'Up Down' by A.J. Campo

I was tired of being me. Tired of seeing all my dreams washed away. So I became dust on a sunbeam. It wasn't easy. Floating day in, day out. Drifting from light to shadow, visible to invisible. Seen one moment and unseen the next. Every choice made by chance stirrings of air in empty rooms. It was all out of my hands. Rising into the light, wanting -- needing -- to be seen. And when I needed most to be seen, to be recognized, to be real, the air would drop away beneath me and I would go down into shadow. Into silence.

One day I landed on a phonograph record. A big old 78, music from a dead age. I found a groove and settled in. Becoming a crackle in a song, a new note in an old tune. I was acknowledged, recognized. Every time the needle came round, everyone heard me. But the needle moved on and the song was over and I was forgotten. It hardly seemed fair to be there and then gone. 
So I chased the music, riding the groove. Around and around. Rolling and tumbling with the notes of a bluesman's guitar, I found the air again. I became music. Still unseen but no longer unknown. A melody drifting through the room like smoke, lazy and slow and sweet. Faces smiled, feet tapped. Everybody liked my tune. But then the groove ran out and the needle lifted. I faded to an echo. To less than an echo. Gone again.

Someone carried me away in their head. I was a memory in the back of a mind. Half-forgotten, I slept, safely tucked away. I slept for a long time. And then one day I woke up, and found myself on the lips of the singer. A song on the air, there and not there. Alive again in the moment of the song, I couldn't go back to sleep. And so even after the song was done, I chose to remain. A ripple on the air, a gust of breath.

Up and up, I became Sky. The voice of God, too soft to be heard. A butterfly effect, a tiny sine wave shuffling molecules together and cutting them apart. A well-worn deck of cards.  Hydrogen and oxygen and nitrogen, rearranged into new hands, destined to new ends. Seeding the air, growing clouds out of nothing, pregnant with storm. I was born again as raindrops, mad little bombadiers spinning down and down, bombing the world. Falling on the heads of all the people, dripping from hat brims and wrung from shirt cuffs. A cold splash in the faces of sleeping derelicts, bringing them coughing and sputtering to their feet, washing their dreams away.  


  1. What a fascinating journey this is. Well done.

  2. "Every choice made by chance stirrings of air in empty rooms. It was all out of my hands." I loved that, and ending with washed away dreams.

  3. I loved taking this journey with the dust speck. The visuals were great. While reading this, I couldn't help but hear in the back of my mind, "BOIL THIS DUST SPECK, BOIL THIS DUST SPECK---WE ARE HERE, WE ARE HERE!" A wonderful read, thank you!


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