“I made another video.”
“Wow, you’ve been busy… what about the video game and the television show?”
“Oh yeah, I submitted the video game idea to the Nexon Initiative. I will know in June if they decide to fund it.”
“Are you happy?”
Now, why did she have to go and ask that. I was happy to be getting stuff done… that is all well and good, but I still didn’t see a road back to my real life. The one with the wife and the children. These ideas would all need to generate momentum in a way that also generated revenue, and that just wasn’t happening.
“No. I am not happy.”
“You are creating, you are taking a little time to make progress on the things that are most important in your life.”
“Yes, and I am thankful for all those things, really I am. I just miss the world where I come home every day, and I am in more pain these days…and my vision is really getting weird. Sometimes I cannot see text clearly on the computer because of all the wierd distortion in my vision.”
“Well, sounds like you should see a doctor.”
“And I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Why not, Mr. Smith?”
“Because it is only Chapter 111. I’m not ready to become someone else’s beginning, yet.”
“I’m not sure I understand.”
“Every day is a gift. And I try to make the most of that gift. Again, for that I am thankful. But every day. . . I just feel like I am fading out before my time, that’s all. Like there’s more fight in my soul than there is in my body – my poor physical body just can’t keep up with me.”
It is almost 1AM in the real world. I am so tired.
“Mr. Smith, can I try to cheer you up?”
Can an imaginary therapist powered by my whims say anything to cheer me up? Ahh, the world is full of surprises.
“Knock yourself out,” I said.
“Long ago, I put the ballerina in a box. And I never let her out again.”
“That’s supposed to cheer me up?”
“I never let her out again, until you showed me that ghastly picture for the game. That day, I realized… you never truly buried your dreams. But I realized I had… so I dug around and I found these.”
I don’t know where she got them from, but she was holding a pair of glossy and slightly-tattered black shoes. They were small…like children’s shoes.
“Are those yours?” I asked.
“Yeah,” she said,”Thanks to you, I’ve reconnected with something I thought was lost.”
“I am happy for you.”
“I knew I could cheer you up.”
“Wow, for a fake therapist, I gotta give you some points for that, Dr. Thegan.”
That night, I went to bed… So far away and yet so close.