A Short Story for May - Cosmic Matter


Lucy took a trip on a Gemini spaceship. The second night, the guests were introduced to the crew members alongside a cocktail tête-à-tête with the stars. It was our heroine’s first cruising to the Jupiter, a gift she offered to herself as a present for her 70th birthday. Lying down on a tangerine orange couch, Lucy was speechless in front of the kaleidoscopic canvas in the sky. Oh, whoever is the creator must be a great artist.
They look like diamonds, aren’t they? A slim young man in his early 20’s took a seat next to Lucy, and introduced himself as Johnny aka the Interstellar Cowboy. Hello, I am Lucy. What a lovely name for a lady like you! Later, Lucy found out Johnny was a jazz pianist and composer who occasionally played in a punk rock band called Telepathic. In order to overcome writer’s block, the young man decided to take on the trip with the money advanced by his producer.
Here and now is the most concrete thing a mind can grasp, Johnny tried his best to engage a conversation with his female companion. You see, Buddha wasn’t going anywhere but sitting under a tree young as his age. He wasn’t relying on any data provided by scientists or astrophysicists, nor did he take any psychedelic products to help him see through the physicality of reality. It was a huge step of mankind in understanding why we are here.
Are you a Buddhist? Are you religious, Johnny? I could have been, but I am not. I don’t believe in salvation. Between wisdom and beauty, I prefer the latter. A womanizer than a truth seeker, I wouldn’t be surprised by your age, young man. I saw you talking to most of the women in this room. Oh, Lucy. You have an observant eye. I am simply curious to know what’s out there. Ladies in this room seem to be more willing to engage a spiritual conversation, while men are only interested in the mining industry in Mars.
Oh, now you talk like a thinker. I am a musician, Lucy. My dream is to be the Starman, in and out of different wormholes, traveling from gig to gig. But aren’t you attached to something or someone, I mean emotionally? I am the Interstellar Cowboy, so anywhere I go can be my home sweet home. That’s how I meditate on my journey of life, as a non-situation. I reject the idea of fire and ice; I am not a partisan of extremes. You are not a poet per se, aren’t you? No, I like words but only when they serve the clarity of mind.
Sorry, you just mentioned wormholes? Yes, I read it on an astronomy website. It is a theoretical passage in space-time only made possible with the help of negative energy. The only wormhole experience I have lived through so far was I being pushed out from my mother’s vagina, the next, would be my death. Scientists, however, suggest a tunnel with two ends that allows faster-than-light travel in the universe. Faster than light, how can that be possible? To make it simpler, it’s a sort of telepathy, a transmission of energy. It could be you thinking of someone, then the next second you bumping into that person on the street, like a pure coincidence.
I wonder if anyone out there is thinking of me? Sure do, Lucy. I was told our dream is the best place for such rendezvous. You mean when I dream of my dead husband, he is also dreaming of me? Yes and no, Lucy. It depends how we look at the synchronicity of actions. We think simultaneity is the only factor in the concept of synchronicity, thus seldom involve spatial factor into our reasoning. And we are wrong because synchronicity is NOT a temporal but a spatial concept, a platform where to allow significantly related events to happen. A coincidence is a meaningful pairing of events, like how we met in this Gemini spaceship.
Or, maybe I have been trying too hard in my reasoning; you simply listen to me because I look like your dead husband. Don’t be silly, Johnny. You’re not his avatar, but you and Allen do share some resemblance when you try to convince your interlocutor. I hope I am not acting like a crashing bore that has spoiled your calm and beautiful evening. Don’t get me wrong. I have been thinking about this lately, the afterlife. Imagine our life is a space similar to our dream, where to host information, to unfold the unconscious, only for certain duration, but long enough for the sender and the receiver to come, to choose and to retrieve what has been destined.
Oh, Lucy. I think I have just unblocked some questions that have been bothering me for a while. I desperately need a drink. But before that, please let me finish our conversation with the butterfly dream of Chuang Tzu, which I am sure you’ll appreciate it more than anybody in this spaceship. Once upon a time, a philosopher called Chuang Tzu dreamed that he was a butterfly – a lively creature enjoying itself. It did not know that it was Chuang Tzu. Suddenly he awoke, and realized that he was Chuang Tzu again. He did not know, however, whether it was Chuang Tzu dreaming that he was a butterfly, or whether it was the butterfly dreaming that it was Chuang Tzu.
You see Lucy, there’s nothing Chuang Tzu could do to verify his doubts, unless we confront the butterfly with the philosopher. And what if the butterfly says exactly the same thing? You get my point, Lucy? A dream is a suspension of subjectivity due to its interchangeability of self and others. As long as he knows he has dreamed of a butterfly, and woke up to find himself to be a man with a new prospective, that’s what matters the most. The rest of the unsolved question, I think we should leave it to the butterfly, although I am sure both share the same physicality under the form of a spinning mirror.

You are confused, Lucy, so am I. In all the philosophical debates centered in this allegory, there is indeed a dearth of discussion regarding the meaning of such pairing – man, and butterfly. Does anyone could be the butterfly that Chuang Tzu has dreamed of?  Who decides the relationship between the sender and the receiver? I don’t want to jump into a too simplistic conclusion by giving karma and causality all the credits. There must be something that human is capable of taking charge of. Well, I think I have found something to ponder upon during this trip, and eventually, come up with some supernova kind of ideas for my album.

Is that Orion, Lucy? Oh, I see light in your eyes. If I don’t see you again, have a happy rest of your life.

Light Ticking, 2015
Luminous Object 2, 2015