Whether I was dead or merely dreaming until that moment I’m not sure. I drew my first breath and woke from a nightmare I’d thought at worst a bearable dream.
I could always run and jump but now I had to. The barriers of apathy and doubt had been pulverised into the foundation of my new road in life. I had to run. I ran, waiting for the pain that usually stopped me too quickly. The pain took much longer to arrive than before and when it did, as bad as it was, I could bear it. The second wall loomed in the distance. I’d run through the pain barrier before into a void of numb disorientation which like the pain came later and was likewise more manageable. I’d run round half the city before my legs gave out as the pain flashed to blackout levels. On my knees in the mud with on looking civilians I took in the new spectrum of thoughts pulsing between neurons in my brain. I knew I could do more. My body would acclimatise to vast improvements in pace and stamina as I ran. The pain was dissipating quickly, only more thoughts joined the throng that now populated my mind. I could walk again, with muddy knees and jog again which became a run. I ran the full loop of the city, vaulting walls and railings with ever greater ease. Anything that might have seemed hard became easy and obvious. Small crowds drew together to watch me climbing trees on a whim and leaping and swinging from branch to branch.
I took in all the colours in more detail than before and they seemed more numerous and varying. I heard the rush of wind and distant cars as I ran, more slowly back home.
At home, after changing from the muddy clothes, I sat on the couch with my near empty sketchbook and drew endlessly in fine detail, what I’d seen on the run. My recall was perfect visually, photorealistic drawings came together in HB pencil on the paper. Half finished ideas surfaced as images I’d toyed with for a long while. Those images collected themselves and came into focus. I poured my dreams and delusions onto those pages and in but two hours I’d half filled the sketchbook.
I cooked myself a good meal with everything I’d never used in the kitchen cupboard. My invigoration only grew as I fuelled myself. I had some large paper hidden in my room that I dug out. I kicked all objects out of my way for enough space on the living room floor and began to draw and paint out one of my most ambitious works to date. I laboured over the detail for hours. A warped forest full of mirrors took me two and a half hours to draw and most of the night to paint in detail. Reflections of reflections stretched off into infinity as animals multiplied themselves with mirrors and tried to converse with reflections. I had to sleep as soon as I was done, hungry again.
In the morning I was astounded by just what I had accomplished in so short a time. Half a sketchbook sat done on the couch and a fully finished paintings was near dry on the floor. I laid the painting on my bed to finish drying and paused for only a moment to wonder what came next. My flatmate always had paper. I could pay him back for stealing a few sheets to sustain my pace of work. I painted a mountainous staircase of roots and mirrors that lead the way towards a mighty tree between the roots of which a giant door passed into darkness.
Mirrors became a motif of my work as I noticed I could use both hands to draw now which had never been the case before. I filled the sketchbook in the following hours and indulged my need to run again. I could run faster that time than before and the pain took even longer than before. I circled the city and returned to my flat before the numbness or confusion had its chance to surface. I dug out empty sketchbooks from the mess of clothes and clutter on the floor of my room and set to work on filling them. That lasted until my flatmate returned from his father’s house to greet my new work ethic with much praise and shock.
I wrote stories about reflection and parallel worlds that I’d never thought to word before. Inspiration poured through me onto paper in pen, pencil and paint. Those first days were giddy with possibility. I wrote endless stories and filled endless sketchbooks. I’d never been so prolific whilst painting and suddenly the guitar which I periodically tried and failed to learn was easy to play. I could mimic any song just by hearing it. I could tune the guitar by ear and began to modify it with electrical components I’d long given up making into a robotic sculpture.
At night I read a book before sleeping and sometimes when I woke before my early run. I looped the city three times daily ever faster. I’d always daydreamed about different worlds, technologies or human abilities but it was only then that I really began to dedicate those thoughts to paper in word. Sometimes I types the words because I could type so much faster than I could write but sometimes I would buy a large blank sketchbook and illustrate hand written stories. Nothing took any time anymore. As soon as I had the impulse to do something I was at work and in no time at all it was done. The work piled up in my room. Endless heaving sketchbooks lined the floor like tiles. I put them in boxes and hid them away in my wardrobe but even that space filled with time.
My hunger for everything in life grew with time, my calorie intake doubled as my physical output tripled. I was at my best but that limit was pushed further and further as my potential grew. I published endless short stories via the internet and displayed my artistic works on numerous websites. I received emails requesting tattoo designs and offers to buy work. I was contacted to illustrate books buy authors. My response to every request was of course yes. From being unemployed I had become an entrepreneur with various booming businesses. I rented a large studio with the money and used it to store the vast mountain of work I was accumulating. Stratospheric fame was never a goal of mine, I had to keep pushing myself but never in that direction. I lived from endless small, profitable ventures. Any opportunity that arose was seized including script doctoring for some of my favourite television shows.
In the near future I hope to write my own scripts for those shows as the next step in my advance. The plain air tastes so sweet, it is good to be alive.