It was Thursday morning and Fabian woke up, like always, at six thirty sharp. His morning routine consists of reading a chapter from his favorite book, working out, showering, and eating breakfast. By eight o’clock, he is usually in his car and on his way to work. The main agenda for today in particular was to give a presentation at work and to go out on a date that evening. He was to present a detailed account of the history of a diversified portfolio of stocks and mutual funds. Fabian is a Market Research Analyst. He felt pretty confident about his presentation since he knew the material inside and out. Needless to say, the presentation went without a hitch. His boss was greatly impressed.
Eight o’clock in the evening rolled by and Fabian was ready for his date. He was nervous. The woman’s name was Michele and this occasion would mark their second encounter. Oscar, Fabian’s college buddy, introduced Michele to Fabian a few days earlier. In preparation for the much-anticipated event, Fabian rehearsed what his first line would be and how he would recite it. He thought on how and when he would hold her hand and at what point he would wrap his arm around her. He even wrote down on a small piece of paper a few topics of conversation that he would use in case the dialogue dried out to dreadful silence.
The date ended up being a bust! He was awkward from the very start. He literally stumbled and almost fell to the pavement while leading Michele into the car. The incident made him blush. “Oh MAN!” was all he said. Two minutes into the date, while still in the car, they already ran out of things to talk about.
“How about them Dolphins!” he said in an attempt to sparkle up a conversation.
“What do you mean? What dolphins?”
“That is only my favorite professional football team. Do you follow any sports?”
“Not really. I am more into movies, music, and theatre. I like to paint a little also. But sports, they don’t really attract me as much.”
“Really. That’s interesting.”
Fabian panicked! From that point on he could not think of anything else to say. Art was not a topic he rehearsed and he was too nervous to improvise any intelligible comments on the subject. Unfortunately, but expectedly of course, the rest of the evening proved to be no different. After dinner, he took Michele home and ended the date with a very cold, tense, and hesitant kiss on the cheek.
That Saturday Fabian was going to play in a volleyball tournament. He ate pasta the night before to supply him with carbohydrates, energy. He also stocked up on bananas. They would provide him with potassium to help prevent cramps during the games. Before the competition, he felt rested and fully energized. He, drowned with adrenaline and full of physical composure, felt as good as ever! As the day went on, his team proved to be unbeatable. They all clicked. Fabian was simply flying all over the court; he was able to return any spike while dishing out kills left and right. His legs did not cramp and his body did not waver. Talk about a perfect day!
Sunday morning, while still in bed, Fabian had a few moments to reflect and thought to himself:
I felt good and ready for my lecture and my tourney and they turned out great. On the other hand, I felt tentative and self-conscious for my date and it crashed. Oh well, such is my dating life!
Monday came and, from the time that Fabian woke up in the morning, he just knew that it would be a bad day. Sure enough, the milk was spoiled; he could not find his brown dress shoes; his white Mustang stalled; and, bad news awaited him at the office: a project gone haywire. Throughout the day Fabian basically knew what would happen before it actually occurred. Some people chug this type of premonition to the reality of Murphy’s Law. This, however, was a bit more than that. Fabian knew exactly what negative reaction his boss would have at his every comment.
By three o’clock in the afternoon, Fabian realized that he better start telling people exactly what they wanted to hear or rather how they wanted to hear it for his own sake. Since he knew what their reaction would be beforehand, he could communicate in a manner that always elicited a positive response from his co-workers and anyone that happened to interact with him.
I have arranged for Margo to give you the reports first thing in the morning. I will be out taking care of my car; it needs some work to run like a champ again. By the way, the report shows a fall in the price of the stock but I project a quick recovery before the end of the week.
Tuesday was more of the same. Fabian expected everything to go well and, as if by magic, everything did go well. The car was fixed. The value of the stock, the one referenced in his report, went up. His report was right on the money! Everybody in the office eagerly greeted him with enthusiasm and affection. He just knew, somehow, that everyone would be positive and insightful.
Around four o’clock, he thought about traveling to Europe with a volleyball team. A few minutes later he found an opportunity in his monthly volleyball newsletter. “The opportunity of a lifetime:” it said, “a tour of Europe with an adult volleyball team. Sightsee and play at the same time!” How eerie! Something as out in left field as that could actually become a reality. He called the coach, got a phone interview, and a personal tryout. He made the team!
The following week, on Tuesday night, he was telling his friend Carl how great these past couple of weeks had been for him and how sure he was that it would stay that way. Carl replied with:
“That is great! My life, on the other hand, is not so perfect. I guess it isn’t too bad either. I am glad for you though.”
He found similar responses from everyone he met. For some reason the stars seemed to be lined up just right for him. Still, despite the uniqueness of his situation, his confidence did not falter. He was still in control.
One night he had a wonderful dream. He was eating dinner with his girlfriend, a stunningly attractive and engaging brunette. They were enjoying a meal with Fabian’s parents who came to visit from their home in Key West, Florida. They were having a delightful evening full of friendly affectionate smiles and stimulating conversations. They were on the outdoor patio of a beautifully ornate restaurant. The weather was perfect: sunny with a cool soft breeze. He woke up the next morning and ended up meeting a gorgeous woman in the elevator on his way to his office. He had a wonderful impromptu date that evening. The following day Fabian’s parents called to announce their intent to visit a week from Friday. His dream seemed to be turning into reality!
“RRRRRRRiinnnnnnng!” The alarm cheered. Fabian, still half-asleep, was a bit unsure of the timeline.
“Is it Wednesday or Thursday? It doesn’t really matter, I guess. I know I still have to go to work anyway.” He murmured to himself.
His mom called him at work later on and asked him if it would be OK to visit him on Friday.
“Of course Mom! I look forward to it. Didn’t you already tell me about this though?”
“No! Your dad and I just spoke of it this morning and only decided THEN to go.”
“How weird! I guess I dreamt it.”
This puzzled him a bit. He knew, though, that his date that night with Claudia, the gorgeous woman from the elevator, was real. Well, they met at the movie theatre later that evening. They took in a movie and ate dinner afterwards. They spent the night together and slept in passionate bliss.
“RRRRRRRiinnnnnnng!” Another day! He woke up, got ready for work, and drove to work. The traffic was light and he arrived at work in no time. As he entered the office, he thought about the wonderful night he had with Claudia. All of a sudden, it struck him that he did not see Claudia in the morning. “Oh well, she probably went to work early.” At noon, he got a phone call.
“Hello, Fabian speaking!” He uttered as he picked up the phone.
“Good morning honey! It’s your Mom!”
“Good morning Mom! Is everything going well? How is Dad?”
“Everything is great! I just wanted to ask you if it would be all right if your dad and I visited you this Friday? Do you have any plans?”
“MOM! You’ve already asked me! Don’t you remember?”
“Impossible. Your dad and I have been vacationing all week and we’ve been away from telephones.”
“WHAT! Wait a minute! Did I dream it then? Perhaps I am dreaming this. Maybe I dreamt your last call.”
“Stop the nonsense. I don’t have time for games sweetheart.”
How could he tell though? Fabian found himself totally confused. Did he altogether dream the past two weeks? Was he still dreaming?
“How do I know that I am not dreaming this call, Mom?”
“Because I am telling you that you are not. After all, I am talking with you!”
“You could have the same reaction in my dream. That somewhat discredits your reassurance, doesn’t it?”
“Have you been getting enough sleep?”
“YES. Anyway, let me hang up and get to work. By the way, I have made plans to spend the weekend, including Friday, with you guys. See you then. Bye Mom!”
“Get some rest! Good bye baby!”
Fabian could not get any work done that day. He started to reflect on these past few weeks and how he had been able to do well in every aspect. He thought about his uncanny ability to predict people’s reaction and his impeccable intuition. He reflected on how it was that his date with Michele bombed and how he could have foretold its outcome by merely looking at his attitude before the date even began. How was it that the opportunity to go to Europe presented itself right after he contemplated the idea? He thought on how he believed, at one point in his life, that going for a Master’s Degree would be too difficult. When he did try it, the task became literally impossible to handle despite everyone else’s confidence in his ability to do it. How relaxed and confident he was in high school when he tried for the volleyball team and how he not only made the team but also proved to be the star player. He also thought about how distressed he was his first two years of college. He was taking a full load of classes and working part time as a pizza deliveryman. He knew that he had little time to practice volleyball and felt out of shape but still tried out for the team. Despite his talent and stellar years in high school, he could not show his potential to the team and its coach.
I should have known I would not make the team! I did not feel I could at the time. All my life I have been in control of my destiny and I have not realized it! I have maneuvered every outcome and I have designed every situation. I still cannot really tell if all of that was a dream or not. Perhaps there is no difference between one and the other. Why do oppositely charged particles attract? Why are objects pulled to the ground? There is no justifiable reason! Is there? The only evidence, electricity and gravity, simply indicate that they do exist but they don’t explain why they exist. That is, they exist in my dream, in my world, or, better put, in my reality.
Is there any other reality? Possibly someone else’s? Everybody else is a figment of my imagination though. Is the human body the soul’s temple? Well, if everybody else lives in my world, in a dream I created, I may just have devised everyone's persona after my own spitting image, the image I created of myself for myself. So, a human body is not necessarily attached to a soul. In fact, my true shape and my true form may not even be human. What is the human race anyway? My own creation of course! Everything is my creation! The laws of physics, the physical and chemical limitations of biology, people’s instincts and emotional reactions, my own abilities, the earth around me, the physical forces of nature, and miracles, they are all products of my imagination. I don’t need sleep then. I don’t really need to eat, walk, work, talk, or read.
Wow! With this revelation, Fabian suddenly found himself floating in black space. His five senses were no longer existent, were no longer an impediment. He was no longer there. All that was left was a black bottomless pit that ultimately ended in complete and absolute silence. Questions ceased and the word reality had no meaning. Fabian was no longer Fabian; in fact, he was no longer a “he” or even an “it.” Everything was nothing and nothing was everything. Positive and negative infinity came full circle to converge onto a singular point, no time, no lines, no two-dimensional planes, and not even three-dimensional space.
“What! Where am I? Am I still dreaming or am I awake? Am I ‘I’?”
Who the heck knows?