Cassandra, sat at the table of a park in Glendale Arizona eating a vegan sandwich from Subway.
“I swear, being fifty ain’t easy in 2033,” she said. “These morons. It’ll take a hundred years before they sort out aging for the regular people. Everybody rich is already on the immortality train.”
“This was a good idea,” said Suzanne who enjoyed a meatball sub made from engineered meat. “So, you really believe you live infinite lives in infinite universes?”
“Yes, I do, but I don’t. It’s a paradox.”
“Is this a religion?”
“Oh no. No. It’s a conclusion I came to on my own and I have no teachers. I fired all them long ago. And I don’t look for followers. My objective is to change reality itself by how I live my life not by what I believe.”
“And the whole soul thing seems very complicated the way you describe it.”
“Yes, for me I see that the soul is an eternal paradox from two opposing truths existing as one absolute truth simultaneously. It’s heart is irrational and illogical. Why? Because this is impossible of course. These two postulates are: ‘THERE ABSOLUTELY IS NO SOUL’ and ‘THERE ABSOLUTELY IS NO NO SOUL.’ Since the two absolutes conflict, then insanity is created when they share the reality of being true both at once in the same domain. I honestly admit that this notion is completely and utterly insane. If I’m right, the BASE of who we are is infinite, raging insanity – CHAOS.
Cassy let that soak in. Took a sip of her soda with a twinkle in her eye and elaborated.
“I use the mythology that sanity is the free will decision to ascend from madness confronting our animalistic madness itself to ascend in the direction of freedom. And madness is also a HAVEN we can retreat to when we are ruined by others through torture, abuse or domination. This is why torture victims go crazy. It’s liberating. So, the way I see it, if you strip away all our layers, what you will find is flaming batshit. That’s why you should avoid spiritual teachers who want to get you back to your basic self. Your basic self IS TOTAL INSANITY AND RAGING CHAOS!”
“I’ve never heard a spiritual teacher say THAT,” said Suzanne. “And you call yourself a ‘feeler’ a person who remembers past lives?”
“I don’t call them lives. I have no proof of them being lives. They are fantasies I enjoy with a hope they may be true. But there are good rumblings that parallel lives exist if multi-verses are real. But to answer your question I don’t imagine or remember ALL of them. My brain is too small to hold the infinite lives of me that are possible. And I don’t remember them as much as I imagine them.”
Casssy took a drink from her Diet Doctor Pepper. She turned her head revealing a liver spot she was unsuccessfully trying to cover with base. She put the cup down and continued.
“If I imagine me in a restaurant and there is a copy of me somewhere in space and somewhen in time EXACTLY like that, I think that that fantasy becomes a FACT to be enjoyed as memory. And if anything that can exist does, then my imaginings are in fact – histories. If I close my eyes right now and imagine this very setting, is it an imagined reality or is it fact?”
“It’s both I guess.”
“Let’s close our eyes and imagine ACTUALLY being here while we are here. Look around first and then imagine a fantasy world where everything is just like this, except my fingers are crossed. Let’s do it for a minute. Open and close your eyes randomly to make your imagination more vivid. Ready? Go!
They both tried it for a minute. They imagined where the were exactly and then opened their eyes to fill in details. Then they both would randomly go back to imagining their surroundings.
“Interesting,” said Suzanne.
“So, Suzanne, was your dream REAL?” asked Cassandra. “And for the record, I had my fingers crossed.”
“Yes and no.”
Cassy raised an eyebrow and took a bit of her sandwich. Suzanne did the same. It was a good time to pause.
“Tell me one of your lives that you imagine,” asked Suzanne.
“I’m on a planet, that has a large star like Antares. Fucking huge. The planet’s years take a long, long time because it has to be so far away from Antares to not be burned up. Antares is so big, that if it was in the center of our Universe, Jupiter would be inside of it. THAT’S how big Antares is. Years are measured by the cycles of our moon because it takes so long to get around.”
“Anyway, on that planet, I’m plain old me. But I have a SUCK life. I live in a backward, hick town. My father died in a stupid war, I’m just as smart as I am now, but there is NO chance to develop my mathematical gifts. My brother gets me hooked on an addictive substance similar to our meth amphetamine, and I spend my life cleaning houses until a rich woman blames me for a theft her daughter actually did. Her daughter plants the evidence to clear HER hame and *I* go to jail where I get raped by prison guards and get incurable VD. Later, the war comes home and all my family die, I get a skin disease and lose all my hair by thirty. And life goes down FROM THERE. Amid this life of suck, I have a dream. In this dream, I AM FREEDOM ITSELF. I really am. And it is amazing. It excites me, and I swear to never forget it or how to attain it. And when I awake, it is gone and I can’t remember it. But I can FEEL it.”
She stopped to take another bite of her sandwich.
Suzanne said, “I’ve had dreams like that. I once saw the meaning of life in a dream and when I woke up I scrambled for paper but when I got it, it was gibberish.”
Cassy nodded and took another bite or two and continued.
“That dream though. That dream was HERS and in a real sense mine. She REALLY felt that dream in that world. And in that moment exists an eternity of freedom. And I through my imagination can feel her frustration of not being able to remember that dream and I can feel her freedom in that dream. But, in that world I know that dream SOMEHOW told her that her suck ass life was okay. That even though it was awful, She could be grateful to be … ALIVE. She could just taste reality itself and feel, smell and hear it. She knew that no life, is to be feared. No life is to be embarrassed about. Life itself is the gift, not the living of it. And in that dream of freedom she had that night, she DID live her life in a way that was full of dignity, even though to all around her she was an object of contempt and scorn.”
Suzanne asked, “But tell me this. What DID you dream there? What IS that dream?”
Cassandra lowered her head.
“It was Me as freedom itself.”
Cassandra felt a pang in her heart. It was her again on that star from across eons. She stood up and raised her hand to the sky. Closed her eyes. She felt herself across time and space. Connected to herself THROUGH that dream she had around that massive star so long ago. Then she closed her eyes and giggled. Her giggle peeled through the park melodiously. And then she heard something deep within. A different laugh returning. HER laughter returning from that star.”
She stopped. Opened her eyes and returned to her sandwich.
Her friend’s face was very still, she didn’t know how to handle this display from her old friend. She pasted a smile on the experience and tried to lighten things up by upping her voice pitch.
“So which one is your favorite story? I BET it’s the one with Brad Pitt!”
Cassy lowered the boom.
“That IS my favorite story because she LOVED life anyway. It seems like I pushed your AWKWARD button Suzanne. That’s okay. It sometimes happens. Please take it as a complement that I think of you so highly that I went awkward so you could see the real me.”
“Do you think it’s real?, asked Suzanne.”
“I think it’s enough.”