-The Man in the White Glove-
Where do our dreams come from? Do the stars give us our nightly visions and revelations? Passing us messages as they innocently twinkle at us from afar. Talking to every man, woman and child through the drifting clouds that act as cypher grilles – encoding us with their mosaic messages.
The unravelling secrets of the universe and its deep knowledge of our lives, our thoughts, and what will happen to us and why, live on the night sky’s stage. But the stars, the moon, and the comets dance a tango known only to themselves. Like a man in a coma, the stars blink frantically to show the doctor they’re alive, as they reach over to flip the switch.
When I was a boy, a scout leader once told me that the stars twinkle because the sky blocks their light. I looked up at the boundless sky above our campfire as the wood cackled and popped, and asked: ‘Well, why don’t the stars next to the one talking to me right now twinkle too?’
As I breathed in the oaky smoke, the scout leader, who looked like he should be fighting an empire’s far-off war, glanced at me incredulously. His ordered and immaculate buzz-cut seemed out of place in these wild woods. ‘That’s fag talk, boy,’ he said as the other boys began roaring with laughter. Yet, I didn’t mind. The stars seemed to get it.
Disconnecting from the confines of what we’re supposed to think or be releases us from ridicule, sets us free from the boundaries of conventional wisdom and knowledge. But wisdom and knowledge are only words – I see the crows, squirrels and the foxes sit in silence, watching the World with a knowing. A knowing without words – like love. You feel it. The stars in the sky like clockwork, moving as your life moves with them. One day you’ll shout at them for your losses whilst another day you’ll look at them with acceptance for your own naivety in having questioned their inherent wisdom.
Like a lost child in a wondrous World, I used to ask my Father incessant questions: ‘Why are all the stars in pairs? Why does the moon control the tides but not people?’ My Dad said I asked too many questions and he used to get flustered when we were on the bus and he didn’t know the answers. Funny enough, Dad said I was mad too. But the truth is, it wasn’t me that was lost, but my Father.
I miss Dad. He died while attempting to put out a fire when the water hose he was holding got tangled on a lamppost. As the crew rotated the ladder which he was standing at the top of he fell into the flames. I always felt anger whenever I saw a fire truck. I used to wonder to myself why he had to pass on to the other side for the sake of extinguishing a fire in a damn warehouse. It tested my faith.
When I look up at the stars, I’m sure he communicates with me, or at least they tell me so, in their morse code – like torchlights flashing across a foggy lake. The language of the heavens, whose writings are the stars painted across an obsidian canvas. On a sky that is intentionally black so that their white light stands out more, still unnoticed. I translate the words, the symbols, and the time that jumps backwards and forwards without limitation in my sleep; in my star sent dreams I am shown that everything will be ok. What dreams I’ve had, what wonderous dreams, on a planet with my family, watching 5 moons rise and fall in the purple sky like marbles on silk! Oh, how I wished back then that those dreams were true. Yet, they always were – I just didn’t know it then.
As I grew up, I learned that people didn’t like real questions. To think differently is a threat to the established order of things: the hierarchy of knowledge, held up by violence, spawns our ego’s existence. Our egos bounce off one another like numbered balls in a lottery machine, with strong shared understandings of where everything and everyone fits into place: 7, 18, 28, 29, 36 and the bonus ball, number 42! But we all ‘know’ in society if we are number ones or twos. If we bounce out of the machine and its boundaries, we are disposed of or forgotten under a sofa in a dark corner of the studio and replaced with another ball by a well-dressed man wearing a fresh white glove. No one notices apart from maybe a few lotto hacks.
That’s why I’m sat here in my cell, looking through the bars at the stars. They talk to me; my only eternal friends, the Silent Knowers. Now in my cell I have time to dream and decode them. Life’s Rosetta Stone lives in our sleep and I decipher it every night. The stone sits vacant in the empty public squares of our minds because they tell us that our dreams are meaningless or that they only fulfil biological functions. I stand here alone with the universe’s secrets right in front of my eyes. I place my hand on the cold jet-black granite and run it across the inscriptions. As I move my finger-tips away, I see that my warm breath leaves moisture around where my hand had been. It reminds me of some of the first cave paintings found in Spain, 64,000 years ago. I think to myself: ‘a rose which has bloomed once, blooms for ever’, and watch as the print fades away.
The jailers keep me away from the other prisoners; from the murderers, the White, Asian, Black, Jewish and Arab supremacists who never mix with one another. The black and white thinkers I call them – those that live in ego. Whilst I suppose that the other inmates who I have never seen before write notes and mark off the days on their cell walls, I write the apparent scribblings of a mad man.
The guards aren’t paid enough to care or listen. If people knew the truth about my writings etched into this rotting wall, they would come from miles around, making great journeys to unravel and run their fingers across them. Like the British aristocracy making vain voyages to the Great Pyramids to read the hieroglyphs, future generations would one day find my cell. Yet, their egoism would most probably lead them to dismiss the importance of the revelations found in such a small simple room, rather than in a grand palace where they would be taken seriously. No doubt, the joke will be on them, like lost pyramids buried under sand, never to be found. Vanity and ego hardly ever go unpunished without a cheeky sense of irony.
I get no visitors, no written or physical words of love here. I was told I was a terrorist, but the stars knew I was innocent. Deep down I was always sure that there was a divine plan for me, just like everybody else on this planet. Even through the prison riots, the famines and the fires, I sat sturdy on my cell bed, hands clasped tight as my feet kissed the Earth beneath. I existed with a knowing that protected me from the egos and blades of my fellow prison mates.
I sent letters to notable people around the world telling of the stars and their truths, with no response. Sometimes I even feared my letters never passed the walls of the Rogen Lodge Prison Facility. Yet, one day I decided to take a different tact to sharing the Star Code – and it all began with a dream.
I am on a ship in a stormy sea. On the sail is written Hoturu. All I hear is the noise of a wind that blows my hair back with the rain. Its soul whispers to me; ‘let me guide you.’ I look out to the side of the ship and see nobody; just a towering glass wall encapsulating the sea. Through the glass I make out what looks like somebody’s giant bedroom. Straight ahead of me is a massive cork which the water seems to smash against. It pops out and the sea begins to drain from the bottle into the room, soggying the carpet. The wind picks up as air is immediately sucked out from the bottle. I am sent crashing into the water as the ship smashes the side of the jar – it is too large to fit through the bottleneck. I sink into the murky depths and breathe in the water. As it rushes down my throat I feel it say: ‘I am here for you. I will wash away your sins.’ The ship drifts to the bottom of the now empty bottle, crashing through it and pulling me and sparkling shards of glass down into a desert beneath. The broken shipwreck now lays in the dry dunes besides me as the sun beats down upon my sea-soaked brow. Suddenly, the desert begins opening up in the middle, and is sucked downwards into a whirlpool. I fall into the sand vortex and am funnelled through a small glass tunnel, to again find myself falling through the air but this time I am surrounded by sand. It fills my nostrils and my ears and whispers to me: ‘I am the Earth and I will kiss your feet.’ I hit another desert beneath and realize I am in an enormous sand timer. I am again surrounded by glass. The bedroom outside is now my prison cell and it begins to burn. Fire engulfs the glass until it turns black. After the fire subsides, I see a soot message written on the glass: ‘I am Fire and I will set you free.’ The glass smashes and then I see a black void; the symbols for Water, Air, Earth, and Fire appear, made from trillions of tiny stars. I awaken to the shadow of a spider crawling on my wall. Just like a dream, it vanishes.
I wash my face and notice something from the corner of my eye moving in the rusty toilet bowl beside me. I peek over the basin to see if there is another rat; instead, a tiny stickleback fish had found its way into the water. I thought I might be seeing things after staying up late watching Haley’s Comet pass over my cell. I watched the fish for a moment in disbelief as it moved in short bursts, from chaos to static, chaos to static. It felt like the connection to the outside World I’d been missing all along. An omen. I sat and pondered its meaning and thought about how my message could not escape this concrete panopticon. I decided to flush the fish to freedom. The pipes emptied out into a river not too far from here. The fish would be free. My eureka moment had occurred.
It was then I decided to take a different approach to get my message, the Star Code, out into the wider World; and all because of a little fish. A fish that to many would seem largely inconsequential, not worthy of remembering or giving a second thought. Ironically, much like me now.
The animals that frequented my cell would help me pass my message. Earth, Air, Water and Fire would act as mediums for them to send the 4 sacred scrolls. A message to every man, woman and child terrorised by governments and corporations, those shackled to posts, toiling the fields and manning conveyor belts for the benefit of an “elite” few. I place one of my letters on a small, long strip of paper, and put it inside a pill-sized metal capsule. I tie it to a rat’s leg, so that one day my message of hope would reach the outside World by land… Earth. Through the pipe the rat scurried, almost with a knowing that no harm would come to her. Little did I know that the small rodent that had never intended me any harm, who I once blamed for many self-induced torments and who I would have happily hit with a spade before I awakened, would be my saviour.
I placed another capsule on the leg of a crow that often visited the bars of my cell and watched her fly away into the purple clouds. The crow who I used to curse because it woke me up early in the mornings. A crow that simply wanted me to share the beautiful sunrise.
Another message I flushed haphazardly down the toilet in a plastic bag; a toilet that provided myself the only mirror reflection of my face in all these years in which I arrived still hopeful, and those in which I subsequently lost and regained my faith.
By land (Earth), wind (Air) and water, I sent my message to the world. I sat in my cell not knowing what would happen, but the acts gave me hope. I knew that one day soon I would be freed from this facility.
The World that surrounds humanity is but a veil to distract us from the deeper truths of this Earth and beyond. I say out loud: ‘Expergisci, awaken.’
I crouch down in my cell with a guard’s discarded lottery ticket, and, with a piece of flint, start a fire.
By the time fire fighters reach me I am already close to death. I sneakily reach into the saviour fireman’s pocket and drop my final message, and give my last breath…
Copyright Daniel J Taylor 2022