Like salt rubbed in a fresh wound, he was in agony– and yet, no blood was shed.
Time is relative… but relative to what? Relative to the idea of space. And the space that surrounds us has been around for a very long time. Some might even say that space, or what occupied this space before matter, has been in existence for an infinite amount of time. It is in that infinity that the story begins.
Before the sun became a source of energy for the earth, and before there were stars and other celestial beings, there was an Ideamatrica, what we know today as an idea. Ideas were not always contained by the brain and transmitted through complex synaptic impulses. Ideas were free-floating, independent entities that needed no vessel to survive and exist. It is in the merging of many of these natural and early form of the ideas, Ideamatrica, where something powerful and profound was created.
revolution — peace — equity — love — intellect — resilience
These six ideas came together in a most peculiar fashion, and on one day, infinite years ago, Nayrotica was born. This rare cosmic event is not documented in any books or other accounts of history, because of what could happen if this Ideamatrica hybrid power fell into the hands of those against equity and progress. Finding a host over time, this power only exists in times of upheaval and unrest. Remaining under close watch and with delicate handling by infinitely ancient Ideamatricas, Nayrotica reemerges as needed and was never intended for one particular host. Finding a new vessel within which to exist, as needed, whether it’s due to growing intolerance or increased violence, Nayrotica exists still today.
And that is where this story begins.
It was unlike any feeling that had ever consumed his body– it burned; it never stopped burning. It was the constant ache that, if prolonged, might destroy an individual from the inside out. Yet, when he glanced at his hands and when he felt his body, they were intact; they were complete, unfazed, and without noticeable blemish. He felt death nearby, but his body felt strong. He did not understand this remarkable incongruence of thought and physicality; it was unsettling, and yet he was fine. His eyes remained wet with tears and the salt water emerged without fail, streaming down his boyish cheek, a cheek that remained smooth and without weather, and barely a trace of a five o’clock shadow, even though days had passed since his last shave. It was then it became clear: naivety was now simply a tumbleweed visible in the rearview mirror of his life. As he negotiated the path forward on that day, for that year and beyond, the burning in his body intensified and he was catapulted forward onto his knees, catching himself with his hands before his face met the pavement. Pebbles embedded themselves in his palm but did not have a chance to burrow too deeply. Something hit him from above, knocking the wind, then consciousness, out of him. His body hit the cement, leaving a crater within the confines of what would be his crime scene chalk line. He lifted his head, but the world around him faded to black: slowly; painfully; finally.
Two days passed before he so much as moved, but when he did, it happened violently. He flailed his arms and sat up, gasping for air. He sounded as if he had been held underwater and was only let up to breathe for seconds before being submerged again and again. His eyes darted, trying to adjust to the bright light hitting his face directly. As his eyes adjusted, he could make out a window pane… it was the sun. “I’m not dead,” he mumbled through his dry, cracked lips and squinted to allow his pupils to focus.
“Do you know where you are?” a voice from behind him inquired.
He jumped up, only to fall down again– his legs didn’t work, instead they tingled. His lower half had fallen asleep as well, and as their sensation returned, so did his memory of the last moments before falling into life’s great retreat. Staying on the ground, “Who are you??” He was too nervous to attempt standing again.
The voice spoke again, “You don’t have to worry. I am not going to hurt you, Nathan– not that I could anyway.”
What was meant by this? And how the hell did the bodiless voice know his name?! Nathan slowly began his ascent an upright position, legs less wobbly. As he reached his apex, there, behind what appeared to be a very expensive modern white desk, sat the voice– not bodiless at all. She was beautiful. “What? Were you expecting someone else? I get that all the time,” the woman said. She rose and extended her hand, “I’m Kandace,” she paused. “I’m your handler.”
My what? he thought. What is happening?! How did I get here? And damn! She is so hot!
“Thank you. That’s sweet,” Kandace responded to his series of questions. “And I will fill you in on the rest very soon… but first, there’s someone else you need to meet.”
This was too much for him to handle, “WAIT! How are you in my head?!?”
“From now on, we are like one– we think the same thoughts,” she revealed, quickly amending her statement, “Well, by that I mean I know what you are thinking. You’re not actually allowed in my head.”
He last remembered being in pain, but now he sensed a quiet strength– something that he was not sure he could trust but knew if relied upon, it could serve him well. He asked, “What am I feeling?” He rose and planted his feet firmly in front of Kandace.
“Ah. There you are. I was wondering if you were going to make it,” she said with a wink. “I wasn’t sure you had it in you.”
Oh, come on! He thought, knowing she could hear. What? You thought I was going to stay on the floor forever?!
“Oh no. That’s not what I am talking about,” she began. “I meant the gift.” Suddenly, his chest throbbed with warmth and pressure– what was happening to him? He breathed, uncertain of everything– the room, the air, the thoughts, her! What was she doing to him?! And then, suddenly, just as quickly as the pain and feelings came, it subsided and left him standing taller than he had ever felt. “There. All better?” Kandace asked.
Without a second thought, Nathan simply nodded.
“Good,” she said, “now we can finally move on.” There was a slight annoyance in her voice, indicating that he was taking his sweet time coming around. “You have been gifted a power– one unlike any other in the world. There aren’t many people who can handle what has been given to you, but you must know that you’re not alone. And you’re most certainly not special… but all the same, you have been selected. This isn’t about you– it’s about spreading good intention and sharing with the world, and eventually someone, in particular, a part of yourself that you have never quite unlocked.” Kandace began to pace, closing the distance between the two. “You will fail, time and time again. But it is what you do with this failure that sets you apart from the rest. You see, I have been watching you, and you tend to… let’s say, misstep. Misspeak. You just generally fuck things up, because your brain gets in the way. Or your ego.”
Nathan was speechless. Perhaps for the very first time in his life. He wasn’t good at listening, I mean really listening– and he wanted so badly to put up his defenses and start talking back, but the fear in his chest was holding his words closely, and his ego had left the building.
“It’s good that you’re taking this in– not everyone can hear this,” she reassured him. “You are going to be confronted with many hearts and many paths, and there will come a day when you decide to give in and let your heart guide you, rather than your head. And it’s only then that you will feel the complete and utter joy of creating a home with someone, wherever you are. The location won’t matter, only trust and the total destruction of your interior protective walls will matter. You have recovered from previous heartache, but that was nothing compared to the limitlessness of the heart’s expansion. It’s time to open up and share with someone your revolutionary spirit, your quiet peace, your commitment to social equity, your infinite love, your thoughtful intellect, and your resilience in the face of adversity. Those are the qualities you feel burning in your chest; they have been awakened in you– they were always there, but never accessed. Every previous heart you shared with someone wasn’t quite real– but now, you have the opportunity. This isn’t about you– it’s about something bigger, and you need to grapple with that idea alone– no one can tell you how to navigate that space, and no one is going to let you off easy this time. Live with the moment. Live IN the moment.” Kandace continued to pace around him. As she was behind him, she leaned up to his ear and whispered, “Now go for it.”
He turned back to address her, “Go for wh–???” She was no longer there. But instead, there stood a man in the distance, down a narrow hallway. He was wearing a black shirt and some black shorts, rolled up above the knee. “Hi,” Nathan uttered. The man turned and looked at him, smiling. Nathan began to walk towards him, “What’s your name?”
To be continued…