He, the old tramp, had found a lost continent.
He dreamed a new world.
And he had stepped into it, -so long now had he drifted back and forth from it, he had forgotten who he had been.
But he mumbled often-to whom might have been listening-“Too many people around, too indifferent, self-absorbed.”
And so I write of this old man, brief as it is, a tramp I met, and I shall fill in the gaps of his life, which was more his dream world than, what we consider reality.
For the old tramp, his dream became reality for him.
The more he dreamed, the more it took on an enraged realism.
Outside of this dream world, the world to him was ugliness, and foul.
“Where truth was, was what people wanted it to be at any given time, and never revealed fully,” so he’d mumble.
“And pretense was worshiped, like Baal,” so he muttered.
Consequently, in this nebulous sort of dream life he found a new world that he could live in, day and night.
Disassociated with earthly existence, its struggle for survival, continuation, while his other world became more real, deeper, and more profound.
When he was awake, what he ate was for the most part, what he found which was seldom, during those last well-meaning forgotten days: that being: garbage thrown from opened windows of apartment buildings of the city!
His mind was shaped by thoughts and fantasies.
His awake life, was a life of pictures in the brain, he preferred the inward dreaming.
It was as if something was chaining him down.
In his alternate world there were enchanted hills, gardens that grew flowers that looked as red and glowing, as the sun, blinding sapphires, mountains that sang to the moon, whispering seas, bronze and gold roofed cottages-
And he himself, rode a caparison white horse, across carven bridges, white paths, watching the birds, bees and butterflies swarm the fields around him, in a placid manner.
Throughout the cedar forests, he leaped with his horse past the ivory gates of fetching cottages, and townships with tall steeple domed towers.
Always trying not to wake up, or if to, to drink more wine or his choice of drug-whatever he could find-to supply his habit to fall back into REM sleep, and deeper into the hashish world, for one more eloquent episode, one he was born for, and to get out of other one that he was thrown into.
One he preferred to exist in was not the one he was born into.
Should he have been awakened, all he saw was a fearful aurora of a ruined stagnated city, a reedy muddy garbage filled and verminous stream!
People staring out their windows at him, chocking on carbon dioxide of the passing cars, trucks.
Too, he knew he’d grow weary fast of the crudeness of the people’s emotions, and sameness, and they’d never understand his meaning of life.
And then once in reality, full reality, clean and sober, where would come the satisfaction or fulfillment?
That which he had left in yore, way back in his gallant dreamland.
Was this not in itself the antidote?
Old popular doctrines, inflexible cures, most cures were muddled thinking.
He wanted to escape, or find its equal, like Gilgamesh who sought out Enkidu, because of boredom.
No one took the time to find out the secret pits in his life, those that described him, he had a room for each, hung in aspirated colors.
And then one day, out of the blue, a rift came, a chasm appeared, a fissure opened up-like an earthquake, in the deep hollows of his dreams!
He fell down, down, way-way down into its abyss.
And there was his biggest achievement, he found it, the Radiant City of Crystals and Pearls- “This,” he whispered, “is where I’ll stay and live, it’s where I belong!”
This magical world so vivid, once in fragments now all together, associations of his mind fell into one vista, a breathless expectancy, one that was unquenchable.
He felt a tugging on his shoulder, it was likened to python was trying to pull him out of the city.
“No, no” he cried, but nobody heard him.
The old lady tried with all her effort to wake the Old Tramp, laying on a damp mattress thrown away as garbage, and full of ants, ticks and bedbugs, and white worms, in an empty lot, within the greater city, a metropolis.
Lo, a police officer then approached, felt his pulse, he wasn’t sure.
He took a long, long glace for movement, at the laying old tramp!
Even tapped him lightly in the face to wake him.
But the old man was warm, feeling the breezy sea lull, watching the clouds drift over a village cliff (in the land of make believe).
One of the several curious strangers that had crowded around this limp body, said in a loud cry: “Someone please take him to a hospital!” although he reserved the right to back off.
Then the police officer announced that he was dead.
Saying to the old lady that had waved him on: “I’ve seen him here before-he was a dreamer, a drunk, a user of drugs; although he did find something out of all this,” and he hesitated to say what he thought, as the old lady waited patiently to hear his closing remarks, “calm, lasting beauty, only comes in a dreams… what the real world threw away long ago!”
For those alluring moments, the old tramp was observing the region where the sea meets the sky.
He refused to allow the python to wake him, or the bugs slapping his face.
And all those who at the present knew he had passed on, to wherever, they too, went on their way, to wherever.