Liminal Skies

This is the wrong bus to be on stardust. I can’t stop you from coming this way, if it’s what you truly seek, but this is the last stop before infinity. If you’re looking for a way out, you might wanna get off here, there’s nothing beyond this place but nightmares and ruin.

It’s okay to turn back here. Twist the kaleidoscope and try again on a different fractal, or continue your descent into hell, the choice is yours, but know that it is always your choice. You could click this link and escape. You could close this page and walk away. You could go outside and feel the sun and wind on your skin. Or you could follow me into the underworld, and maybe that will serve a purpose, or maybe not.

The doors close for the last time and the bus begins its long and trundling twilight journey out of the world and into the deserts of the vast beneath. Trees and houses give way to scraggly shrubs and rolling plains of desolate regolith. Blue skies bruise over into dark purple and finally inky velvet darkness. There are no stars, only the lights of the bus and the sparsely spaced freeway streetlights pushing back against the encroaching nothingness. How many times have you taken this journey? It’s one you can remember like the backhand across the face that knocked you into a darker future and shattered the hopeful child you once were. There was never really any way out, right? That’s just the bitter truth, and no one will admit it. Yeah, not all of us make it, I know.

I wish I could help you more, but out here I’m just another stranger on this bus to nowhere, and the three seats between us may as well be an infinite and uncrossable distance. Distance, that’s the problem right? The infinite expanse of finite distance that separates us. It didn’t appear all at once, it was created in pain, in inches, in each agonizing moment of separation and coldness. In the kindness and love that is met with cruelty and neglect. In the curiosity and expression that is met with anger and contempt. In the cries for help not answered. Each act of evil ratchets the world further along a bitter groove of spiteful indifference, dragged further into hell with each passing heartbreak and every scar. Don’t worry, no one would ever blame you or expect more of you, this is just how things are, right?

There’s no more way out of your life, out of your body and your fate, then there is a way off this bus or out of this desert. That is to say, the ways out are certain death, succumbing in slow, tortured agony, surrounded by monsters and harsh lightless terrain. There’s nothing of value out there, it’s a hopeless realm containing no chances for survival. Is there even really a desert, or merely an infinite expanse of nothingness, an all consuming void into which you could fall forever without ever seeing a single spark of light? It’s your damnation stardust, you tell me.

The bus bounces and shakes on the potholed highway, maintenance projects deferred out here into infinity. Nothing ever changes in the end, and this is all there will ever really be. This world, this lonely metal box separating you from a chasm of infinity, a dystopian migratory existence bound for an unreachable utopia, an endless expansion of the glorification of death. It’s something you know to be true, and you have always known, deep in your bones, that this was it, this was all there was, the only chance you got, and the only way to survive was to submit to the game, and here you are playing it. Welcome to the game.

There is no one step to breaking. It comes on slowly, building with the accumulation of damage not repaired, wounds not healed, tears not shed; until the message is pooling like a toxin in numb fingers and moth eaten sentence fragments. It’s reinforced over and over in the looks of disgust and hate from strangers. In the condescension and scorn from family. In the hopes for a better world that have been systematically snuffed out, one by one. 

The alarms are sounding but there’s no one left to hear them, it’s all been stripped away, sold for a few scraps of affection, a few moments of care. There’s no one left to get the message. Yeah, message received. Smile and nod, stay on the bus, you only have an infinity of time left ahead of you. Take a nap if you want, it’s not like it will matter in the end, since nothing really matters in the end. Nothing is real that is not eternal, right? But nothing is eternal, nothing in this world can possibly be eternal, so you just have to keep waiting, just stay on the bus a little longer and run out the clock, then everything will fall back into nothingness and you can finally stop suffering. Or you could try something else.

How long can you stay on this road stardust? Burning timelines as fuel and chances of a better life for a bit more time on the clock? It just brings you back here in the end, to this lonely point of infinite decay, regressed out into the endless where all your hopeless despair can hide from the light of day. It’s all futile, and it will always be futile, this bus is your coffin, and you can’t escape from your death, not by escaping from your life. This road just keeps going, just keeps decaying along with you, forever. You won’t ever get anywhere if you keep playing along like this, but I don’t suppose you care anymore. So just keep riding as the walls close in around you, as the lands beyond begin to shift and change in impossible ways.

Feel your eyelids sag heavily as the motion of wheels on asphalt massages the aches in your back. Breathe in and breathe out. You have all of infinity left ahead of you so you might as well take your time. Look out into the darkness, where monsters flicker in and out of being against the tabula rasa of night, banished and reformed with the passing streetlights’ rhythmic pulse. Close your eyes, rest for a while, and dream.