Free-Run Through a Dream

I've been kept up in my room for too long with the tedious computer screen forever loading. It will never speed up, and time continues to pass. I must escape. But I have nothing to do. Or do I? I smile. Of course I have something to do.

In every instant of life there are an infinite number of possibilities. The mind filters these ideas with logic. It is not logical to suddenly pull a cartwheel as you walk down the street. But what reason does the mind really have? People may look at you funny. Yes, and by restricting yourself from such possibilities, it makes your life boring.

And this is the concept that enters my mind as I stare dejectedly at the loading computer screen. Two minutes later, after having pulled the plug on the computer and thrown on my jet black parkour jacket, I am soaring over the railing of my porch.

I hit the gravel running, and I'm off into the neighborhood without a direction. Down the slope, through the woods, across the bridge, I stop. I need to be prepared for this. I need to let go of my thoughts. My mind is trying to plan my trip. It's trying to remember the good places for parkour. I look down at my feet.

I breathe. I relax. All I know is that I stand here, on this single circle of cement. That is all. The rest of the world is unknown. As I run, the world will create itself as needed. I take a breath. I look up at the sky. And then I am off.

At first my moves are predictable; I head to the school field where the open, soft grasses allow a series of front flips. It's a simple warm-up, but I still need to let go. Maybe I would have an easier time if I was actually lost. And so I jog until I am lost.

And then, quite abruptly, I find myself walking into a dream.

The night is alive. The lights are familiar. The breeze is nostalgic. The scents are sentimental. I find myself on the darkened grounds of a school. Memories flicker at the back of my mind.

As I move deeper into this scene, the memories grow stronger. As I move around the side of the building and into the playground, they hit me full on. I have been here before.

I can see the kids playing, the sun shining, and the sounds of day. I breathe the night air and look across the still, soft scene of a sleeping playground.

Patiently awaiting the dawn of reason, I let the memory play innocently through my mind. Jellybeans. Bag-pipes. Singing.

And then it comes to me. My Great Uncle's birthday party had been at this school. I must have been four years old. It is like I have stumbled upon the set of a play that I have only ever seen beneath the magic of the stage lights. But now the theatre is empty and the curtains drawn.

I walk through the memory with a curious smile, and I watch the faint images of the other children, my mind's eye completely exposed to the outside world. Those jellybeans had been a hit! There had been a large bowl of them on each table, and everyone knew that the adults only ever ate a few. And so the kids had taken them all, and skipped on down to the jungle gym to play.

It was a beautiful and funny feeling that filled me here. What was the chance of me walking in on such an old memory? What if the younger me could see me as I can see him? Would he understand? Would he watch me with utter curiosity? Would he wave and say hello?

I move from the playground and walk around to the back of the school. But it seems that a part of my mind has been freed. That initial memory has now sparked a new connection with my surroundings. Everything begins to feel familiar.

I begin to pick up other lost memories. But these do not belong to me. I stare up through the dark at the small shed on the hilltop beneath the gnarled oak trees. A sense of fear comes to me, and little childhood nightmares run around my head.

And then I gaze through one of the windows into a classroom.

The image of another memory settles within my heart. There are paper snowflakes hanging in strings from the ceiling and spindles of storybooks sitting amongst the little desks. I feel as if I had once gone to this very classroom. Surely, I must simply be imagining a few of my own memories into a single one that has never actually existed. Yes, I can even remember a few of my own memories that might add up to this current sensation.

Feeling the night calling to me, I move from the school and down to the highway. Now I can find my way home. But the way home is just as full of wandering memories.

I once lived across the street from that community garden, and I would skip over with my mother, and we would plant things. No, I've never been here before.

I once had a friend who lived in that house. We used to climb the apple tree. No, I've never been here before.

The night moves on, past surreal, and into a moment of simple sleepiness. Then I begin to awake, as truly familiar streets begin to greet me. I am almost home. I've been away for over two hours now. It was a long trip through the dreams and floating memories of my mind. And my legs are sore from the impact when I'd jumped from the pedestrian overpass. I've certainly gotten my exercise for the day.

And now it's time to write.

The End

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