Heavy eyelids droop as the clock strikes 3 AM. All the creativity is drained from his head, as is all his day's energy. This condition is met every night: where one is overwhelmed by the waves of sleep splashing gently on ones overworked body. Temptations of rest dance though his mind like sugar plum fairies, but the glory of rest must be put off; there is work to be done. 2 more pages must be written before Kyle can immerse himself in the theta and delta waves of deep sleep. Red, weary eyes flutter dangerously as his head hits the desk. Silence falls, but not for long. Thunder rumbles from his cavernous mouth, as a puddle of drool pools on his desk, freshly cleaned from previous procrastinating. He spirals downward into a dream...
Sirens blast like dying cats. The snooze alarm is eventually slammed as he wakes up, mildly confused in a bed full of aquatic animals. The sheets are layered with various kinds of fish, all flapping in desperation to get back to their oceanic habitat. A turtle is stuck on its back, unable to get up without the help from its bewildered bedfellow. Flounder peek out from under the mattress, and a shark lies across the bedspread. A thick, viscous liquid bleeds out of the mattress, immersing the sleeper in a gelatinous paste of plankton. His confusion is matched by his disgust, and he rushes to the bathroom to cleanse himself of all his acquired fish juices.
The door clicks locked and the bathing ritual begins. The body is presented, naked and filthy. The water is steaming, a hot spring of tranquility. The curtain is drawn, and the personal grotto is ready for action. Warm water dribbles gently down, from chest hair to stomach hair to leg hair to foot hair. It meanders, exploring the nooks and crannies of every fleshy appendage. Suds of soap cut through the goo plastered all over his dank, hairy person. An outfit of tiny bubbles is hand made, then washed away. Now comes the shampoo, reeking of a hundred soggy berries in the springtime. Gel oozes gently into his hand, and is scrubbed vigorously into the matt of tangled hair. How curious that man devise a product that works so well to detangle hair! Conditioner is the bane of knotted locks, and leaves no tie unfastened. The war on dirt is drawn to a close, victory yet again!
The curtain is redrawn and steam rushes out of the shower. Nervously he eyes the smoke alarm, putting on his jeans as quickly as he can manage while remaining upright. He breaks the seal of the bathroom, and delights in exposure to the cooler, less humid atmosphere of the room. A shirt is snatched from the clean side of the closet. Today's color is purple. The shirt conjures up images of young colts running free, with no humans to tame them. Their energy is boundless, and they run with the rising morning sun. He scratches a line through the box labeled November 4th: today is his day off, and much adventure and excitement await.
The eating ritual is the next event of the day. An apple rests on the shelf, approximately the same shade of green as the ripe banana on it's left. Kyle chuckles to himself a he recalls the previous day's excursion, which included a fruit liberation attempt, which ended in success for all involved parties. He grabs the apple vivaciously, and takes a large bite. The fruit is sweet, a delicious reprise from the more conventional Crispix cereal. The green flesh tears so perfectly, and juice dribbles forth from its luscious innards. Care is taken to avoid biting the seedy center core, for this contains not the apple's finest taste. A muffin sits provocatively in the corner, pleading for attention. It's golden color tempts the eye so; it is irresistible. The muffin is the perfect foil to the apple. It's granular texture compliments the spongy cake of the apple. The stomach gurgles in delight, appeased with it's latest offering.
Suddenly, an apparition! It is no other than the fabled Batman, Dark Knight! His mask obscures all emotion, save the expression of his angry, passionate eyes. His voice slices through the tacky Hawaiian music put on only moments earlier. His request is urgent: Kyle is to write an essay on the spotlight effect in order to learn how to restore poor Gerald's shattered confidence. He had walked out of the library with a book accidentally placed in his backpack, which set off the earsplitting alarms installed just a few days earlier. Many turned to look up at this spectacle, where Gerald felt all now held him accountable for ruining the quiet serenity of the library. However, the spotlight effect tells Gerald that others aren't paying as much attention to him as he pays himself. This leads to excessive worrying, when few are really that bothered at all by Gerald's slight disturbance.
Batman nods politely as he departs, tearing the screen from the window. With a crash like a splash cymbal, the screen impacts the ground and shatters into fragments. But this sound is not the sound of destruction, it is that of inspiration. A path begins to appear in the clouds of fog in the mind, daintily marked by golden pinpricks of sunshine. It leads to a most unusual fountain, surrounded by toadstools and glimmering beings of light. Peering into the fountain's shimmering water, one could peer into the workings of reality, into the inner structure of the soul. This realm is explored, first by imagination, then with a sitar. Few musical instruments can capture the allure of this fabled fountain of illumination like the spacey tones of a sitar. Perhaps a sarod might be able to work as well, but the sitar sits patiently in the corner. It has one desire in life, only one function: to be played, and make music that bridges from the heart of the player to the heart of the listener. Through sound, the audience and the performer are linked together, each feeding off each other's energy. The pathway is clear now, and the sitar is the perfect vessel to traverse this domain. The record button is pushed, and three hours later is set aside. The song is over, it is time to make the next logical step: invite others.
Bless the invention of texting! A mass message is sent out, requesting all musicians to journey to the land of Oak with their instruments in hand. About half respond, unusually good for a Wednesday afternoon. Of those who responded, only two have risen to the request of the messenger. The familiar curves of a guitar case are unmistakable, as are the iconic lettering on the black amp accompanying it. An accordion is no stranger to the dorm, and is unveiled by the master, who turns the awkward confusion of notes that is the instrument into a pleasing, whirlwind of sound. Together, the three instruments make music that plunges the listener into the realm of the fountain, mysterious and deep, bubbling with themes of passion and chaos. A small fish leaps from the depths of the fountain into the befuddled arms of the observer, stunned at their change in fate. The fish is taken home and grilled, its flesh the most delicious substance known in the village.
By now, it is late afternoon and the fingers are exhausted. The suggestion of a visit to the reservation across the street is proposed, considered, and agreed upon unanimously. The three set out on their expedition, dressed in their warmest attire possible. Not one, not two, but three layers of pants are worn by all. The method works great: pajama pants are worn under sweatpants are worn under jeans, making for an unusually warm, cozy outfit. Boots are strapped onto feet padded by the thickest socks in the drawer. Each student grabs a water bottle as they exit the dorm, prepared for their voyage at last.
The wind strikes them first. Blasts of cold blow bits of hair everywhere, most annoyingly into their eyes. Hoods are drawn to ward off this evil breeze. It is not enough to stop the three as they seek the riches of nature's beauty. Leaves of gold and green share the sky with leaves a bright red. Some drift lazily to the forest floor, piling upon each other into giant piles of crunchy joy. One kick can send up thousands of these natural gems, but one kick leads to many, and a delightful hour is whiled away, casting these colorful dead things into the air. They fill the sky, until there is no space left for breathing, and the three begin to suffocate. A jolt of panic rips through the happy moment and sends a wave of shock through the kickers...
Kyle bolts upright. The clock now reads 4.57 AM. There are two pages left of his essay to complete. The fish are gone, the musicians and the leaves as well. But the image of the fountain remains as strong as ever, and two hours later, the paper is finished with enough time for an attractive three hour nap. Follow your dreams, for they will lead you to greater success.