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I was there - The beginning of a short or long story?

We went to find and explore the sources of the big rivers given the "Sister Rivers" CEO-project. Somehow, when we arrived at where the Danube River starts in the Germany's Black Forest and prepared for a picnic, some sort of haze cloud came upon the surrounding region, including where we were. A chill invaded us, though it didn't stop us to have our sandwiches, in response to the fresh forest mountain air. A few anecdotes here and spooky stories there and by the time we finished and took a short siesta, the haze cloud dissolved leaving us in a conundrum, for we found ourselves surrounded by the springs of other big rivers from around the world whose crescendo flow was under our very own eyes. They were labeled accordingly: Danube - Nile - Yang Tse - Volga - Gandhi - Mississippi and so on. It was a mirage? We wiped our eyes, but their clear sound of the flowing streams running in various directions contributed even more to a pseudo-reality we could not figure out! We looked at each other and again to the Danube's spring without comprehending what was happening to and, especially, to me. I, finally, moved my limbs. Nothing wrong since they were responding to my commands. I turned and looked around but I couldn't see but for a few feet without any point of reference except for the other kids near me who were like petrified, looking into space and not moving. I started to feel responsible for enticing them to come with me and explore the mighty Danube's birth location which has many curious tourists and scholars visit. And yet, what was happening to us? Or only to me and the others were going normally about their business? Were they also seeing what I saw which could have been a memory reflection brought about this extraordinary location? I looked again around. Sure enough I was seeing and hearing the murmur of not just the Danube's stream flowing downwards, but also all the others' in kind of symphonic wild harmony. Oh, my! I, finally, turned around to alert the other kids near me. I grasp one's sleeve calling by her name, and then pinched my buddy's arm. They turned towards me, smiled as if nothing was unusual. I saw their lips moving, but did not hear their voices. Strange! I looked back towards the springs' sources and yes, they were all there! This is ridiculous I said to myself. For except the food I brought with me and the cold spring water, I didn't take any pill or smoked pot! So, what the heck was happening to my sight or my brain? I started to move in the direction where we left our camping things. Hmm. why was I moving so slow and almost touched the floor? It was not a bad feeling, but strange, nevertheless... In passing, I saluted some of my group, but they waved back to me as if approving where I was going. Suddenly, someone skid and fell in front of me: a middle-aged woman. I stopped her head from hitting a rock and helped lifting her up without great effort. She was so light! I felt a warm embrace after which she was swooped by her worrying mends to which she pointed in my direction, telling them, probably, that saved her from injury. I waved back. Could they see it in that haze? Hmm, a sudden wave of being tired surrounded me. Well, it was a natural combination of the fresh mountain air with its pines' forest aroma and the strange experience I was going through. And yet! I suddenly remembered how I was joking with people who wanted to know where I lived and I would tell "in cloud nine!" Could it be that I am actually living it? Neah! By myself maybe, but with all my friends I came with, as well? Neah! By the way, where are they? And where are the other visiting tourists? I will take a quick nap and when I wake all this illusions would have been gone. Illusions… What else? Content to have resolved my conundrum, I let myself glide into the world of inner peace and visions, if not dreams, for I felt "at home" visiting Cloud Nine! WHAT? Neah, definitely a comfortable sweet dream! Come to think of it. Was cloud Nine populated? If so, where are the others? A stroll in the clouds? Hmm, quite interesting and a bit disturbing at the same time, for I liked the feelings and notion of creativity, but if I left, what if I couldn't come back? Well, such is the experience of Life; I'm told and have got used to both well-being and suffering. Suffering? Oh, no, I have already suffered enough as I grew into the adult world. Schooling, jobs' discipline and secrecy, exploring the unknown, disappointments after hopeful expectations, love affairs without equal intensities and other mini-major happenings that one experiences, willy-nilly. Nevertheless, I should get up and attend to my friends while on the way back to the village or town from where we left on our quest... The awakening awareness seems to encompass me. Without moving anything else but my eyelids, my sight starts getting into focus, only to reveal I never expected: I was lying on my bed starring at the white ceiling. Could that have influence the color of the haze or my Cloud Nine?

Innuendos – Vol I
Editing: Ileana Matac Arco
Hollywood, California

©by Ray Arco    7/28/2013


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