Bubble Bobble

I’m at what I’m told will be the best concert the world has ever seen. Even better, an old friend of mine who I fired on Facebook is in the band and we’re friends again. His record label is finally off the ground and he is getting the recognition he so richly deserves.

The conductor taps his baton. The audience grows still.

And then the phone rings and it is the manager of my Bangkok apartment asking me to pick up the 600 Baht I overpaid on the rent one day before I was due to be slung out for breach of contract. She is friendly and sorry to have clearly woken me up at the crack of half past ten.

I had planned to sleep until one or so- maybe hit the late, late madness of Swing Club. All that is moot now.

I drift back into somewhere astral, stuck between dreams. In the gap between the concert and whatever might be to come is the same shitty-looking backstage areas I have been stuck in before. The magic of the dream theatre gives way to gaffer tape and fluorescent tubes.

Yet materialising in the gap is the most beautiful iridescent bubble of pure form and thought imaginable. It must be over a metre in diameter and still growing.

I approach it, wanting to be engulfed, yet instead of gentle calmness it is as if I have touched a spark plug when our boundaries meet. The bubble is both sentient and hostile towards me, its iridescence a warning not a welcome. Electricity burns to my very core and I am thrown far from it.

I see a parade of lost souls- mainly Baby Boomers- shuffling in a queue. One tells me that they were willingly engulfed by their own bubbles as soon as they had manifested.

“What is the bubble, then?” I ask.

A wrinkled raisin of a woman tilts her head back, mouth opening in a spasm of decay.

“Conformity,” she says.

I look for any further response from the others sadly lining up to who knows what doom but all that returns to me is a sullen and angry resignation.

“Fuck that!” I manage before the dream breaks apart due to a motorbike gunning its engine in the street outside.


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