It took too much effort and most of my credits but I finally was able to remove the electrodes, well, not technically remove, dissolve them, as each one was about the size of a grain of sand, all of them glued like jelly onto my sensory cortex, for good reason, obviously, we all had them, mine were put in me at age 14, and that was later than most, they helped us feel, feel more, feel better, they heightened our sense of touch, which was mostly good, it started out I’ve been told as a way to help paraplegics operate their limb robotics but it made no sense to limit them only to a few people, soon everyone had them, and unless the whole world was lying to me, a possibility, obviously, but not the most likely answer, everyone but me liked them, not to say I didn’t like them, I did, usually, it was just that I kept letting this idea stick to me, the idea that I was feeling wrong, that I wasn’t feeling me, not the real me, though I was never entirely sure who the real me was, maybe that’s the problem, and I knew the moment I dissolved them my doctor would be alerted, she’s nice, but this was the right thing to do, the right time to do it, I probably wouldn’t be missed, I was definitely not needed, so I just had a car come to the apartment and I got inside and I had it drive, just drive, drive and keep on driving, past homes and offices, I sometimes wondered who was inside, no, don’t stop, keep driving, now into open space, keep driving, now into rocky terrain, day to night, now day again, the car now telling me every few minutes where we were, how far we were from everything I was supposed to care about, keep driving I said, till it finally stopped, it wouldn’t go farther than it would take to get back to the closest refilling station, I always wondered about that, so I opened the door, got out, the sun burning hot, I heard the car shout at me to get back inside, I ignored it, I heard the car then remind me that my baby was in the front seat, which I knew, but I just kept walking, walking in the heat, walking over the red ground, I had never seen red ground before, except on screen, it retained the hot from the sun, and I thought of a verse from the Bible I had read many times, never telling anybody, nobody I knew ever read the Bible and I didn’t want to face their questions, besides, it was like something that was just my own, from Romans, “neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love,” and I wondered if that was actually true, I hoped so, though I had my doubts, and despite the hot, despite the brightness, both of which burned my eyes, I could feel myself slipping through that dark distant hole and thinking maybe that’s where I belonged, maybe the light and the open space was death, just the opposite of what I had been taught, that faraway darkness is where I belonged, but I wasn’t sure, honestly, who’s to say?
Welcome to the Grand illusion.
Styx are a truly unique American band, popular the world over. Mixing hard rock and prog rock, power ballads with dark lyrics, love songs and stirring guitar riffs, Broadway theatrics with Chicago sensibilities.
Never underestimate the combination of talent and perseverance, however ill-formed.
Don’t be fooled by the radio, the TV or the magazines. They show you photographs of how your life should be but they’re just someone else’s fantasy.
When those living the dream warn you against the dream, heed the warning.
Follow your dream only if you can’t bear not to.
So if you think your life is complete confusion because your neighbors got it made. Just remember that it’s a grand illusion and deep inside we’re all the same.
When those living the dream warn you that we are all the same, know they are lying.