“So, what now?” Ramona was sitting in The Sidetrack Cafe. There was a fearful, but impressed, circle around her and Mona.
“Well, you can’t stay here. Don’t forget you’re still in that lighthouse.”
Ramona choked on her drink. “Oh God! Nono, not you.”
The old guy in robes sitting at the bar shrugged, smiled nervously, and turned back to his Virgin Mary.
“Steven is with me! How long have I been out for?”
Mona pulled a cherry from her drink. “Well. We can access anytime at all from here, so…you’ve not been gone at all.”
Ramona shook her head. “I will never, ever get my head around this stuff.”
Mona lowered her tone. “Well, seeing as you being here freaks them out, that’s not so bad a thing.”
“Ok. But…what now?”
“Well – we do about our days. You get older, the idea stays the same and, at one point, you com over here. I talked to Simon in 10-15 and we wake him up. And you have access to the entire realm of This Side, and I get to walk about in a body every now and then. Oh – and there’s one other thing we have to do.”
Ramona was hiding on a walkway, way in the shadows of the Library.
Below her she should hear Mona’s voice. Impassive, Calm.
“Tulpa. A magically produced illusion. Or creation. An embodiment of an idea created through meditation.”
But she wasn’t here for that. She was here to see herself. Herself as a young girl, back where it all started.
They had talked about how it was possible for Mona to have told herself that she had to be there, if she had to be old to do the act of creation in the first place. There was some mumbling about all time taking place at the same time but Ramona stopped listening when she realised that she could watch.
And all too soon it was over.
Mona came up to her. “So?”
Ramona was lost in thought. “Ra?” Mona asked.
“Why have no one done this before?”
“Yeah. Everyone has an idea of who they are. Why aren’t they all connecting like I am?”
“Maybe those ideas aren’t strong enough. I mean – there’s not loads of people in the cafe.”
“But it’s such an obvious thing. And – if I can attach myself to you, know what you know, see what you see. It could change everything.”
“Ramona… I don’t know if that’s such a great plan.”
“Why? We could pull the wall down. It wouldn’t be ideas walking around there, or us here. It would be different. And – look, no one knows what happens now. It’s different. It’s all blank. It’s… It’s like an idea tree before it grows.”
Ramona sat and thought, and focused.
“GET AWAY FROM ME”
Ramona opened her eyes.
“I’m warning you! Give her back?”
“Oh, Steve. There’s no possession going on here. Look. Buy me breakfast and I’ll tell you everything.”
The place doesn’t matter. Neither do the people. Not really. What matters are the actions:
A fridge opens. A hand reaches for an egg.
There’s a fumbling attempt to catch it, but it fails.
And there’s a pause.
A moment of distraction.
A pair of eyes starting at yolk and shell.
A moment of focus.
Minutes slip by.
Someone comes in.
A question: ‘Hey, you ok?”
An answer. “Yeah…I have this idea…”
The final photo has been provided by Lorna Andrikopoulos.