In a dark place, in an unspecified era, at an unknown time, someone half-awakens from a dream.
Perhaps it’s a beautiful young woman, a brunette. No, a blonde... Most likely, though, it’s a short middle-aged man with a tufted tummy, a belly-like bald spot and a set of blushing mid-sized ears.
Maybe it happens in the past, maybe in the future. It might be going on right now. It only lasts a moment, but this moment lasts forever.
Somebody probably knows who this man is, or was, or will be. Otherwise it doesn’t seem possible to identify him.
Maybe you’ve seen him in a crowd, and his ball-like features ring familiar. Maybe you’ve forgotten him. Perhaps such a man never actually existed at all.
He may have only appeared as a reflection in a little girl’s snappy pocket mirror which she accidentally abandoned on the seat of a train when her incurably stressed-out mother gripped her hand, pulling her up, out and away.
Perhaps, by coincidence or by mistake, this man’s image found itself bouncing around in the mind of a complete stranger, who was shaving. Puzzled by such a random occurrence, the bather pondered it until, channeled to celestial bodies, horticultural products and team sports, his thought never meandered back to its globular origin.
Then again, what if it happens in a dream? Pages turn, words disappear, and soon the book itself melts away, leaving only whiteness (or blackness) in its place, because nothing is unimaginable.
Maybe this man is how a reader had initially pictured a character, but a couple of pages later, constructed another image instead, dumping the old one into the subconscious.
Maybe, inexplicably, the baldy is relevant or explicably connected to absolutely nothing.
Quite possibly this is a never-written scene from a book. Many authors won’t write passages involving bodily functions, and their characters sometimes go for years without setting foot in the bathroom.
And so the man half-awakens from an already forgotten dream. It’s more of a gluey sort of in-betweenness of non-sleep and non-alertness left over from the dream than a recollection. The sharp understanding he senses is that nobody’s ever needed to go see any man about any horse as urgently as he does this very instant. He slouches on the edge, pulls the floor up to his feet by the mattress and bumps into furniture on his round trip to the bathroom until he walks right back into bed.
photograph by Gali-Dana Singer
About the author:
Max Orkis lives with his family in the Bay Area and works as a writer/editor in a high-tech company. His English prose has appeared or is forthcoming in Weber - The Contemporary West, The Milo Review, Words with JAM, and Crossed Genres. His Russian poetry has been published in the 2011 Grigoryev Competition Anthology, Topos, Polutona, and Prolog.