"Dad. Time to get up."

The door to the bathroom spilled cold light into my room. RunningHammer, due to both being a few inches taller than when he went to bed and the wild hurricanes of curls radiating from his head blocked most of it, but I fumbled for the clock and saw I had another ten minutes before my alarm went off.

"I'll be up. Your math is there on the desk. Get started on it and I'll be out in a bit." An entire two weeks of vacation, and he's doing corrections on homework an hour before school. It was a good thing I checked it despite his insistance that every problem was correct. Simplifying polynomials. Unfortunately, he completely flaked on at least half of them because he didn't change the signs when subtracting. On others, he got the answer correct despite doing all the calculations completely wrong.

Late the night before I asked him, "How did you manage to do this?"

"Well, the last day before vacation I wanted to drown out all the idiots in my class so I put my earbuds in and was cranking some music and went totally ham on it."

"So you just wanted to get it done so you wouldn't have to worry about it during vacation, right?"

A resigned nod. Then I showed him what he had done compared to what the correct answer is. That slowly emerging "ah-ha" moment. I went back to checking all the problems then reminded him more times than he thought necessary that he'd need to get up early to redo the wrong ones.

"How about if i get up early and get it all done, we hit Starbucks on the way to school?"

I agreed. The promise of caffeine and food gets that boy moving like nothing else.

I heated up a cup of coffee for myself while putting his lunch together. Meaty turkey and ham sandwich with mustard and Swiss. Oreos. Fritos. A bit of guilt as I zipped it up without including fruit. That'll be fixed tomorrow after a resupply mission. I called from the kitchen. "Make sure you check your work with mine so you have everything correct."

"I am!"

"And get the exponents in order. I bet your teacher is looking for that."

"I am. He is."

"Good."

I finished my coffee and logged onto work. Pages of emails. Some holiday wishes slipped under the door. Year-end housekeeping announcements. All heading eventually to the trash bin.

"Done, Dad. Let's go."

Seasonal weather hit Florida about 10 days too late but we are grateful regardless. A few stars faded in the deepwater blue sky. My old truck started on the first turn. Despite his school bus stopping in front of our house, I drive Ham to school every morning. The bus thing only lasted a week as it made us have to wake up over an hour earlier than we do now, and since he's doing four- to six-hour workouts six days a week on the rowing team, the boy needs his rest. So do I.

The truck rattled and squeaked on the brick roads. Hammer punched the radio for the heavy metal channel. Good morning, Disturbed. A few joggers and dog walkers warmed the sidewalks. Everyone still had their Christmas decorations up, and we came by early enough to see the tree in the middle of the lake we have to drive around still lit. Two cars and a lawn crew rig drove down the main street of the tiny downtown. Curbside parking was plentiful.

A quartet of runners chatted at a table near the door. We waited to order until the guy with the impressive beard and less impressive gauges finished restocking cups. "Go ahead," I told Hammer. "It's your breakfast." He's getting older, and I'm not going to be around forever.

Between slurps of a caramel brulee frap and mouthfuls of some sort of meat-and-cheese breakfast sandwich we discussed the upcoming semester and what he needs to do to succeed. His first high school semester was not the shining success we had hoped. Some his fault (how do you just forget to turn stuff in?!). Some not (a revolving cast of substitute teachers instructing honors science course). He knows to stay on the rowing team he needs a good GPA. I refrained from pontification. Treading that fine line between Bloviating Old Man and The Dad of Wisdom. It's a gamble every time I open my mouth. Experience with previous children in no way guarantees success with the ones that come along later. Most days my confidence level is just a couple of notches above Please-Oh-Please-Don't-Fuck-Up. I checked my watch as he finished and jerked my thumb toward the door. He dropped his empties in the trash on the way out. The runners were still chatting.

From the Starbucks, it takes just a few minutes to get to his school. More brick roads. A smidge more traffic. Five Finger Death Punch on the radio. Getting to school this early avoids the free-form madness at the drop-off lot. We didn't talk much. I muttered something to the driver of a Lexus who jumped her turn at a four-way stop, my crumpled little truck invisible to her. At the school I pulled into a spot at the curb. Old and new buildings mingle on the sprawling campus, mushrooms and pine cones. Hammer hopped out and retrieved his crippling backpack from the bed.

"Bye Dad."

"See you later, pal. Have a good day."

"I will. See ya."

"See you this evening. Make sure you turn that math in."

"I will. Bye. Have a good day."

"Thanks. You too. Do your best. Pay attention. Love you."

"I will. Love you too. Bye."

I watched him trudge to class. I didn't back out of the space. There was traffic, anyway. He looked back and waved. I waved in return through the windshield. A few more steps. He turned and waved. I waved back. One last time before he turned the corner. We waved to each other. Gone. On his own for the day.

I wrestled the truck into reverse and tried not to hit any Beemers on the way to the structured freedom of the side streets. The radio spewed commercials so I turned it off, not ready to punch it to NPR. A slow day of work waited for me, and I was in no hurry.

As you probably know I've spent a whole lotta time trying to figure out life, universe and everything...

Lately I've been feeling that I'm getting a little closer, but still nowhere near there.

On the 31st we were shopping with wifey in Fitzroy and in one of the shops someone was buying some *funky* herbal smokes.

I'm not big on drugs, especially the weedy kind, it's always just put me on my ass and was no fun, and after my brother died, you can imagine that I wasn't excited to jump onto that scene, but I felt like this was something that I needed to do.

So we got home and I had a couple of puffs and within seconds I had an "oh shit" moment and went to the bedroom.

To explain the rest will take a while... however if you've seen the movie "The Fountain" 2006, you'll know what I mean - that movie is ridiculously close to the truth (I'm not sure how the tree of life fits into it though).

Anyway, I felt like I was reliving this and previous lives over and over again and it's as if I was travelling through time and multiple universes, slowing down in one or the other and felt overwelmed, like I was flying through membranes of universes and as I went from one to the other, the new one would come with it's own life and I'd feel like I've lived another lifetime.
It was always Rimzy and me, and then I was a hippie in a different universe and then she was from the Cleopatra times, etc, over and over and it was always a fight within me between (what I called) The beast and Rimzy, between Dark and Light.

But between these, there were moments where I didn't know who I was, I felt like there was Tetya Zoya and I was Anton or sometimes Artem and she's saying what's wrong Anton? and I keep saying that I'm Stas - at this point I'm trying to regain the sense of reality, everything being mixed up, feeling like maybe I'm a schizophrenic in that reality or this one.

As I slowly returned, I remembered a lot of the stuff, but some of it was confusing and scary.

It felt like life was like being on the verge of tears, continuously either fighting the tears or giving in, in burst, in build ups, like music, building up to almost the end, then dying down to give you rest.

I even went to see mum because I felt like maybe something happened with Zoya or Anton when I was little, she couldn't think of anything.

Next couple of days I've been thinking about everything and have been waking up at 1 or 2am and not sleeping, but meditating trying to figure out the memories, etc. a lot of it was jumbled up

I cried properly for the first time since I can remember, my brain usually holds me back and I can't let go, but this time, finally, cried like a baby.

A lot of this is probably only relevant to me and I'm trying to leave out most of that.

I wasn't sure if I've completely lost the plot or finally understood something, but the more time I had and more *forced* meditation (keep waking up) I feel like this is what people call spiritual awakening.

Now for the good stuff:

Yesterday morning I woke up at 1am, couldn't sleep and started meditating again, I felt like I was white energy (I've attached some pictures to try to describe all this) and I realised that I need to help myself, so I went back to my toughest moments in life and helped my younger self through the tough moments - then I saw my brother and came up to him trying to help him, I put my *arm* on his shoulder, I said "my brain is not big enough to help you, but I love you" and gave him a hug and when I opened my arms he was gone, but he was inside me.

I feel like everything I've learned, everyone I knew, every movie I've seen was meant to be, to get me to here.

I feel like my brain has been blown out and re-arranged to make sense of everything and put back in (with no new knowledge), from what I understand of the universe, it's quite like what I thought, but I could never have imagined, it's like you have to feel it, it's the only way to understand it.

(I still feel like I'm the raving lunatics that I didn't bother listening to/reading, but I don't mind, because I feel good and life finally feels right)

UNIVERSE:

To visualize and to try to explain, here is a simplified version of what saw the universe like:

Reality is a bubble, lets say this one, every choice that is made splits that bubble into an alternative reality bubble and so on - they all co-exist at the same time, so there's bubbles galore.

If the choice that's made is good, the bubble colour changes to a whiter shade, if a bad choice is made, it gets darker and if no choice is made, it continues as is.

These realities are part of the, lets call it multiverse and it looks like a multi-dimensional Yin-Yang (A spherical one, but more complex) - the white dot is the enlightenment, black dot takes you back and you have to go over all this again.

I've always struggled to conceptualize that extra dimension (I call it stupid maths), so I've attached a drawing of a Klein bottle, which is an attempt to represent the extra dimension - take two of these, put them together and you get the multidimensional multiverse.

This is ridiculously hard to explain and I have a feeling that once again, this understanding of the universe depends on the individual and their knowledge.

***


This is all days after the funky herbal stuff, so I'm hoping that it is meditation..

I snapped out from meditation with the following narration as I was flying though the multiverse:

"As the infinite universes collide in on themselves in a symphony of life, approaching the final ecstasy, your final thought is: "You are...""

and i have to fill in the blank.

I had many answers, but by then I was using my brain, so I assumed that I'd be wrong, but I answered it with GOOD.

Using that as my foundation, my meditations have become better and I'm not as scared of the darker sides.

This morning I woke up with "You are... me and I am you and we are all together.... lalal" - The Beatles song.

***


This is so unlike my thinking that if you told me that I wrote this two weeks ago I wouldn't have believed it :)

(I'm sure you're wondering about my mental health too)

In conclusion, I feel that all religions, spiritual teachings and science are trying to explain the same thing, the problem is that this thing is so uncomprehendingly mindbogglingly complicated that the only way us puny humans can try to comprehend it, is to feel it with our soul, not our little brains.

I finally comprehend the whole "living in the moment" ideology, and I mean FULLY comprehend it, as well as many other things I never thought I would.

The only thing that matters while living in the moment is making choices, now is the only time in multiple eternities where someone can make a choice and I feel like I've lived through the purgatory enough lifetimes to scare me straight :)

I feel like I've been doing this for so very very long (living), and I'm ready for the final run - I remember talking to a Buddhist who said that they looked forward to the nothingness and I couldn't comprehend it, I thought it was depressing, until now.

I feel like I see the positive side of things and people again, like I used to when I was younger before I lost my way.

Yesterday felt like the best day of my life, we went to the beach and rolled around in the water, the water was amazingly blue, as good as the best resorts anywhere in the world.

I feel rushed now, like I've wasted so much time that I need to try to get as much done as I can - it makes me wonder if I'll live much longer, it seems that people tend to die not long after these kind of revelations, but I'm not fussed about that, just the people that it might affect. (mum says her psychics say I'll live til 80, they're probably right, nothing's ever easy for me:)

My brother spoke about some of this stuff with me (not this crazily) and looking back on it I feel like he definitely understood a lot of this.

Oh, within a few minutes of realising the importance of choice I stopped drinking.

I also proposed to wifey the following day, but we've had a very rough relationship and I've been quite terrible to her, so she said no and is moving out in the next few weeks, we are on better terms than we have ever been so after some crying on both parts we are fine. I feel like it's been a cat and mouse game with her my whole existence, so I'm Ok.

On a lighter note, this reminded me of Napoleon XIV - They're coming to take me away

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