Tuesday, 19 November 2013

The Dream Objective


By James Kyle


There was something not quite right. But, on the other hand, somehow it did feel right.

Everyone in the bar was dressed in pastel tie dyed tops and pants. Logically that didn’t make sense. Now, if I had been walking into a room in Haight-Ashbury in the summer of love then there would have been no incongruence. However, I wasn’t, so, there was something not quite right.

But again, it did somehow feel right. It felt natural, the way it was supposed to. People talking in couples and groups. Some quietly, a few a little less quietly. People appeared relaxed, just talking and drinking and having a good time. The more I looked around the less strange it appeared and the more welcoming. I put aside my analytical unease and I stepped over the threshold.

As I made my way towards the bar area the scent of jasmine incense became increasingly pronounced, adding to the welcoming ambience. I stood for a while entranced and surprisingly comforted by just taking in the vista of the backlit bottles of drinks arrayed behind the bar. There was a simple beauty in the various liquid colours and hues laid out in front of me. Their enchantment took me deeper in to feeling ever more at peace in this exotic location.

I was in a bar, so it seemed natural to order a drink and I turned my attention to the bartender nearest me. She looked up to meet my gaze. However as she did so, once more, I was jarred out of my willing suspension of disbelief. She looked like she was happy to take my order, but she was wearing headphones, her fingers tapping in time to the music she was listening to. What kind of bar was this? It made no sense at all that staff should wear headphones and be unable to hear customer orders. It wasn’t right. There was a flicker of a smile on the bartender’s young face. Did I just say that out loud? Well it was true, it just didn’t make any sense.

My mind began to abstract from all of these strange surroundings. I began to find myself thinking "If I shouted out an order in a bar and no one is there that can hear it, does it make a sound?” My thoughts jumped on, was that notion profound or pretentious?  I started to disconnect more and more from my surroundings. I began to question why I question stuff so much. Where does it end? Does it end at all? Or am I just going to be faced with never ending questions? And then I heard the laughter.

I found myself back in the room, looking at the young bartender, her face a distillation of the purest glee. My intellect made one last attempt at sovereignty, “what was she laughing at?” And then, this thought was swept away as the infectious laughter caught hold and I couldn’t help myself from echoing that joyful state. The whole room was entirely full of laughter. What was to be gained from asking why? The best course was to surrender and accept what is. And so, I let go, and simply lost myself in the stillness of the laughter.