Everyday, I take a commuter bus to work. It is one of the dreariest parts of my existence. I keep to myself, sitting in silence, overhearing snippets of conversations. Old white people talking about old white problems. Some bury their noses in books or bibles, trying desperately to find some means of solace or escape from the mundane. I remain quiet and look down at my feet or stare straight ahead, waiting to be dropped off in front of my office like a prisoner waiting for the firing squad, except without the benefit of a cigarette or a blindfold.
That is, until I get the headphones out of my backpack and put on Dawnbringer’s Nucleus. Suddenly, I’m not on the bus anymore. I’m riding shotgun in a ’65 Ford Mustang with a rocket-launcher turret welded to the top. My wife is behind the wheel (she’s from California and a much more aggressive driver) and we’re barreling down the highway at 200 MPH. I’m holding a bottle of whiskey. The backseat is littered with empties. I hear the blare of sirens and see bright flashing lights out of the corner of my eye. A slew of highway patrol cars are chasing after us. I climb up into the turret. Aim, fire. Aim, fire. Aim, fire. The patrol cars are all twisted metal and thick black smoke. Body parts fly in all directions.
We pull into downtown. It is a wasteland, like the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust. My office building stands tall and unscathed, a gleaming beacon of torment carved out of glass and steel and even more glass. I climb back up into the turret. I fire the remaining rockets at the building. It erupts like a volcano in a cloud of dust and flames. I get out of the car and dance on the hood, whooping and hollering like a lunatic while debris falls around me. A voice in my head says “You’re not crazy, just insane.” I get back in the car and we head out to the highway.
We drive through the countryside at top speed for what seems like hours. Through the passenger window, I see a hooded figure sitting high up on a hill, leaning against a tall, decrepit tree. I tell my wife to pull over. We get out of the car and walk through a field, up the side of the hill. The man sitting under the tree is an old wizard. He is holding an enormous bong that overflows with glowing, bright green smoke. He wordlessly beckons us to sit with him and hands me the bong. The three of us smoke deep into the night. My body feels warm and I wonder if my bones are glowing with the same radioactive green hue as the smoke.
My wife and I get up. We tumble down the hill. In the wide-open field we lay on our backs and look up at the stars. We make stoned love underneath the vastness of space. It is wonderful. Afterwards, I begin to drift off into a deep sleep as the events of the day play through my mind in slow motion…
I awaken just in time to step off the bus in front of my office. My heavy metal fever dream is over.