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Title: Yellow 31
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Finding that sloped pathway off the side of the jungle road was such a surprise to me at the time, I almost couldn’t believe it. Surely  enough, the sloping ditch covered in sour grass and dandelion gave way to a wandering cleft beside the steeply oaked hill. Pine and ivy covered the path so you couldn’t see it from the main road, but if you wandered and strayed a bit, some deep space in the clearing all but beckoned to be investigated by a curious mind. You laughed at me as I rushed in with no regard, slipping and sliding down a slimy mud embankment to an extremely shallow creek flowing from a damp, terraced hill in the center. On either side of a sunken pathway in the creek the water steeply fell into reservoirs; you could clearly see the bottom filled with mossy pebbles and algae spread. The flattest stream covered that sunken pathway, washing away the impressions our feet made as we cautiously tread its surface. Rising above the first earth terrace two more held the source of the spring where we ventured to the top. 

Faint, gentle bubbles welled up at the top of the terrace and formed a translucent whole circumscribed in faint blue hues, bordered by soft patchy grass and small budding flowers. The air around this spot expanded magnetically to open the mind within soft beams of light pouring from the forest canopy clearing, and I remember feeling as though we were being watched by something, or someone. We booked it out of there and went back home for supper, but over the next few weeks I constantly found myself daydreaming of that spot, the soft murmuring of bubbles and the sweet warmth of midday sun covering my face and neck.

The second time I returned I was disappointed to find all manners of garbage and debris around the terrace. Graffiti and cigarette butts littered the base of the hill and at the top there were recent tracks from whoever trashed the place. The center of the wellspring had been replaced with a trampoline, where a father and daughter invited me to jump with them. We jumped really high and laughed, and I wasn’t worried about jumping too far because there was about ten feet of padding to protect us. He invited me to a summer camp where his daughter went, she was about my age maybe a few years younger. Excited by the prospect of making new friends I obliged and he told me where to find the entrance gate.

Before going to the camp you brought me to a corner store because we definitely would need bug spray you said. Bug Mace, you read, for bugs as big as bears. It was the only bug spray left on that makeshift store shelf; it was the only item left in the entire store. The tall can was awkward to hold so we took turns holding it and shaking it, pretending to spray one another as though we were bugs as big as bears. 
You know you boys should be careful, an old woman dressed in black told us. She was my old kindergarten teacher. Her back was turned to us as she faced the empty shelves, but I recognized the distinct sandy hay color of her frizzled hair. These bugs are bigger than bears, and you won’t know until it’s too late. She tutted at us as we laughed, I think the biggest bug I had ever seen was a beetle, or a butterfly. How could they even get that big?

We approached the camp gate holding the bug spray over our heads like a trophy or sword of Damocles when the camp elder came up screaming Truce! Truce! Crossing his arms in a big X and waving them back and forth. He resembled someone with Down Syndrome and wore a long grey smock. I hid the spray behind my back and his face relieved. He invited us in and took us to the rec center, where as soon as I walked in someone who looked almost exactly like my kindergarten teacher, but with a larger, thicker nose invited me into the bathroom with her. She closed the door and I just stood there and walked away. Oh cool, air hockey! you shouted and we ran over to the table where 4 hand pieces stood on the table. 
Stop, don’t touch that, a boy told me, We are still playing but on a break. We walked out of the rec center and were swarmed by a group of girls, their bodies looked like ours, 10, 15 years of age, but their faces were exceptionally wrinkled and expressive like bewildered old women. 
Come on, kiss us! One of them shouted, her eyes widening larger and larger as she said something but I only saw her lips moving. 
Yeah, where’s your fun spirit? Another one said sticking out her tongue at me. Astonished I stood there in shock as this group of women? children? pulled and tugged at our garments filling our ears with all sorts of advancements. 
I, uh, no- Pushing back I looked for you but I lost sight of you in the crowd. 
I know all the passwords for all the clinics! Another girl shouted while filming herself on her cell phone. She hugged a dying sunflower proudly, in denial that something once alive could be courted back to life so boastfully. 
A portly, middle aged man with a deep reddened face approached from behind me and picked up one of the older girls, taking her into a dorm room. They went into the bathroom and shut the door. I walked into the dorm room and was immediately greeted by an oil canvas painting framed in gilt. It was titled YELLOW 31 and depicted a strange scene, all kinds of smiling fruit committing an orgy in an open grass field. 

I turned around and found you outside negotiating with the old women still, pushing their overgrown nails off you like oil and pleading to be left alone. Jeff, bug spray! I tossed it to you and you opened the canister, aiming it at the feral campers. They hissed like snakes and backed off, eyes set and widened unnaturally on their sagging faces. Let’s scram, and we ran back to the gate.

A large bald man in a grey hoodie was following us towards the exit, face set with a wild look in his eyes. He was smoking a fat cigar and yelled This is what homeless people do! ripped off his sleeves, brandishing his many burn wounds from extinguishing cigars on them, and chased us with his cigar pointed at us. He had no idea that we were the fastest kids in our entire school and we easily outran him, you even sprayed the bug spray at him. He covered his eyes and stopped at the gate, screaming profanities as we darted away onto the main road. 

The rest of that summer was slow, and days blended into nights with an interior quality. We played video games until our clothes turned white and started flaming, and you had a petrified look in your eyes since that brief intrusion into that bizarre campground. I’m going for a run, I said, and put on my white running shoes ablaze with fire. As I ran through the little beach town streets the sidewalks grew narrower and narrower, house fronts coming closer to the center of the roads, until there was hardly room to walk down the street. I passed through an old fashion wooden door gate and felt something behind me as I passed through. Turning my head around a fully camouflaged military sniper was perched beside the top of the door and shot me with a tranquilizer dart. 

I awoke on the floor of my kitchen looking up at a brown haired woman standing on the counter top, her face frozen and eyes wide with an indescribable horror as she stared at my body on the ground. Behind her the window shown open sky, except the sky wasn’t blue anymore. It was as though the entire atmosphere had vanished and naked space was pulling the planet deeper into outer space. Deep black and purple cosmos shone brightly with shimmering stars approaching closer and closer to the earth’s pulsing, rotating organism. I held her gaze and stood up. Hi, who are you?
Au-Autumn. Her pale fingers trembled as she lifted them to her mouth, in awe she could speak. I coaxed her off the counter top, now covered in dirt from her muddy boots. Struggling to find the proper words she explained that the last thing she remembered she was in a dog’s body, and she found me collapsed on the floor here. 
Well, that’s not the strangest thing I have heard, I assured her, me and my friend fought off a bunch of old women children and ran away from bugs as big as bears. For the rest of summer vacation we enjoyed going to the beach, but the ocean was constantly dissolving into the expanse of space since the atmosphere had completely disappeared. The damp sand retained a soft luminescence from the endless twilight expanse spilling onto the beach. 
Very cool imagery as always. I feel like this one felt more personal not that the others weren't. Or maybe it's because I recognized the call back to the dream. Is yellow 31 a dream concept or does it have some meaning to you?
(03-30-2024, 03:18 AM)okaypal Wrote: Very cool imagery as always. I feel like this one felt more personal not that the others weren't. Or maybe it's because I recognized the call back to the dream. Is yellow 31 a dream concept or does it have some meaning to you?

Thank you. That’s just the title of the painting I read in the dream, I don’t know. It’s kind of a cool name despite what the painting depicts. I tried looking up the term online but didn’t find anything meaningful. I was thinking maybe 31st of March but it could be anything. I’m pretty sure the flower for march is narcissus which is yellow. Yeah, some dreams are very weird but I always love how self and beings differentiate in the dream world, especially when it comes to understanding complex trauma. 

So many things happen so fast in this world, and then all you are left with is an impression of a memory that can really be argued with by anyone at any time. So seeing the past/future in the dream world from such a safe and neutral perspective is really inspiring to me and calls me to investigate phenomenology and cosmology further.
Yellow usually denotes destruction 31 is 13 backwards maybe something about the end of a cycle?
(03-30-2024, 05:00 PM)XxDirtyWart420xX Wrote: Yellow usually denotes destruction 31 is 13 backwards maybe something about the end of a cycle?

Hmm that’s a cool idea. My hope is that all forms of abuse against the weak and innocent come to an end of a cycle, and a new cycle of justice against perpetrators begins. Not to get lost in the administrations, but dealt with necessarily to ensure rational outcomes to every day exploitations under oppressive conditions.

On that note I would like to share a quote, I do not remember who the author is but it was from an African YouTube channel that read audiobooks from prominent African authors. It’s about how I’m not free until all of us are free:

The essential for pain, I have said, remains the same. Your dejection was mine, my disappointment was yours. Forgive me if I have reopened your wound, mine continues to bleed.

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