I stand up.
It seems so unlikely, that I let out a laugh. How could I possibly stand up?
But I do.
And when I look down, I see myself. I see my body, leaking blood out onto the pavement. I see my clothes, ripped, tattered, soiled with my own waste. I see the bruises on my face, my arm, the fragment of torso that's visible.
And yet it all looks beautiful.
The blood is not horrible to behold. It glimmers, nearly golden in hue. It nourishes the pavement beneath it, which has also taken on a sort of shimmering glow. The bruises are like works of art, placed carefully and strategically. Even the clothing smells more of farmland than of feces.
I look up. What I remembered as a dim, dingy alleyway is now a corridor of radiance. I glance down again at my former self, smile, and begin to move towards the street.
My footsteps are silent, the world around me hushed and muted. I step out of the alleyway (corridor) and look up and down the road. The streetlamps give off a lustrous, silvery glow, and the pavement glistens in their light.
I'm drawn towards the river. As I move, cars whiz past, just as they would have done moments before, when I was still in that body back there. But now they move with grace, like steel chariots. The roughness is gone. The harshness is tamed. The edges are softened.
The road crosses the river. I walk to the halfway point of the bridge and stop. She is there.
I've never seen her before, but I know her. And I realize, as I approach, that I knew she would be here.
I smile and step closer to her. She turns to look at me.
"Is it the same?" she asks.
Oddly, I know what she means. I look out at the water, marveling at the lustre of its surface. The moon is platinum, the sky a bejewelled swath of black velvet.
"No," I reply. "And yes."
Her turn to smile. She nods and turns to look at the river again.
"Honey," she says. "You ain't seen nothin' yet."