I stood on a vast plain, bare of bower, building, grove or thicket. And there about me also standing were the hordes of all those who had never been and never would be, blank of visage, vacant, dumb, yet sad and sorrowful after their own fashion. Yet one close by, seeing that I was different, did speak and say, ‘Might not we also have our chance to live? To see the light and hear the rain, and feel the heat of summer and frost of winter days? Might we not also know one another, and speak our joy at that knowing? Might we not do things, and fashion a world?’
For about me clung the aura of a life lived, and they could see it, and this they all yearned for.
‘You do not know for what you ask,’ I told them. ‘There is a hardness to things, and an anguish that never fades, and the fear of endings before the endings end. And there is such a sorrow, that you will wish your wish undone. The payment of pain that must be paid is set at a very high price, for some, for many perhaps, even if not for all. And you will not know until it is too late what your own payment must be. But the seal has already been pressed, and there can be no retractions, except to choose to return to the oblivion you already know, from whence the yearning to go back will be rekindled, and the sorrow will never cease. Dream and wonder at what a life might be like, but do not wish upon it any semblance of reality. This place here, this place where all is peace and nothing can happen is a paradise of sorts, and it is folly to wish for any other.’
When I awoke, I could see rows of shadows lined up on the wallpaper that were not there before, and which never change or move or fade, yet I sense them looking at me, yearning to come through, for they had not heard me, or had no understanding of my warning.
‘Folly, such folly awaits you,’ I say to them.