Then one morning he woke up. The morning sun rays leapt from the face of the sun god and slithered their way through the blinds on his bedroom window and glowed ferociously in angular streaks against the wall and across his face. His eyes fought to stay closed. His mouth and throat were so dry he choked as if he had swallowed the rays of sun directly and all of the photons had congregated into a sandy mass at the back of his throat. When his eyelids finally separated, the morning sunlight attacked his retinas with such savagery that his brain immediately began drilling several paths out of his skull. He tried to fall back asleep to escape the pain, but to no avail.
Like most mornings back then, in his mid-20s, he was hungover. Unlike most mornings back then, he still remembers most of the details of that morning.
After he wrestled himself off of the futon, he stumbled into the kitchen. Furious had one of those huge bottles of ibuprofen sitting on the stove—like 5400 tablets or something like that. He took 8 of them, with a half-gallon of green Gatorade and chased it with 3 bananas. He thought about making something greasy for breakfast, but that would’ve required simply too much effort for that wicked day.
He wasn’t sure what day of the week it was, so he wasn’t sure if he had to eventually work or not. All he knew was there was a pile of student loan bills sitting next to the ibuprofen and it made enhanced every emetic attribute of his migraine, particularly the headache. He wanted to cry, and if he had had to go to work that day, he probably would’ve. According to a work schedule being held upon the refrigerator by a Domino’s Pizza magnet, he didn’t have to work on Thursday. The woman who lived in the apartment across from his who was always jogging and trying to avoid him, told Furious it was Thursday, after he stuck his head out of his door when he heard her jogging down the steps and while she was desperately trying to wrangle her key into the door knob before she would be forced to speak to him. So, it was a free day, so to speak. Furious was free to do whatever it was he was able to get done in one day. Free to do whatever his pocketbook, his geography, and his circumstances would allow.
Then, without warning, as if in response to that realization that he was free to do whatever he wanted, he was mortified. Manny Furious was drenched in existential terror. Spiritually sick. Standing there in that apartment kitchen, he couldn’t move. He could hardly breathe. He shivered with the anticipation of The Unknown. There’s actually no real way to describe that moment. It was a moment that wasn’t a moment. Or maybe it was a moment—a supra-moment. All of eternity converged on that moment. There was no concept of time. The entirety of The Universe, all of Eternity, folded onto Itself and Manny Furious realized the Illusion of his life. The dream of separation. The mirage of isolation and alienation. The cruel, cruel lie of Spacetime—a lie that makes the fib of aloneness possible. All of History existed with Furious in that non-moment, except he wasn’t really “him.” He was all of “History”–Past, Future and Present, which weren’t really three separate entities at all. They were all “him”–which really didn’t exist.
When he came to, it was mid-evening. He was back in the realm of human consciousness. The illusion of human awareness created by the Human Central Nervous System was intact, but Furious was still drunk off his visit to The Void. He saw the unfolding of time as a simple overflowing of The Universe’s Creative Impulse as expressed through the human brain.
Furious walked outside. It was a dark evening and the stars burned extra hot, and he could feel the fire of humanity. Its collective pain and sadness and disappointment. But also its collective joy and triumph and love. It was more than that though. He could feel the Love of Existence as a whole. The Love which is the entire reason for Existing.
He felt woozy with sensitivity. He looked up at the stars and at that moment he could feel their gravity. It was tugging at him from infinite directions, but it was the Earth’s gravity that won out. An enveloping force field of acceptance and contentment. At that moment he KNEW the interconnectedness of everything. He couldn’t tell where the stars ended and where “he” began or where “he” ended and where the stars began. He could feel the consciousness of the grass under his feet, the calm resolve and splendor of every tree within his sight. Every animal within his immediate radius shared with him their primordial fears and pleasures.
None of this occurred on an intellectual level, mind you. Everything I’ve just written is an attempt to explain something Manny Furious has no means of explaining. First came the experience, which was of and by itself. And now is my attempt to conceptualize or capture in language something that was/is beyond the grasp of words.
Anyhow, after sitting outside for probably 20 minutes or so, feeling the terrible, harmonic vibrations of The Universe, Manny Furious floated back into his apartment and fell asleep. It was the first time in a long memory that he had fallen asleep without much effort. Most nights he spent two or three hours lying on the futon, staring at the ceiling, imagining himself talking to Joe Rogan about his bestselling book about college kids drinking and puking on each other. Or about his revolutionary hip hop album. Or about how he became a professional wrestling champion out of nowhere, even though he was literally half the size of every wrestling champion through history. Or any of a hundred other fantasies he had that had no chance of actualizing.
When he awoke the next morning, the student loan bills were still on the counter, still needing to be paid.