by Karan Singh
He loved the act. All his passion raged towards it, alone in any environment. In any form he wanted the act. The bang of the keys on a keyboard were his impressions on the saxophone during dangerous jazz-songs from upstate New York in the early nineteen-sixties; he ached for the scratch of the fountain pen on thick paper and the stroke of a brush; the mechanistic nature of a typewriter, and the pedantic technology in a word processor were his fetish.
He was in the woods, in a dream, and his fingers dug into the dirt around the roots of the tree he leaned his head upon. His loin cloth was his only covering but for mud over all the rest. His hair was strangely familiar and matted beyond fashionable. He writhed and his eyes spun beneath his eyelids; grabbing a clump of clay as he feels the heat from a freshly printed page and the final ding on the typewriter singing cautiously that only a few more characters and he’ll be typing in outer space. The sniff of a book, the dust of ancient thinkers and crowded places enchants him, and he wakes up.
The sun is on his face and blinding him, the air is humid, and messy; covering his eyes he sees there, in the dried mud on his arm, a faded note from before he slept. He turns his head and the world seems to fall on its side again, the note is written backwards. He stumbles up, goes to a freshwater stream, drinks copiously—making sure to keep his forearm dry so as not to lose the message—proceeds to wrestle the most beautiful man he’d ever seen with matted hair, nearly drowns since he was fighting one-armed, and then uses the freshwater’s surface to read the reflection of the old message on his arm. It read, “You’re never really awake when life’s such a dream.” He looks down, at his feet, and then he’s gone.
-The Madman Laughs at Everything