In the center of the room, under a brilliantly white spot of light, is the inventor himself. Behind him is a massive circular stained glass window. He sits inside a metal box with two oxygen-pumping apparatuses on either side, forming some sort of iron lung. A tube leads from the pumps into his nostrils. His faded blue eyes are full of life and intelligence. They focus on us, filling with contempt as a sneer breaks out on his ancient face.
As I enter, the world stops. For one brief moment, bright light is everywhere, but I am unsure whether I truly see it or whether it is some other type of experience. It seems the light is behind my eyes, as if all of my body, and all that there is, is composed of it. Then it disappears, and the world begins again.
It was only a dream. I turned back to the sea and sat on the ground, bringing my knees to my chest. My wings opened, and I wrapped them around myself. It started to rain, which seemed fitting. I wiped at my face, trying to clear the hurt and sorrow I felt at the loss of something, no, someone so dear to me.
I shared how the party was like most gatherings until the chanting started and the mirrors glowed. Fresh memories flooded my mind, and I told them about him. The one I loved, or she loved, I didn’t know. I explained the passion between us and how it made me feel.
I fight off every instinct in my body telling me not to press the button to the 20th floor. Every piece of me is screaming not to do this. I went into my informal interview with Hebe all confidence and intimidation. If anything, this is the complete opposite.
The figure left Central Park, heading east towards the river. I didn’t know why I was following him. I didn’t know the man, and yet my heart told me I did. When we got to the water’s edge, the vision floated neatly out over the water, and I just stared at him.
I see someone else. Someone with wings, golden hair, piercing blue eyes, a golden bow and quiver in his hands. No one else on the street seems to see this. I tilt my head to the side, and the reflection follows. My hand raises, and his does as well, mimicking me. I glance down at my cassock and then back at my reflection. But he is holding the bow and arrow up, ready to let it go.
“As my partner has said, Mx. is my preferred honorific. It’s important to know who you’re addressing and also who is being addressed. I say this with the full weight in my heart that I am now addressing the great United States of America and the world at large as it’s first gender non-binary Senator!” A round of cheers and not a small amount of booing erupts.
I look around me and snort. How can I feel alone when I have two naked men and three naked women in bed with me? Each night I have been inviting a couple of people home with me to see if it can calm this strange dream I am having. It hasn’t been working.
I grabbed another drink from the shifty-looking butler as I made my way to the other side of the party. Derelict warehouse? Only one waiter? Whoever was in charge of throwing the event definitely sucked. It was like someone said gala, and they’d thought they meant apples, and still ended up bringing in Market Fresh.
I could almost feel the tension in the crowd as the first notes of the song began. I shivered with anticipation. I opened my mouth, heard the crowd inhale with me, and began. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I wouldn’t stop. I was addicted to the sensation.
Tipping my head back on my second drink, I caught sight of something interesting on the ceiling. Some kind of shadow? While looking up, I did a few of my patented three-sixties, admiring the decor and looking for the shadow, but I did not see it again. Maybe it was a loop stuck in my mind from when Nike had floated down moments before.