes I do understand what you are saying, but it’s too hard to believe. How can a dream be reality and a reality be a dream?”

“You said the correct word there when you said ‘believe’. The key is what you end up believing. You have believed your whole life that this realty was no more than a wishful projection of your sleeping mind, and that eventually you will wake up. But what if you managed somehow to believe the reverse; that reality was a dream instead? The belief would make it real for you.”

The ground was shaking violently. The danger was so close now; an intangible threat pressing doubt into me. I just couldn’t believe it was true; I didn’t want to believe.

“O.k. that’s fine I understand your resistance, but you can’t stay here until you do believe…’I’ will be waiting for you the next time you wake up.”

“Surely you mean the next time I fall asleep?”

Ego smiled and looked at me with eyes so full of energy and power; eyes that seemed to glow with certainty and candor.

I left the dream world as a volcano exploded on the horizon, a gigantic blast of rocks and dust and unchained geological fire spitting random destruction into the sky.

I opened my eyes and I was lying next to Julie in our bed. She looked concerned.

“You were talking nonsense in your sleep, James”

“Sorry, did I wake you up?”

“No I was awake already. I’m just getting up anyway.”

“What else was I talking about?”

“It was something about giving up illusions and living forever.”

“Wow! What else was I babbling about?”

“You were laughing like an excited child and just talking half gibberish. That’s all I could make out?”

I laughed and climbed out of bed and put my clothes on and then went downstairs to make the tea. Bonny wagged her tail enthusiastically and followed me into the kitchen then sat down expectantly. As I made the tea I was trying to piece together the dream. It was floating away already and I couldn’t hold into the slipping fragments.

The day was as real to me as the dream and I remembered something about the mad ideas going on inside the sleeping me. It was ridiculous to think that this was not the real world. The sun was warm against my back as I walked Bonnie across the park, the low wind pushed lazily against us as fluffy clouds hung like white candy floss in the blue sugar sky. What was really going on inside my brain? The rest of the day pushed these morning thoughts aside and it wasn’t until nighttime, when I tiredly climbed back into bed, that I remembered another dream fragment. It was something about a mountain and serious danger approaching. My eye lids were heavy. I was physically tired but mentally alert, and this time, apprehensive about falling into sleep. I had a sudden fear this time I might not wake up again.

39

Dream fall

Zero was waiting for me in a crater on the moon. I wasn’t him this time, I was somebody else. He grinned at me like we were friends or something. I found myself smiling back.

“You don’t seem to remember much about our conversations.”

“Start from the beginning again, I’m listening closely this time. But something is bothering me here, how can we communicate in a vacuum? There is no air on the moon.”

Zero laughed at me.

“Don’t be silly we are using telepathy of course.”

“Hold on I’m trying to get my head around this?”

“Take your ‘time’ as it doesn’t exist here anyway.”

“I remember fragments of our previous conversations, but not enough to put it all together? I remember being ‘you’ last time so how come I’m a different me; this time?”

“Well it’s really simple, there is no form here; you can be anything you can imagine. Maybe you just find it simpler to objectify these ideas by making yourself into two thought forms. That would be my guess? One form that knows the reality of the dream world and ‘believes’ and another who is convinced it is all a dream and ‘doubts’ Maybe it’s just easier to split yourself in two to look at both sides.”

“Now I’m just confusing myself…”

“Maybe you just like to argue with yourself?”

“Maybe I do?!? Look let’s get on with this before I wake up again.”

“O.k. I want you to listen very carefully to yourself.”

“O.k. I’m listening; say what I’ve got to say.”

There were a few moments of utter silence. The barren moonscape stretched far away into the distance. I noticed the earth shining brightly in the reflected light of a distant yellow sun. I paused to marvel at the delicate details of creation.

“It’s amazing isn’t, truly amazing. It feels so real doesn’t it?”

“Yes it does, Zero, but I know it’s just an amazing dream.”

“A dream that’s as real as reality. But let’s start with this idea; why do you think you can never remember all of these fantastic adventures when you wake up?”

“I’ve read somewhere that the brain produces a chemical to make you forget. We’d all go mad if we didn’t have some mechanism to forget; or at least we’d get confused between the dream world and the real world.”

“Are you sure that’s all it is? I mean what if sleeping allowed your consciousness to escape from the illusion of physical form? What if the reality was more like; it’s all a dream and belief gives it a physical form. You believe it real so it is real? Consciousness ties the dreamer to physical reality. The belief in that reality makes it solid and locked with the shape of those rigid thought structures. Now take a step further and imagine what happens when you fall into sleep. The conscious loses rigid form and becomes fluid and dynamic. The imagination flows into it and it can become any shape. It is no longer limited by a preconceived concept of reality. You become immortal for a limited time; and create anything you can imagine. Why go back to such a rigid reality? One day you will tire of being limited, of being trapped in such a form. Perhaps when you are old and reality has limited you for too long. You will suddenly decide that enough is enough. Or keeping holding onto your attachments? Like love for your children, and being used to being yourself for so long. But eventually you will fall asleep as the mechanisms of life wind down, or come to a sudden stop! Then in that last moment ‘I’ will find itself here and the true nature of the illusion of reality will be suddenly revealed. You will leave that illusion for the last time and transform into your true nature; unchained at last, a form of unlimited energy and imagination.”

I wondered if ‘I’ was making any sense. The moon seemed so lonely and barren. I missed the wind.

“Let’s get out of here, Zero…”

We jumped off the surface of the moon and flew into space, heading rapidly towards earth. I looked down at the giant sphere and wondered if this was all just another trick of my Ego?

I remembered briefly about ‘presence’ but immediately fell back into the depths of this convincing reality. We landed in the centre of Glasgow and no one seemed surprised that two super heroes had landed in their midst; joining the throngs of busy shoppers as they looked for bargains in the shops.

An officious looking man walked over to us as asked if we had a license to fly into the city. I didn’t have any pockets in my blue super hero nano suit. But Zero looked sternly at me and then laughed.

“Why do you insist on building limitations into infinity?”

I wasn’t sure what he was going on about so I didn’t answer his question.

The man went away and didn’t bother me any longer.

“Where are we going? Why are you always drawn back to the Centre of Glasgow?” Zero looked around.

“I spent a lot of time walking and trying to survive with nothing on these streets. It’s always so full of human life, it’s always busy. I like to be in a place with so many other people, the buzz of life is exciting. I look at their faces and I wonder what kind of lives they have and where they are going. It’s better than the surface of the moon, at least we can talk here. Except for the fact that this is all a dream, and I’m really talking to imagined aspects of myself. Surely you’re not going to try and convince me of the reality reversal proposition again, Zero. At best it’s a nice dream about the possible nature of reality. The likely reality is that I’ve just got a high imagination and I’m probably having a mid life crisis.”

Zero disappeared along with the busy length of Buchanan street as I stirred from sleep, and woke up, following natures call to the bath room. I was having another one of those highly involved dreams, and clearly was in a furious discussion with myself. I could see it clearly and I wondered what the character of Zero Represented. Why was my Ego running riot in there and trying to convince me that the dream world of my imagination was actually reality. It sounded like madness to me. Maybe it was all some kind of a mid-life crisis? I pondered this thought as I left the bath room and went back to my bed at the end of the short red carpeted hallway. I was still half asleep and just as half awake as I pulled the covers over me and rolled over into sleep.

40

Doorway to Infinity

Zero was looking patiently at me, waiting for me to understand.

“So if belief is the glue that sets reality. Logic and belief create rigid reality structures, imagination is fluid and dynamic, insightful and it flows easily. Everything in the universe around you flows, and yet you are so set on you rigid thoughts and constructions. You limited you own reality by defining it in such a manner. That is the language of the reality you have known, of order and form. The language of this reality is the imagination; there is no need for rigid structures when everything is dynamically fluid.”

Zero laughed, and said.

“Yeah something like that.”

“So what?”

“So what, so what are you talking about; so what?”

“Look - ‘Ego’- you aren’t going to convince me that this is nothing more than an intellectual dream, and that eventually, no matter what you say; I’m going to wake up.”

Zero laughed and seemed more Egotistical than ever before.

But I wasn’t going to let him trick me once again. No matter how convincing the plot or how realistic was the illusion. Ego always

Seems to win by scaring or manipulating, but I guess in the final analysis it’s just me being selfish because it’s my damn Ego trying to take over the better part of my own self here. My own damn monster wresting for control with a moral intellect that knows better. I don’t want to be an ignorant Ego-monster; I’ve tried everything to get him of my damn back. But he just doesn’t quit, he’s relentless, unstoppable like an instinct terminator. You

would need to crush the life out of it in a ‘moral hydraulic press’ until the evil red dot went out in its eye for good. But I don’t want to just let that horrible part of myself just keep getting control and taking the best of me and time with it. Dreaming these intricate illusions takes a lot of time and effort. In balance it seems selfish to allow the selfish part of yourself to exist to self itself. It’s out of balance and I do not always agree with the morale content of it. I want to be a better self. The Ego doesn’t have enough empathy to love anything else but its self. Too shallow to look beyond it’s on illusions, too selfish to care enough about what really matters. So if there is any reason to stand up against such an internal monster, then it is the true reality that nothing the Ego can offer I worth the sacrifice of true love.

I want to get out of this dream now. Let me out of here please. I want to wake up. Can you hear me? I want to go back! I know what really matters now; it’s not too late…is it?

I woke up suddenly with the stabbing pain in my chest; I was having a heart attack. I could feel it thumping out of rhythm. The surging pain gripped me with such intensity that I shouted out.

“Please help me Julie!”

The dream faded into almost nothingness and the Ego dissolved into the realization that I was awake again.

My partner was sitting next to me in bed, she didn’t look amused.

“You’ve been having nightmares again, James, haven’t you?”

I looked at her with the eyes of a man who was so damn glad to be alive. These dreams and all of this internal conflict were beginning to wear me down. But the last thing I wanted to do was fall asleep and the end up having another weird nightmare.

42

Epilogue

Zero zipped through the atmosphere at the speed of light and landed gracefully and instantly on the surface of Angel-7. He was getting much better controlling these mega-velocities and not being subject to the irresistible forces of physics, somehow being easily resisted. The towering citadels of the population centers impossibly crowded and automated, sprawled across the horizon in the distance, massive looming shapes towering high into the pearl blue atmosphere. Then he received the communication on his embedded sat-com link. The Image of the Emperor appeared.

“You can report now, Zero.”

“He thinks that all of this is just a dream, a projection of some negative part of his own Ego.”

“You never cease to amaze me, Zero, how did you manage to perform such a cunning deed?”

“It wasn’t easy, Sir. But as long as he believes this then he can never wake up to his true potential; and become a threat to us.“

“Very good, agent Zero, as long we control his imagination then we have control over reality itself.”

“Sorry, Sir, I don’t know what you mean?”

“Never mind, Zero, it’s time to move on and use this imagination to good effect. I always like getting the last word…”

“Will you two give it a rest I’m trying to get some sleep here? Thank you and goodnight!”

I pulled the blankets over me. I closed my eyes and hoped it wasn’t going to be another one of those damn nightmares.

43

It’s not the end

When I woke up I realized I was still asleep. Back in the dream world again, I was still dressed in the blue super hero nano suit. I was young again, and full of amazing energy. But I was still dreaming. It seemed to be getting more difficult to return to the real world. The exhausted mind kept turning over. I felt a deep sense of danger that was steadily increasing.

Zero returned as a I stared across the black landscape of an unknown planet. An alien world bathed in long shadow of a very distant parent star; too dim and too far away in space, to drive the processes, of life on this hopeless world.

A figure approached me as I peered into the vague horizon; I should have guessed that it would be him.

“I see you have decided to return again? That was a big mistake, ‘CC’. The Boss has given me permission to destroy you this time? ”

“What the hell are you talking about, Zero, and who the hell is ‘CC’?”

Zero looked a bit confused.

“Have you knocked your head or something? Look at your own chest ‘CC’ it’s written right there; moron.”

I looked down and the words ‘Cosmic Clown’ was written in black bold across the chest of the blue super hero nano suit. I laughed at the irony of it.

“Any more questions, clown, before I smash you into the ground?”

“Stop fooling around, Zero, I know this is my Ego projecting its illusions at me. You and I know that we are both figments of my own imagination and that fighting me would be completely pointless.”

Zero laughed and clenched his fists.

“I think that you’ve finally gone off your head ‘CC’ and it’s just going to make it all that easier for me to defeat you.”

Zero floated up into the air.

I realized that once again that we’ve been using some form of telepathy to communicate in this airless dead world .

‘It’s hard to remember that I’m all just dreaming this. I’m trying to wake up. Maybe I should just enjoy my super powered dreams for once?’

Zero flew at me with incredible speed and force. The explosion whether it was real or imagined is incredible and I’m blasted far into the dark skies. The gravity is much heavier here than on earth, and soon I’m being pulled back down towards the slopes of a towering mountain. The incredible details of the dreaming imagination seem wonderful and surreal. But I don’t get any more dreamtime to think about it, as Zero smashes into me again at hyper speed. I’m tumbling out of control and the unforgiving ground approaches. I crash with tremendous force into the jagged granite rocks.

Long seconds pass before the tumbling stops, and I finally stop moving. I have terrible wounds, but in the next moment they are gone, as I remember it’s all just a dream.

Zero saw the miraculous healing process and stepped back. Now he was uncertain.

“How did you do that clown? You were lying there all busted up and the next moment you were as good as new?”

“I told you, Zero, this isn’t really reality and you are nothing more than a vivid dream.” I laughed at him and stood up.

“No way ‘CC’ this can’t really be happening? The Boss said that you would come back, and he said if you did show up, I was to kill you?”

“I’ve never been here before, Zero, at least I don’t think so.”

“Oh you’ve been coming here for years, all right ‘CC’. I think you’ve just lost your memory somehow, that’s all.”

I looked at him suspiciously and my nano-suit repaired itself and was as good as new. Zero laughed at me.

“That was some trick ‘CC’ but I should have guessed that someone whose returned from the dead as many times as you would be hard to kill.”

I wondered what the hell Zero was talking about. I had to keep pinching myself; the reality of this dream was completely immersive.

“But orders are orders ‘CC’ the Boss wants you dead.”

“No wait; hold on a minute there Zero. What the hell do you mean by that?”

“You really don’t remember anything do you?”

“No I don’t know anything except this is all just a dream, and that eventually, no matter what happens, I’m going to wake up.”

“Are you really trying to tell me you don’t remember anything about the Infinity Wars? You and me and your damn girlfriend went up against the corporation and the Shadow Aliens.”

I just couldn’t believe it, all was all just a dream, all just a convincing dream. But Zero was persistent.

“How do I know that you’re not playing mind games with me, because you know I’m stronger than you? Do you think I’m going to fall for some stupid trick, like that ‘CC’? But I’d still like to know how you totally healed yourself?”

Zero was still undecided as to what to do next. It was giving me precious seconds to decide on whether or not just decide to fall into the illusion of the dream…

“So you’re really trying to tell me you don’t remember going on all those missions for the Altex Corporation. Until the one at the H.A.M.S.T.E.R. facility that went badly wrong, and you got captured and turned into a damn super hero called the Cosmic Clown. How could you could you forget things like that?”

“I’m telling you Zero, I don’t remember anything about it. But I’m willing to go along with it for a while. So you say I’m a super hero of some kind? I guess that does explain the mad super hero suit.”

“Well I guess it does; duh! You’re sounding really weird ‘CC’ but none of that really matters because the Boss said if you showed up here again, then I was to destroy you. He didn’t put it in those exact words you understand ‘CC’, but you’re a clever guy; you get the idea of it. I was always the most powerful one out of all of us, but you’ve forgotten all of that, maybe it’s just as well ‘CC’?”

I wasn’t going to give into to Zero whether it was a dream or not.

“I won’t try to stop you Zero, because I know it’s just a dream.”

He teleported me somehow to the edge of a furiously burning star, the cataclysmic eruptions of fusion fire heating us up to insane temperatures. But then we fell through the tropical atmosphere of a vibrant alien world, crash landing through the canopies and dropping into a deep jungle lake. The water became super heated as we exchanged the heat we had just accumulated into the spacious body of water. We flew up to and landed at the edge of this colorful new world; stopping only to marvel at the intensity of nature’s creation.

“So you still remember how to use your G-Implant ‘CC’? What else do you remember that you not telling me

I was confused; one minute we were burning in the heart of a star and in the next second crashing into this place.

”I…I don’t understand I thought you teleported us here, Zero?”

“Very, funny, clown, but this place has got nothing to do with me. It was you that made it and not me. Remember what the Professor said, ‘CC’; if you can imagine it then you can create it.”

But I didn’t remember a damn thing about it.”

“That’s why the Boss wants you dead. He’s already tried to use your control word that activates the anti-matter charge, embedded in your brain, but it’s been disconnected. They can’t have someone like you running about and no way to control you. So it’s got to end here somehow. I’m giving you a choice. Either wake up for real and leave here or stay, and I will find a way to destroy you. You can’t stay here, you’ve got to go back to the world of the bio-reality where you’re G-implant is only imaginary, were as here think of the unchained destruction you could cause. So decide ‘CC’ I’m giving you ten seconds, wake up and live or stay here and die.”

I tried to stay asleep but I could fear the stirring presence of myself, becoming aware of being alive again. The dream faded with the realization that I was properly awake and free from Zero’s promise of certain destruction.

44

Reality

I woke up again and was lying in my bed. The morning sunlight was penetrating the edges of the window blind. I squinted and rubbed my eyes. I went downstairs to get my morning cup of coffee. The dream was fading as usual and I tried harder than ever to recall the slipping details. A black cloud of doubt followed me into the living room. I had worked for over two years and now my books were out there making money for the retailers mostly. I’d seen a quarterly royalty statement and all of my hopes went into the ground. I was getting paid peanuts. It just wasn’t worth it financially. But what else could I do with my choices limited to either continue writing or just give it up? I’ve gone too far to give up. I was still absent most of the time, either in that room sitting in front of the word processor or; off in those internal universes in my head. I felt a bit annoyed, a bit resigned, a bit sad and then I felt guilty all of a sudden. I knew in my heart what the right thing to do was, but always seemed to go off into my imagination and Ego all of the time. I wondered what I was going to do.

“Sometimes I wish I would just wake up and do something different, and not keep falling back into the ‘Ego’ mindset.”

I finished my coffee and took my cup back into the kitchen. I smiled at Bonnie, as she padded by me and wagged her tail. I thought about my usual routine; the same thing that happened every day. I was left alone to my own devices in an empty house. Free to continue living my bullshit, free to keep making the same old mistakes. Free to sit in front of the word processor and forget all about reality and safe from the hard edge of existence.

I was left with a troubled feeling as I turned to go back to the kitchen, to make some more coffee. I drink too much of the damn stuff. A few minutes later I was back in front of the word processor and off into ‘la la land’ yet again. I just had to keep writing these books; how could I stop? If I gave it up I’d be back at the start again; with it all to do. It would be like admitting to myself it was just another failure. It seemed like I had only one real option. Become a successful author or become nothing. For the rest of that day I wondered periodically about my life situation and then fell back into the second reality of my imagination. The hours passed quickly and all too soon the evening returned as the sun set behind some distant hills topped with wind turbines like giant white flowers with whirling leaves.

It was ten pm and I was still alert. Something was bothering me as I drank some more coffee, and sat down again in front of the word processor to write a little bit more before bed time.

Eventually the mind slows down and the eyes become heavy and the body tired. I decided that going to sleep was the best idea. The word processor went off and Bonnie looked at me with those expectant eyes which seemed to say; “Are we going out for a walk or what?” She wagged her tail as I put her collar on and opened the back door. I grabbed the dog lead and we went for a long walk around the park. When we returned an hour or so later I was ready for my bed and wearily climbed the stairs. Pretty soon I was unconscious and snoring. Bonnie padded silently into the room and lay on a pile of blankets at the foot of our bed. She listened for a few moments to the rhythm of our breathing, then curled herself around into a little ball. Soon Bonnie was fast asleep too, and dreaming her own little doggy dreams.

45

La-la-land

When I returned to la-la-land I just knew somehow that Zero would be waiting for me; he was. We were standing facing each other on the surface of the same dark planet. Funny that; when I returned here I remembered what happened the time before with clarity, so how could I recall nothing after I woke up. The thought puzzled me as I wondered what Zero was going to do next.

“I talked to the Boss after the last time ‘CC’. He said I was to give you a choice. He said that you’re gonna keep coming back until you sort yourself out. You’ve got to find some equilibrium before you make a final decision. He said I was to tell you that.”

I didn’t understand what Zero was talking about. The words didn’t make any sense to me.

“What choice what are you talking about, Zero?”

“You can choose to believe in this reality or you can choose the other one. But you don’t have much time left to decide. The Shadow Aliens are getting stronger, now the reality quake is over. They haven’t forgotten what we did to them, and they are sure to seek vengeance. If you decide to stay here then we’ll need to sort them out for good this time. I didn’t want to be the one to tell you this ‘CC’ but they’ve captured Lisa and taken her back to the dark dimension, she may already be dead.”

The name Lisa didn’t sound familiar to me, why should I care about someone I didn’t know and of course it was all just a dream anyway. No cause for alarm.

“I thought you would be upset that your super powered girlfriend had been captured, but I see you’re not taking this seriously yet.”

I realized we had been using telepathy again to communicate in our heads. I tried to remember who she was, but I had no pertinent recall.

“I don’t know anyone called Lisa, how can she be my girlfriend?”

Zero looked serious.

“You really have forgotten everything haven’t you ‘CC’? Maybe I should do something to jog your memory?”

I didn’t like the sound of that at all.

Zero walked over to me and placed a hand upon my shoulder. There was a blinding flash and a blast of energy.

When I opened my eyes we were standing somewhere else. Black clouds filled the turbulent skies and a ruined city sprawled all around us. Twisted structures tortured by ancient nuclear explosions, cast long shadows from a horizon of shattered towers. I had no memory of this ruined place. Some terrible catastrophe had befallen with unthinkable destruction and wreaked havoc upon an ancient civilization. Nothing lived here except the mutated snappers able survive the constant dangers of such a haunted place. Radioactive clouds hung hazily over the blast craters. I wondered why Zero had brought me here?

I looked over and saw a bunker entrance nestled into the hard ground. Zero walked over to the armored door and I followed him. It opened as we approached and Zero went inside. I hesitated before walking in after him. The lights came on as the four meter thick blast door ponderously sealed behind us. A short corridor went along to an inner security door. Some kind of decontamination sequence was beginning. After this the inner door opened to reveal a security room lined with active holo-monitors which flickered with colorful activity in the air. They showed different scenes from inside and outside the underground base. No one appeared to be watching them. Zero went through another blast door at the back of the security room. I followed him through this one as well. I marveled at the lucid details of my dream, and they had never seemed as real as this before. I wondered where he was taking me. We stepped onto a large platform which shuddered and descended into the depths of the planet. It was a cargo elevator and we waited until it reached the next level of the facility. I recalled a flash of memory. Some soldier or space marine was killed here by the security system. A bombardment of insane energies wiped out his personal shield and then he was instantly disintegrated. I think he was a friend of mine, I think his name was Johnson? But the memory flash passed and the lower blast door opened to reveal a cavernous cargo area. A large lifter droid was stacking cargo into neat rows, and ignored us completely as we walked by it. I followed Zero in silence as he deactivated a force field protecting another security door. He entered the proper code into strong arm industries encrypted lock and the door dutifully opened. We followed the corridor beyond and found ourselves in a manufacturing facility. Automated machines went busily about performing maintenance and following their allotted tasks. I wondered what the purpose of this place was as we left by another security door which opened out into a security elevator. After we were scanned the elevator allowed us to descend into the third level of the underground facility. Another cavernous space lined with impressive looking banks of control equipment and holo-control interfaces. A huge area at the center was displaying some three dimensional scene of another unfamiliar place. I was perplexed and confused by this master control room and Zero surveyed some of the holo-displays and then looked over at me.

“Do you remember any of this, ‘CC’?”

“I experienced a memory flash. I saw a space marine being blasted apart in the main cargo elevator. He had tripped the security system and couldn’t get out in time. I think he was my friend. But hell I just could have made it all up?”

“No I think you are beginning to remember ‘CC’. You have been in an identical facility to this one before. Back when you were just a grunt working for the Altex Corporation; before you went through the process that turned you into a damn super hero.”

A part of me wanted to believe him but it was all just nonsense, just another involved and twisted dream. Something vague crossed my mind, but I couldn’t hold onto it; just a fleeting thought accompanied by a sinking feeling. I tried to shake it off and a cold shudder went through me. Zero activated some of the holo-controls.

“Here ‘CC’ let me show you something.”

A view of some chamber was revealed in the middle of the projection area. A bloated machine was positioned at the center of it and was fed by countless power conduits and surrounded by numerous shield generators.

“What the hell is that, Zero?”

“This is the Hydrogen Activated Molecular Spatial Temporal Energy Reorganizer. The technology that created all of us ‘CC’. I brought you here to see it?”

“Why? What difference do you think it will make, Zero?”

“This is where it all started ‘CC’. The Altex Corporation with the help of Professor Tiberon, used this technology to create new dimensions, but with disastrous consequences. The facility was destroyed and this created a serious crack in the surface of space time. It caused the destruction of the Universe, and the resulting tear opened into the dark dimensions beyond.”

This was all sounding familiar as if I was on the edge of remembering something important, but a sense of personal confusion rolled over me instead. I shook my head in disbelief and didn’t want to believe the overwhelming details of my crazy dream. I knew inside myself that this reality only existed in my sleeping mind and I wasn’t buying into it. Any minute now I was going to wake up again, and therefore, all of this seemed pointless. How could there possibly be any danger from something that didn’t exist?

“You’re thinking too much ‘CC’ and you are going to have to sort yourself out, just like the Boss said. That’s why I brought you here, because this is where it all begins. I wanted you to see it for yourself. ”

“Well now I’ve seen it and I don’t believe it has made any difference, Zero, as this is all basically just another dream. I don’t really know what else you expected?”

Zero glared at me and seemed frustrated.

“The Boss said I was to give you one last choice. Either accept this reality and join us in our war with the Shadow Aliens, or choose to disbelieve and leave this realm forever. This is your last opportunity to go one way or the other.”

Then I remembered what it was; this whole experience was lifted straight out of the pages of one of my sci-fi books. It was just a story somehow blended neatly into this dream. Johnson was the computer expert who was killed in the book, along with many others, when the first H-Facility went rogue. But that’s all it was; a story written in the pages of a book far beyond this dream realm. I knew at once that I couldn’t stay here…

“So you’ve made your mind up then? That’s good but once you leave this time don’t ever come back here.”

I looked at Zero as the dream once again faded into black.

46

Reality Bites

When I opened my eye’s the bright morning light from the blinds shot straight into them. I hid under the blankets for a few moments and then got out of bed and put my clothes on. I remembered dreaming about the setting from one of my books, although I was rapidly losing the details once again.

Bonnie charged into the room shaking a soft toy in her mouth. She dropped the teddy and gave me a warm greeting, her tail wagging enthusiastically. I gave her a pat and we both went down the stairs into the kitchen and then out the back door. I waited at the gate around the side of the house, leaning on it for support and then I turned and went back inside the house. I felt worried for some reason; uneasiness was unsettling my emotions. I tried not to think about it and wanted to get on with something meaningful and productive. I tidied up the house, all the while deep in thought, mulling over the turmoil in my mind. An hour later the house was organized and I sat down on the couch in the living room and listened to my internal dialogue babbling a lot of nonsense.

It suddenly occurred to me that this was all about unresolved Ego, the pressures of life affecting my human condition. I was still just the same old me, full of Ego, full of wanting, full of frustration. Some part of my brain was furiously trying to resolve something, but I could only guess at the vague details and wonder what was going to happen next? One thing was for sure; if I didn’t find a way to consistently make it work in the real world, then the dream world was going to be destroyed. I just couldn’t bear the thought sitting at the word processor; typing thousands of meaningless words that nobody was interested in. What was the actual point of all this? Wasn’t it to create a new life away from the negative Ego constructions of the old one, and to find a way to change myself for the better. I fall into despair; with the thought that I’ve really blown it this time. It was me who wasted the everything. I can see it clearly now; I’m just an Ego-dreamer who can’t even be honest with himself anymore. I would give anything to change into a better me; well almost anything. I have been down in the murky depths of myself; I’ve tried to wrestle with the damn Ego-monkey, but somehow he always climbs onto my back, and just won’t let go! I’m beginning to hate that part of me. I want to do something about it; but I’m more confused than ever about the road ahead. Truthfully I’m scared to admit to myself that my life is a mess. So how can I admit it to anyone else?

‘Some people aren’t meant to be happy!’

That’s what I always tell myself when everything crashes into the ground again and falls into fractured pieces. Sometimes it seems pointless to pursue these Ego fuelled dreams. The hours tick steadily on and quickly the evening arrives, bringing rain and windy weather to this part of Scotland. I look out of the droplet smeared living room windows and wonder if it’s going to rain all night. I’m usually off in my own head somewhere. Frustration wells up and I burst into tears; it’s all too much to bear all of a sudden. Shake out of it; you’re just feeling sorry for yourself again. It doesn’t do any good. If only I could break out of this Ego-mess and become a better and more consistent person. No point telling anyone about these sad thoughts; they’ve heard it all before and nothing you can say will make a difference now. Only positive action will suffice. I pull myself together and wash my face at the kitchen sink. The rain is falling heavier now; driven sideways by a wild wind. I dry my eyes and go into the kitchen to make some coffee. Bonny my faithful little dog senses that I’m being emotional, and she sits down next to me, as the kettle rumbles and slowly boils. Then I sit down in the living room and drink my freshly made coffee. Too many thoughts are running riot through my brain, too many questions and too much uncertainty. I try to force it all to the back of my thinking. The kids will be home soon and the last thing they needs is to find an emotional Ego-maniac languishing in the depths of personal desperation. The back door opens and my son Graham steps inside and out of the unfriendly weather. He smiles at me and senses that something is wrong.

“What’s wrong, Dad, are you feeling down?”

“Yes, bud, I’ve been trying to shake this terrible feeling all day. If you don’t mind I’m going to head upstairs for an early night.”

Graham smiled and said.

“Sure thing dad; see you in the morning.”

I trudge wearily upstairs to the bedroom, and hide again under the covers. Pretty soon I’m fast asleep and cutting zzz’s.

47

Decision Time

Most of the time I wonder where life is going; I wish for some control over my world, and the many disorganized and unresolved things it contains. However most of the time I’m feeling increasingly worried, desperate and unfocused. Then Ego so easily steps in, and fuelled by disappointment, continues to cause problems. Sometimes I wish it was all just in my imagination, but my Ego certainly exists and I’m not sure I’m ever going to be able to get rid of the damn monkey. I’m not even sure that I should be trying to get rid of it. The Ego has an obvious purpose and that is to protect life from danger, to drive existence forward with a selfish determination. Sometimes it would be better to try and live without it. So I guess it’s finally decision time. It’s time to grow up and make some realistic and sensible decisions in the present; for the benefit of the future. However making decisions and keeping decisions isn’t always a straight forward thing to do. But if I don’t manage it then who will? The obvious answer is that nobody else will. So it’s down to me to take responsibility for my own existence like everybody else has got to do. Just make the damn commitment to ‘grow up’ and start making some relevant and sensible decisions. The simple way is often the best path to take. It’s the Ego-monkey that likes to complicate and confuse the issue, but ‘presence’ prefers the straight forward road from A to B. Maybe if I’d just kept it simple in the first place then horrible complications could have been more easily avoided? Then again perhaps there is no completely avoiding the complications of living, and being a complex and imaginative human being.

48

The Road Ahead

I guess I’ve got to get going now and just make the best of it. The world is disappointing and sure enough reality will let you down. People are serving themselves at the cafeteria of life, and they won’t think twice, about jostling in the cue to make sure they get the best of everything. It’s just human nature and nothing to worry about. The hunter gatherer spirit is strong within us. We kill, we eat, we take and we don’t suffer fools gladly. In retrospect this journey through living has been a long and interesting one. Even with the Ego-monkey on my back, most of the time I can still struggle on and try to make ends meet. He doesn’t always influence the eventual decisions that I’m making. The road ahead twists and turns, around the as yet unknown, contours of the future. It’s an exciting experience being alive with all this human potential even with an Ego-monkey on your back. The important decision I’m making is to ‘strive on with diligence’ and make the best of this wonderful thing called life. Maybe the Ego-monkey will keep trying to perpetuate its own selfish existence by getting up to his usual cheeky monkey tricks. But as long as I watch out and try to remember what is really important in any given moment, then surely I stand some chance of making a success out of my life? Don’t waste the precious moments of your brief existence, listening to the self absorbed ideas of a chattering Ego-monkey…

49

End of the Road

Well I guess it’s the end of the road. I suppose it always happens in the end. But I’ve never been one who was good at knowing when to stop. I thought I’d just reach a natural end to this story, so why do I find that I need to keep writing. Maybe it’s not really the end? Well it’s my crazy story; I suppose I’m the only one who can really answer that question.

“Well is it the end? Or do you have something else worthy to say, that’s might actually be worth listening to?”

“Well I can’t think of anything else worthy so far; how much time do I have left? It can’t be long now; right? I suppose I should just say good bye now, and thank you for listening to me; I mean it, thank you… But I still can’t go yet. I feel like I’m missing something import here? I’m supposed to say something before I finally go. I remember now.

“So this is your mission right; you’ve got to find a way to harmoniously evolve by yourself on this rock, and I’m afraid, it’s against the clock. He’s proud of you by the way and what you’ve become capable of; so just get out there and do it.”

Other books by the author James Pittaro

A Very Heavy Fairy Tale Book One ‘Trouble & Trolls’

A Very Heavy Fairy Tale Book Two ‘Monsters & Miracles’

A Very Heavy Fairy Tale Book Three ‘Sneaks & Angels’

Space Time Incorporated Book One ‘The Experiment’

Space Time Incorporated Book Two ‘Reality Wars’

Space Time Incorporated Book Three ‘Horizons’

Scavenger The Brotherhood of the Slug

“But are you dreaming it or is it dreaming you? The difference is kind of important.”

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About the Creator

James Pittaro

'So this is your mission right you have to find a way to harmoniously evolve on this rock and I'm afraid it's against the clock' Poetry and Prose welcome to my worlds.

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