The sun-baked grass is warm beneath my back. The scent of clover and buttercups tinges the air, enveloping me in a delicate, lacy wrap, the kind of perfume that gods must favour. My eyes are closed, but there is no black here...I see nothing but pure, golden light behind my eyelids, the sun begging me to find comfort in its hot, healing rays.
I open my eyes, the colour of the sea during a storm, to the skies above. Never has there been a blue so regal. Never have the clouds been washed so white, so puffy and so proud of themselves in their perfection. Yet, despite these bleached cotton patches on the tapestry above, the sun never dulls. Its glow is never dampened, but shines through the darkest of thoughts, the deepest of dreams.
I stand, the dry, yellowing meadow crunching underfoot. In the back of my mind, I hear the joyful cheeeep-cheep-cheep-cheep of a chickadee, and the silence that the wind makes as it hushes through the treetops, seeking to cool the brow of those who find joy in its lush breath.
I stand atop a gentle hill, rounded like the luscious curves of a woman, and I look around me. The silence is the happiest of tunes, the light is the best of blankets, and it indeed coats everything in a honeyed glaze that sweetens the most bitter of hearts.
Never has their been a more perfect stage.
I turn, my shoes making no dent in the grass, this sprawling lawn perfect in its imperfection, dotted with dandelions and clover and thistle. I set my gaze up to the clouds themselves, these soft and gentle building blocks of dreams. I reach high, my long fingers grasping at these intangible images of imagination. I bring them down to me, the cool water droplets clinging to every thought in my brain; a sweet, cleansing drink for the soul. My fingers start their work, taking these banks of fog and sculpting them into something more. I let my fingers loose at this loom, weaving myself a new tale to live in, a realm where my desires have lain for untold centuries.
The sun never moved from its appointed throne in the sky, despite the passing hours. I work at my forge, creating one new reality after another, embracing all that I have felt, all I feel and all I will feel. Soon, I am surrounded by my works, each a doorway into a new and exciting life, one I have created for my enjoyment. I gaze upon my works of art...I rejoice in the new masks I will sport. I try them all on, and each of them fit like they had once been my own face, and I breathe in these new identities of mine.
I am a fighter, I will not bend. I am a lover, I am a friend.
I will save the day and I will end strife. I will steal your heart and I will end your life.
I am a warrior, I am the belle. I am your Savior, I come from Hell.
I am all this and I am more. I am none of this and I am less.
I am everything, nothing, and all the somethings in between.
I look around my meadow, now littered with all my untested plays. I have costumes for every one of them. I have a role in every one of them. I am needed in every one of them...
I belong in every one of them.
I have a place in every one of them.
This library of pretend, this paradise of the mind, where I choose my roles and am loved for everything I do, is ready for the taking. Such freedom can only be found within the scripts and masks that this beautiful meadow allowed me to create. My utopia, my foster home, my haven is confined within the endless sprawl of this peaceful, perfect pasture. There are no boundaries, no reins that tuck my head in, no chains to pin my mind to the stone walls of a real-life dungeon. Just the limitless plain of my imagination.
I smile. This is my auditorium. I am the playwright and the performer. I am the critic and the crowd.
I don my costume, my beautiful mask sinking into my skin, my mind revelling in this paradise I have indeed created for myself.
The curtain rises.
I can already hear the applause.