This Is Absurd

All of a sudden, I realized I was standing in the middle of the highway, pointing at the sun and demanding someone, somewhere, tell me what the fuck this big ball of fire was doing in the center of my solar system.

“What the fuck is this big ball of fire doing in the center of my solar system!?” I said in a calm and soothing voice. The words sounded foreign and unrecognizable. Was I speaking English? Was I speaking? This shit just sounds like noise? The thought came to me as a question, though it wasn’t a question. I question questions now. The next question questioned and considered was the authenticity of this situation. I wondered if I was asleep.

“Well, of course you’re asleep,” someone, somewhere, said to me.

“This can’t be a dream,” someone, somewhere, said in response, “This is real, we’re awake. My imaginary friend said so.”

“I see your lips moving, but all I heard was gibberish,” someone else, somewhere else, said. I stared in silence. They looked foreign and unrecognizable. Were they aliens? I swear these things are aliens. Where did they come from? What are they doing here? Wh-

“Where is ‘here,’ might I ask?” It asked.

“Good god, man! You’ve been here how long and don’t know where you are?”

“Hence why I asked you wh-”

“I don’t know. Here. We’re here. We’re now,” I assumed.

“Um…okay,” was the noise it made after I made my own noise. I have been taught to understand this made-up language.

“I’m still kind of hung up on this big ball of fire in the sky?” something, somewhere else asked, though it wasn’t a question.

“Excuse me,” something said, “Are you on medication? I mean, I called the police. You’re standing in the middle of the highway, questioning the Sun for Christ sake!” The atmosphere, whatever the hell “atmosphere” means, became tense, whatever the hell “tense” means. Had I been found out? Was I not blending in? Was I the alien? What’s medication.

“I’m asking you,” was the noise I made. It looked at me.

“Asking me what?” Was the noise it made.

“It can’t hear…the noises,” was the next noise I made in response to the last noise it made.

“So you hear things?”

“Stay back! Whatever the hell ‘stay back’ means,” I whispered. It swiveled something towards me; organic and orb-like, two at a time, situated near the top of its odd structure. More of them came, in moving, less organic structures, with colors flashing and a loud noise emanating from something I couldn’t see. I grew hot with fear. They surrounded me and limited my movements. Behind them was the edge. If I could just get past them and…dive…

All of a sudden, I realize I’m sitting at the foot of my bed, typing out a story I made up, in a made-up language. It’s Saturday. I look out the window. Last night was another night without sleep. This sunrise is another sunrise I don’t understand. Something, somewhere, asked the first question since the last question.

“Where are we?”


A.M. Hemingway broods and writes. His work has appeared here, elsewhere, and in his head. His short story and poetry collection, Where Time Shadows, both does and does not exist.


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