Dave stared at nothing. He wasn’t there. He was just a reflection in a convenience store window. He looked past his own blurry reflection and into the abyss of his thoughts. He was as intangible as his wavering specter-like shape in the glass. He was beyond existing but still there, mildly existing. Dave couldn’t figure it out. He felt fairly solid when he got out of bed. Now he felt like nothingness in a raging sea of other passing thoughts.
“Excuse me,” said a young woman as she pushed past Dave.
She had an un-amused tone in her voice and a severe anger to her walk. She nearly shoved Dave out of the way on the sidewalk. Dave was surprised that she was able to move him, since he wasn’t existing anymore. He turned around and looked down at his dress shoes, his black pants, belt, tucked in shirt and tie. He felt the collar of his shirt around his neck. He brushed his fingers through his thinning hair. He felt solid for a moment. He could feel the hard concrete under his feet. It means something but Dave just didn’t know what.
The crowded city moved around Dave as he stood in front of the convenience store. He felt more real, more connected than a moment ago, but he wasn’t sure he could actually move without simply vanishing through the trillions of atoms that make up the physical world. The image of just melting through the fabric of the world haunted Dave. He didn’t want to NOT exist. Yet he was having serious problems figuring out why he existed at all.
A tractor trailer rumbled down the busy street. Dave could feel the heaviness of the truck as it drove by. It was steel and metal and thick. It was rusting in places and badly painted over in others. The tires were coarse looking through miles of wear. It was dusty and dirty. It was truly there. Dave stepped toward the curb. He didn’t melt into the pavement. He took another step toward the street.
“Watch it man! Damn,” cursed a passer-by.
Dave had stepped right into the heart of the congested commuting people, forcing them to go around him, without actually seeing him. The tractor trailer made it to the corner at the near-by intersection and came to a stop. Dave stepped forward again and could smell the heavy diesel exhaust belching from the tractor and feel the grime of it in the air.
“What the hell guy,” swore another commuter.
Dave turned toward the city. He looked up at the glass and stone towers. He craned his neck up along the faces of the gray and black buildings. He looked past them, up into the blue summer sky. He let his mind drift up with his gaze. He heard the noise of the street start to fade. He felt the wind peck his cheeks. He felt the warmth of the sun.
“C’mon pal, move it,” said another caring voice.
Dave fell back into his body; he felt his beating heart in his chest, the bitter taste of toothpaste in his mouth. He started walking with the crowd of people. He drifted with them like a message in a bottle across the rolling sea.