…to begin building new tools that no one has ever touched.

What made the human race explode upon the planet were the tools we built to measure all the things our senses couldn’t touch. We were absolutely nothing, outside of a few promising blips here and there, before we made tools that saw teeming worlds of microbes and exotic energy on the electromagnetic spectrum.

Aside from a few blips here and there, the tools we use to penetrate sub-atomic particles and the far reaches of the universe are tools that reveal nothing we didn’t suspect a hundred years ago to be true. In short, we’ve stopped building tools to measure the utterly novel and completely unfathomable.

You will conceive, design and build such tools. You will uncover ways to penetrate the holographic universe, where every sub-sub atomic particle contains all of the information of the whole–all possibilities that have been wrought or ever will be wrought through Time in an Uberverse of Universes. Your tools will beam video footage of everything that has ever happened–you plug in your time-space coordinates, match them to the vectors that align with the probabilities that are in sync with this particular universe (this universe’s unique probabilistic DNA or fingerprint, if you will), and you will witness what you wish to.

What ill-gotten gains will then be yours? What endless peeping into the lives of historical figures and nobodies? What on earth will be able to stop you, now that you are in a position to blackmail everyone, amass vast treasures, and develop unstoppable weapons?

First, you must crack open a high-school pre-calc book and a college physics book to re-learn some of the basics, so you don’t simply reinvent the wheel or become another author of popular science books about relativity and quantum physics.

…and it’s your first Saturday living alone again.

It’s early April, and you sense the infinite potential of being single, twenty-five, and living downtown. But, instead of seeking out party people or getting a gym membership, you decide to walk to the public library after your morning jog. You are going to be the perfect picture of health from now on, having allowed your tendencies to overindulge get the better of you while living with her.

Maybe in a few months, you’ll be so cleaned up, that you’ll be ready to start interviewing for that job with the six-figure salary, and you’ll be able to buy her a brand new Isuzu Trooper, her favorite vehicle, and kick that lazy hipster band boyfriend out of your house, returning as the true king.

You grab random books at the public library that catch your fancy: a tome on the history of medieval Europe, and a book written for psychiatrists about shyness that you can use to hopefully cure yourself of these maladies that prevent you from being as successful as you please.

The Austin spring air, perfumed by dozens of varieties of blooming flowers, is the only liquor you need to intake. You inhale it deeply, and thrill to the heft of your important books that will surely transform you into a scholar king.

Strewn about in stacks and piles are the hundreds of books you purchased while you were with her, mad with a feverish appetite to consume the moment, the experience of purchasing more knowledge and wisdom, without the least bit of care for the discipline and focus to actually imbibe it. Somewhere in these piles are the three important books on Time that your father purchased for you two and a half years ago. You’ve started to read them a few times, but they have pesky math in them, and for some reason, math and booze just don’t mix well in your head.

About ten minutes into reading the medieval history of Europe, Karen Winthrop calls and asks if you want to go to the Ray Charles concert with her.

Three months later, you find yourself coughing up massive overdue fees on these books in what will become a rather predictable ritual for you.

Three years later, you find yourself placing your precious books on Time into the Goodwill box to make room for new Half Price Bookstore finds that you’ll never read. You rarely, if ever returned to these books, and have decided that it is actually God’s will for you to go into politics and government, and so now the shelves will be lined with Nicomachean Ethics, The Federalist Papers and Bill Clinton’s My Life.

Ten years later, you wonder what the hell is happening with Time itself, as you are already quite gray and thin of hair on top, and nothing you seem to do pans out to become your vision of what the Lord’s will should look like.

Books on becoming a Faith Healer and books on the anatomy, books of Spanish poetry, and books on learning to play the guitar. Anthologies of the classics, and diaries of the famous and obscure. Books on how the world will end and books on how it began. Books on mathematics for the layperson who can barely remember his college algebra class.

And one day, you wake up wishing you’d just kept the books you started with back then, and read and re-read them until you understood them quite well–staying inside your tiny studio apartment in the city every weekend day instead of ruining your health and credit with Karen Winthrop.

But, all the books on building time machines are very theoretical and full of math. And, none of them promise much in the way of successfully extracting your consciousness from the body you inhabit this year, and dropping it into one you inhabited some X number of years ago.

But, you find all three of the books your father bought you on Time, standing unread and unloved on the shelves of the public library. They are worth a read at thirty-five, though they may not transport you through Time itself. In fact, all the books you’ve ever abandoned are probably worth another go, except for the ones you dropped because they were truly bad.

And, now you are gray and aging and almost married, with your remaining years finite before your face. So, it couldn’t hurt to begin again, and pretend that Time can’t touch you.

…with all of the doubts finally cleared for good.

You thought you caught her eyes upon you too many times to count these last few months. She is at least an inch taller than you, and has a pitch perfect body. Then there is the one at Starbuck’s who knew your drink after she’d been away for five months. These things let cracks open, and doubt creep into you–what if your choice had not been guided by God, but was simply the culmination of sensible maneuvers, rational formulations coupled with an imagination that tends to make reality something else?

Then, today, you pass the first one as you’re running down the stairs to get your Starbuck’s, and she doesn’t even look at you. You are clearly nobody, and all of the previous times you thought she was looking at you from a distance–those were simply the manifestations of that lingering adolescent hopefulness that now must die. At Starbuck’s you see the second one at the register as you enter, and are certain you will have to interact with her. But, at the last minute, a young man steps up to the second register to take your order, and she doesn’t look your way even once.

It’s been a struggle, but God has finally helped you clear the BS for good, and see your life as it really is and should be. When you are completely ready, there truly is just one person that can “fit,” and all else is just superficial temptation wrought by demons who would have you live an entire life stuck in a mode of hopefulness for infinite possibilities, rather than let you realize and live one true, single, solid man’s life.

…with a mind ransacked by these thought forms you created.

Within the confines of your mind you can build entities that are every bit as powerful as any personality on the television. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on the entity), their power ends the moment they reach your muted voice, halting and trembling in fear to run past the even mightier walls you put in place.

They turn around and run back into your head and then shoot down your nerves, your spine, faster than lightning, scorching your base chakra, until it emanates an energy you can’t control back up through the gut, the solar plexus, etc.

You find yourself clutching your heart and gaping your mouth in terror at all that you see inside of you.

The next thing you know, you’ve become someone else–a helpless puppet at the mercy of these thought forms born out of wistful nostalgia, mad lust, unchecked ego, and an imagination galloping away from the Truth as fast as it can go.

Nothing can bring you back to your core Self until you realize that most of what came out of your mouth this past week was not of you, but of the demons that you made–some ancient from many lives ago, some brand new from a few hours ago. “Not my will but yours be done” comes to mind as you soon find that you have paid much more attention to believing that you are an owner, not a renter of this self you run here on this earth.

Nothing can keep you in line like a constant realization that each day is a gift from God, and you will walk through a portal to the higher spheres of being in an instant–perhaps unexpectedly–and, whatever matters to you then should be what matters to you now and every waking minute.

…inside the body of an old man.

When you were twenty-three, you thought it would be cool to be old. To be purged of all the urges. To be ignored because you’re sexless. To have all of the facilities of the mind, but none of the distractions of the hormones.

You thought that the visage of the old man would match the visage of your soul.

And, you weren’t completely wrong.

But, you aren’t as old on the inside as you thought you were. Your soul might be an old one, but it’s probably that way from never getting it right, never growing up every time you come back.

And now, you are a twentysomething inside the body of an old man.

As long as you don’t move around too much, and keep a bottles of ibuprofen and wine close by, you don’t notice much about what has changed on the outside. You can pretend easily enough that you are a young man, because not much has changed on the inside.

Perhaps you’re not as prone to take seriously those things of life that death can erase so quickly. And, you’re more likely to not be so quick to waste your time waiting around for someone or something to entertain you, knowing that Time is not too kind to those who live that way.

But, when you are at your ease, not thinking too hard about anything in particular, you stop believing that you are an old man, and can hardly tell the difference between the you of yesteryear and the you of this moment.

…from another dream you can’t remember.

Funny, how different things are now. The transition happened slowly for the most part, with only a few exceptions. Your world of sleep and dreams used to be everything for you. The waking life saw maybe half a dozen memorable events each year, and everything else in your memory storehouse was what happened during sleep.

Your first memories are almost all exclusively dreams. What does that say about you?

You can still recall vividly, as if you dreamed it yesterday, the dream of having a detachable penis. You were age three or four. The memorable one saw your penis grow hard, then it broke, and a green plasma oozed out. It was part of a series of such dreams that left you waking up terrified. Many times in the dream, it was perfectly natural, but you would wake up and be very unsettled, knowing even at that age it was not.

There was the dream of your great grandmother’s head stuck in your window sill, while her body ran around in the yard below and she squawked at it.

Many nights, you would lapse into a half-dream state, even as your mother read you to sleep. In this state, her character would take on an evil nature, and the outer parts of your visible world became sphere-like. It was as if you lived inside a giant ball that rolled around. Being quite young, you couldn’t articulate the notion that you’d entered an alternate universe, but you were very keen on believing that you’d slipped into an equally real world where your mother, who was mostly a saint, became mostly evil.

Dreams of your mother leaping from the photograph in the hall and running to the foot of your bed, still scaled to be the same size as in the picture, to beseech you for something you couldn’t fathom. You were only five, and were filled with utter terror.

A dream where you floated through the house, hovering around in your brothers’ rooms, then hovering over your dream self still asleep–the dream you being a boy who was so messy he left his toys in bed with him when he went to sleep.

A dream where men broke into the house and rubbed your penis with pieces of denim, grinning madly.

A dream where a man of the future was racing through a Mad Max type landscape (though you’d not seen the movie) to avoid having his car become ensnared by a giant device that sliced the car transversely clean through, slicing him in half as well. You woke from this one with a sinking feeling that this might very well be your future.

Not too many years later, when all of these bizarre dreams (and they were indeed bizarre for a boy who was permitted to watch very little television and no movies) had subsided, you found yourself at the mercy of night terrors and the phantoms of sleep paralysis. You’d experienced sleep paralysis when you were quite young, but had simply noted it to your mom, and she’d told you it was perfectly natural to wake up sometimes before your body.

But then, the horror. The certain knowing that when you woke in this state, someone or something was in the room with you, or approaching the door and about to walk through it. Soon, your little self (always with your back turned), would be getting tickled and whispered to by strange men, beasts and aliens.

Throughout high school you were quite prone to get up, walk downstairs, and have random conversations with your still-awake parents, who often were quite uncertain at first if you were asleep or not.

It was not until you went to college that you started to control these things. You read books on astral travel and postulated that many of the beings that sad on your chest were simply versions of you–your subconscious astral self trying to get out or come back in your body. You experimented with keeping a dream journal and producing lucid dreams.

One of your last most vivid lucid dreams came weeks before your little brother died. You visited a woman who claimed to be an usherer of the dead, helping those who’d recently passed find their way into the much more vast and terrifying reality of the afterlife. You asked her what death was like, and then she pointed to a little girl and told you to ask the girl instead.
Then, Roy died, and you were terrified that very night of being visited by his ghost.

You never had a dream that seemed quite so realistic after that.

There were many more night terrors to come–leaving you sometimes so badly bruised and shaken by the experience of waking up, thinking you were inside some horrible reality where you were about to be crushed or suffocated, and thrashing about, destroying whatever lamps or objects happened to be in your immediate waking vicinity.

Olivia never forgave you for destroying her grandfather’s antique lamp. You woke from that night terror especially bruised and terrified, and this was at the tail end of your relationship with her, so her only concern was for the lamp.

Your latest one was a month ago, and the entire inside of your right leg was blackened with bruising from you apparently trying to get off of the bed (which once was Kelly’s grandfather’s, but that’s neither here nor there) which has a hardwood foot.

But, most of the time, you do not remember your dreams. When you do, they are generally weak and simply reflective of whatever fears or hopes are pressing your waking mind at the moment.

Dreams do not transform you anymore. You don’t fly in them like you used to. Almost never do you wake up from a dream thinking about reality differently. You don’t wake up from them believing that you’d ventured into an alternate reality, higher plane or other place every bit as real as the waking world. While you still believe very much in the existence of some of these places, your dreams no longer take you there.

Why is it this way?

It could be that your renewed and intensified faith in Jesus prevents you from seeing such experimentation as being blessed or good. Perhaps your fear of encountering your little brother is so great that it has thrown a wall of fear too high for you to ever access these dimensions again until you die. Or, maybe your adult self has just become too enmeshed in this waking reality, like everyone else. You live for being able to wake up and experience this reality, to enjoy food and sex and coffee. With so many stimulants and attention-demanding factors coursing through your brain, you may have simply been conditioned to keep your focus on the waking world.

But, what irks you the most about all of it is that you know there is a vast part of you that you have never gained control of. The subconscious demons that spring forth throughout the day when you are knocked off kilter–these are the entities that you must conquer. There are patterns of behavior, moments of instantly shifting out of focus and losing your perspective, that you know you could fix if you could wake up inside your dreams again and take control.

…and you are wrong about everything.

The feeling of being right, of being validated that you were right–it’s a heady thing, a junkie’s shot to the pleasure centers of the brain. You will seek out statistics and gangs of individuals to keep every word that pops out of your mouth from ever being proven wrong.

You might be the conspiracy theorist, who was right about one thing back in 2003, and now you must practice revisionist history virtually in real time (revising history the moment a second passes) with every piece of information that greets your eyes.

Perhaps you are the rabid Egelical or the rabid atheist. Does it matter? Once a contradictary fact passes before your eyes, you have a turn of wit plus a congregation to dismiss that ill-fitting fact.

You can’t get out of bed in the morning unless you form a framework for continuing to exist. Some kind of structure must be erected (and labelled as Truth) to get you on the train and prevent you from questioning if an entirely different world of you would be so easy to slip into.

But, all it takes is a high-definition video of you, a high resolution digital photograph, or someone so incredibly unworthy of being your superior suddenly inserted into the hierarchy that rises above you.

All it takes is an honest moment in front of the mirror with the face you can’t recognize anymore.

And then, you know that you were and are wrong in every sense of the word, about who you are and who you were and how others perceived you to be. You must question whether or not your identity can even continue to be grounded in what once was such a safe bet.