A Moment of Freedom
(and what to do)

Thursday, September 10, 1998. Approximately 10:30 pm.

It’s just a flash. Most of the times you don’t catch it.

Just a short glimpse, and if you’re not prepared, you’ll miss it when it comes around next time!

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It’s happening now! I’m my own vision, in front of the computer, writing; my own memory remembering myself now-then…

It seems like the same old day, like the same old thing is about to happen…

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Everything in the outside world is the same.

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I’m coming home with Diana after dropping off our friends (our smoking buddies). I park the car, shut the engine off, turn the lights off. I sit in the same car, next to the same person, in front of the same house, which has the same people in it. The people in it are doing the same thing they always do every evening and talk about the same things they’ve always talked about. It’s the same old outside world.

Only, this time, not so much so…

This time there seems to be something else, something that is not usually there. I perceived Diana’s thoughts. She saw three cars in the driveway just before we pulled into it (there were only two then) and I had a feeling that she was going to tell me about it when I turned the car off.

I turned the car off. She unbuckled her seat-belt and turned to me.

"I could’ve sworn I saw another car here."

After carefully looking at the steering wheel, the dashboard, and then out into the driveway at the two cars parked next to mine, I said "There is another car here. Actually, there be two other cars here, baby."

"I know that!" She said. "What I mean is that I thought that there were three cars here."


Re-examined the steering wheel, the ceiling of the car, then turned to look at her, saying "there are three cars here."

She shakes her head, closing her eyes. "No, no," she began to explain, "I mean to say that…"

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"What’s happening now," I interrupted, "is that you are waking from a dream in which you saw yourself leaving somewhere; but within this dream you actually (and quite accidentally, I assure you) awoke a few seconds before getting here, just before we pulled into the driveway; and only for a fraction of a second, a mere moment. A moment in which you saw the car which has never moved from the driveway. Get it?"

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I don’t know why or how I said that; it just sort of came out, and I felt a little odd. Don’t know how to describe what I was feeling: somewhat more aware…or…attentive. My senses were working a little more enhanced, it seemed (not the ganja, mind you; similar, but different).

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It was as if I, too, had somehow awakened from some dream; and I, too, could already see what was already there: the people in the house, the lights and lighting, the noises, the atmosphere, my actions, my conversations, my habits, everything that was to come!

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As I opened the door leading into the hallway, I was strangely aware (in a way not very familiar to me) of what I would be doing for the rest of the day and night.

My habits: what I always do. What I’m always doing. What I’m doing now!

Walking down the hallway to our bedroom door I see how I’m already inside the room, sitting in front of the computer trying to avoid Diana.

Putting the key into the doorknob I realized that we never left -- that we never leave!

We never have gone anywhere.

Just out the room, into the hallway, outside the house, into the car (clouds ‘a smoke: yes, the ganja!) out the car, into the house, down the hallway, into the room, to the bed…

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To the bed? To the bed with Diana. We sit.

(Is it always happening?)

This is when we go our separate ways.

(I can see it: it always happens!)

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We sit facing each other. I want to go play with the computer, she wants to cuddle.

She asks what I’m going to do; I say "…be on the computer, baby." She says, "can we hug for a little while?" with a little girl’s voice. And I say, "ok, for a little while."

We lay in bed for about ten minutes, hugging ‘n stuff. She gets drowsy ’n sleepy. I get up and go sit in front of computer. The end.

"What are you going to do baby?"

I know what I’m about to say; I can hear myself saying it before the fact: "Uh, I don’t know, exactly. I guess that depends on you."

‘Huh?’ is registered all over her face. "Wha’…what do you mean?" she asks, obviously confused by what had just come out of my mouth. It’s new!

"Well, whatever you do is going to affect what I do."

"Well, what do you want to do?" is her attempt at going back to the usual.

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Pausing, invoking a feeling of deep sadness complemented by the appropriate facial expression, I say, "what I want, I just can’t have."

I hug her tight and pretend to cry on her shoulder. Then laughing, I let go of her, and smiling I say, "why are you asking me this questions? What do you need to know for?"

It was all becoming more and more obvious to me as I resisted going back to the looping tape of my habits, back to my mechanical, unconscious existence…

"I don’t know," she answered. "I guess I’m just curious."

"No. There’s got to be a reason. Search!"

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"Nooooh. I don’t know. There’s no reason!" she whined, making a sudden move towards the comfortableness of her pillow.

I knew it was her way out, and if she left I wouldn’t be able to resist the pull into the organic…


So I grab her by the arms and say, "Wait. Where are you going? Who said I was gonna’ let you go?"

She’s reacting to the moment. She’s a bit surprised, excited.

"Why? What’s going on?" she wants to know.

"Don’t you see it, baby? We always do the same thing. Nothing ever changes!"

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Her expression is again like, "huh?!"

"We always do it! We kiss goodnight; you go to bed; I go to smoke and play. And we always want the same thing. You always want to cuddle and I always want to play with the computer."

"Yes?" she says, wanting to hear more.

"Everyday!" now I’m excited. "All the time. That’s what happens. This room, this evening …it never changes. We’re always here!"

Then I get it: "It’s one of those moments."

I could actually see the eternal moment; the never-ending day; and the "loops," the "clockwork," the "merry-go-round."

But what to do?

It begins to go away, feel myself getting trapped again: drowsy, heavy, numb, forgetful; and I know there’s something I must do…

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Send any comments, suggestions or questions to jc@viasinistrae.com

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