It was like a silver sphere in the cosmos. A giant globule of mercury, but it didn’t bulge even though the temperature was clearly rising in here. If I tilted my head, now it was as if viewing the ball of cells from which we all stem through a microscope. I seemed to be having trouble regulating the scale of my perceptions.
And then the light started back up. I could see its spectrum trails above people's heads. As they moved and threw their arms in the air, they sliced up the colours of the rainbow. They were juggling colours and that hurt my head.
I raised my eyes above the dancefloor for relief. The windows on the orb weren’t letting the light through at all. They were bouncing it straight back, return to sender. Like a dandelion clock shedding its seeds of time. Viral protein chains beading the air. Efflorescent effluent sliding down the walls. Puffball mirrorball. So the very opacity meant that they weren’t windows. They were more like doors. Hundreds and thousands of tiny doors into the heart of the revolving globe. A planetary accommodation block. Where none of the inhabitants could talk to one another.
I'm drawn to their atomisation. The silver moon loomed large, just like it had outside my childhood bedroom window that one time. Close enough to imagine I could reach out and touch it.
Phase change again. For as the light struck like a rap at the door, the portal spangled and its resident cell yielded in response. But before he could emerge to greet any visitor, the light was expunged, plunging him into darkness, even as his neighbour was summoned and drawn to the threshold in the same way. The doors were all tilted away from one another ever so slightly. Just so the light was out of phase. Could any of the residents run into one another? Could they share anything of their lives at all? Or were they condemned to live out their unknown existence behind their doors in isolation? Entirely like me, amongst this throng of people with faces blotted out behind dancing colours. Where are you? I've been here for hours. I've seen every single silvered door open and shut.
And then you arrive. Finally. Armed with a bottle of cool water. To rehydrate me. I love you. I love you for that water and I love your own flow too. I can feel the water pulse through my veins, pushing back the cotton wool that has blocked them. Draggletail clouds dissipate through my arteries. Reinflating, rising to the surface of my wrists, the blues and the reds. Crossing over one another, intertwined. Communicating. Communing. I look up at the ball, but am dazzled by the nimbus of light shards. Still no one up there on that lonely planet is talking to a neighbour. The doors open and slam shut one after another, whisked away one from the other as the orb spins on its axis. So much motion just to remain in place. I pour a rainshower of water over my beclouded head. The music thunderclaps from the speakers. What was merely damp now become sodden.
The water settled my eyes, clearing the coruscations, but it couldn't shift the fog that lay behind them.
You are kneading the bony ball at the top of my spine. Unfurling the tendrils of the knot there as the Ecstasy was supposed to do, but only served to twist it tauter. Your action gently levers my head back down, where I want to raise it up again. I shake you off. Not as rejection, please understand. I just want to see that it is possible for two of the tiny beings up there to emerge from their doors simultaneously and meet. Or else you and I are both wasting our time.