#5 Dream (City On Light)

We got a message from above, to watch the skies, that the aliens were coming. They would be here, tomorrow, to make us aware of their presence, and so that day we drove out to the desert… a great caravan of automobiles and SUV’s in line down the dusty road, all of us high on uncertainty: were our lives about to get better or were we on our way to die? There is a calm that comes when you finally face the future.

So we went… out to the cliffs, our cars parked, forgotten, and we sat in groups on the dizzying heights… the valley impossibly low before us, the wind buzzing our hair as we held the ones we loved. And then, at sunset, it happened.

A breeze blew away a cluster of clouds and an image appeared in its place: a square, a movie screen, and a movie began to play. “Aliens: Fact or Fiction?” What? This was a UFO documentary from the early 80’s: fuzzy… low-budget… with video stutters. I looked across the mountain range and I could see the guys broadcasting the movie, a bunch of tech geeks cracking up, their echoed laughter audible above the soundtrack: “Are aliens real? You’ll hear from people who think so.” The techs were laughing and hugging, overjoyed at their practical hoax while the digital projector beside them beamed the image into the sky.

Bad synth music as the video cut to an elderly witness: “I’m pretty sure what I saw was the real deal.”

And so we were back into our cars, hearts broken one more time, our faith ridiculed and our day wasted. It didn’t feel right. It didn’t feel real. We headed for home and I thought to myself, “No… that can’t be it. There has to be more.” And then, like an orchestra swelling simultaneous, it happened. I was the first to see it.

The trees were lit up, from inside, somehow, an everyday object rendered in three-dimensional light hanging over it: a pair of blue jeans, an apple, a sports car, a hardcover book. I started smiling.

The sky was illuminated by a light show… virtual fireworks without sound, a starburst of colors, minutes between blooms, and the night would get dark again as the embers dissolved in the black.

The show got better as we drove: into the city where every office building was glowing from within… not from man-made lighting or bulbs: the brick and steel itself was luminous, gleaming, beaming. The skyscrapers too had fully-rendered 3D light projections above them: Kermit the Frog, a traffic light, the logo of the New York Mets.

And we were out on the street with everyone else, radiating in the shine, saved, high on the light. This was the proof. We smiled and we laughed. And we

No comments:

Post a Comment