Seeing the InvisibleMature

The angry beeping of the alarm clock pierced mercilessly into Rob's fascinating dream. He was rollerblading, and he nearly fell when the beeping swarm of bees came diving in from all sides. But instead, he awoke and groggily smacked the clock from the bedside table. He would have preferred the bees.

The alarm continued to beep from the floor, which was rather inconvenient because now it was out of smacking distance. Maybe if he flailed around, something might fall off the bed and kill it.

After stock-piling frustration for what seemed like a minute, he groaned. Then he crawled from the bed with just enough energy to stop the alarm. And now that he was hanging half off the bed with no energy left, he decided he may as well continue his trip down and bring some blankets with him.

Half an hour later found him curled up with the alarm clock at the foot of the bedside table. And he would have stayed this way all morning if it hadn't been for his backup alarm: Peter Pan.

Who could have thought that a dog's tongue could lift a man off the ground? Rob reached his feet in half a second, trying to think happy thoughts if only to keep his face above licking height.

The rest came naturally as he slept through the routines of the morning, only forgetting a thing or two here and there. His routine brought him as far as the hall outside his apartment before he noticed what time it was. Then he swung into a run, which, as it so happened, was also routine.

By the time he'd made it to the street, his tie was undone and his trousers falling down. But he continued his lope until he'd made it to his car. He'd buckle his belt properly at a red light. That's the kind of efficiency he used when attempting to get to work on time.

He pulled carefully into traffic and began his assault on the office building. He would creep up from behind and then narrow in with as much pushy footwork as a New York taxi. He would even wave at all those he cut off. And maybe he'd be on time. That would be new.

Rob was halfway to the office when he abruptly mistook his rear view mirror for a television screen. It was either that or an action movie was pulling up behind him. Rob hunched his shoulders and leaned toward the mirror until his forehead clunked against the window. A man was stretched out like superman on the roof of the truck behind Rob, his hair rippling in the wind and a retro pair of flight goggles staring ahead in earnest. Rob pulled abruptly into the next lane to allow the show to pass him. But before he could shake the image from his mind, he spotted another one.

This time, a young boy was sitting in the back of a pick-up truck as if he was hitching a ride to the lake across his granny's acreage. And then the truck merged onto the six-lane freeway and the boy lay down to stay beneath the wind. Rob let out a few gasping breaths, completely exaggerating the effect to get in touch with the shock he ought to be feeling. "I could not have just seen that," he murmured, feeling like an over-ambitious extra in a corny action movie.

It was at times like these that he didn't know how to act. If his mind was a postal office, it had just received a package shaped like a wrapped mummy with a stamp from mars and a destination address of Atlantis. There was no where to put it.

He muttered a few bad one-liners and wondered if launching into a rant would take care of his shock. "The maniacs in this world..." he began, and then stopped. He leaned over his steering wheel until his head hit the windshield.

A rather ordinary young man in a fashionable jacket was sitting cross-legged on the roof of a phone booth. He had a green scarf wrapped around his shoulders and a look of contentment as if to say that phone booths were his specialty. At the next corner, Rob spotted a woman sitting on a third floor ledge eating a sandwich and admiring the view. And then there was a boy sitting on the shoulders of a statue.

Rob shook his head, feeling somehow awake. It was an unfamiliar feeling at eight in the morning. Not to mention it rather conflicted with the tempting explanation that he was dreaming. By the time he reached the office, he was actually looking forward to his familiar cage of a cubicle. Surely just being around his stiff, simple-minded co-workers would suck the strangeness out of his day.

As long as the afternoon didn't have anything extra to say.

The End

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