He was tired of the rain. It seemed endless. The rain was legion, it was a seeping mass on every little detail of even the most random place. He hated the droplets, the rivulets, the way it bent light like drunk lazy prisms. Most of all he hated the smell. How can something opaque smell so bad sometimes? Rain was this giant entity almost like it was alive and stretched across all. He cursed it under his breath, dreamed of fighting it with fists.
The city was also alive with spider veins of light, pulsing, moving along skins of wall and roof like a great weary spider. The signs for too many tiny shops beat against each other, the lettering slithering as far as one could see. He saw this too in dreams, but it was vines, kudzu, snakes, lava that was alive somehow but of a hushed spatial venom, of something portenous he sensed but had no clue of.
He was a police officer who dreamed of unicorns. He was in his early 30’s, some would even call him handsome if he ever smiled. He never did.
His squad craft lifted high on a call about something…he didn’t listen any more. He flew high above the city, arcing a huge turn past a huge neon billboard of a woman smoking a cigarette. There were flying craft with ads for travel on a far off world. It sounded great but he was too poor. He would die here. His end days would either by hurtling down in this lonely craft or in his sleep in the droning endless rain outside like an eraser, like how in time and space he was already dead, a constellation of sleep walking burned out stars in a uniform.
He landed and found nothing. There were crowds speaking a hybrid language of a fusion of places that long ago died into this place. The crowds rushed in and out of stores like always. The noise though to him was like that rain, so constant it simply wasn’t there at all. If you had the same once favorite meal would you even see it on the plate after a while? A ghost of atoms and dead things, the anonymity of a dust mote in a storm….nothing..
He sat and looked at a photo of some woman he would never meet in a machine. He in a tired dead voice dicatated movements and measure, swarms of numbers like gnats. The photo slowly revealed her hidden behind a wall in a bath tub. She was a mystery, maybe even a story or even a case if he cared. He just couldn’t anymore. The photo revealed more and more details as the machine clicked away and he dropped numbers in the air on his breath. The photo would have even been beautiful if he was not that rain inside, as though the rivulets dying down windowglass had not come to be a dull flood in him, not of rain but of gravity, of infinite sag, a weight.
He flew again and visited another policeman with bad skin who looked like a math teacher dressed for a party that came before his great grandparents were born. He made a paper unicorn and the officer who oddly dreamed of them did not even notice. He was not here anymore. Decker took off in his police cruiser through the rains past the snakes of light, the two elements forever drowning in each other, neon to water, water to light, a dual suicide of matter and elements at least to him as it droned past. He left the domed city, found it was all a dystopic illusion and there was greenery, a bright sun. Again he did not care.
Sunrise does little to brighten the grave. The craft was flown by the living corpse of a life beaten into the most basic elements living forward. The craft shuttled onward, the false city and those rains shrinking behind, the sun casting a great gaping maw of the unknown ahead. He sighed and shifted altitude ever so slightly, integers again, that math of tiny gnats, details in measure not breathed with hope, chaos or even a new kind of pain or danger.
I simply am.