He took me to the top of the world, to the very edge of the earth. He reached out his hand and said, “Trust me”, as I was approaching the last few feet of elevation. I didn’t trust him, I didn’t trust the height, and when I looked down I saw the rest of the world in a blur of green and blue below me. But I walked with him anyway.
In big block letters, straight ahead in the distance, a distance that is immeasurable, I saw “Welcome to the World”, written the same way “Hollywood” is in its famous hills. “Welcome to the World”; I was standing above it. I don’t know how I got there, I didn’t know a place like this existed, didn’t know if with a few more steps I would die or fly.
He turned to me, to his left, and asked ever so seriously “Do you remember the first time you saw your face?” I had never even thought about such a notion- and it intrigued me more than anything anyone has ever asked me before. It wasn’t a “How do you feel about…” kind of question. I couldn’t answer it with my intuition, not with my college degree or something I had heard about on TV. It was a question that required me to scan far, far back into my mind, trying so hard to find that memory of the first time I saw my own face.
And I wonder, what did I think when I did? Did I know who it was, who I was? Who was she to me, looking back? Was I scared of her or did I embrace her with a smile? Did I think she was pretty? Older? Inferior?
I simply replied, “No, I don’t.”
He knew the answer though: “It was the first time you saw a rain drop.”
What a bizarre answer, I thought. But I understood it, or so I think I did. Through water, and its translucent property, a reflection can be caught. This is easy to imagine with a still, deep body of it, like a lake, a pond, even a puddle. But a raindrop is so small, and it falls so fast, how can we ever get a glimpse of ourselves in just one droplet? But I believe it, because he said so. Because he said it so confidently, and so abstractly, that it had to be true. It’s so beautifully odd, that it must be the secret revealed.
It’s so beautifully odd, that it must be the secret revealed- that’s how I feel about being on top of the world, too. It’s so ridiculously absurd, but yet I experienced it, so it has to be real, in some sense. Even if it was just a dream, I saw it, I remembered it, I felt the feeling of excitement and fear and uncertainty, being up there, having him make me wonder about the first time I ever really looked at a reflection of the eyes, and mouth, eyelashes and structure of this being, bearing my name and my organs and blood and thoughts and emotions and my essence.
Ever since then- since that question- I realized how important it is that we face ourselves. Face ourselves physically- stare into the mirror, or the glass, or that droplet of rain- and take in our physical presence. The most important part is the pupils. It’s the darkest part of the eye, and yet its through the pupils where you can truly see the soul; the spiritual inside of someone. Face ourselves metaphysically- asking the questions “Who am I? Who do I want to be? Where do I want to go? What makes me feel high?”
Sometimes people reach out their hands, willing to show us the world, whatever the “world” means to you. Money? Sex? Affection? Comfort? And we reluctantly take their offerings because we just want a taste of it. We want that view; the view from above, high off of life. High off of something or someone; addictions to the illusions of the things we think we need the most.
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2 thoughts on “High On Life”
I love this. Thank you for the honesty you reflect in your writing and poetry. One of my new favorite pastimes as of today.
Thank you! Much appreciated. May I ask how you found my site?