He sat in the audience, rubbing his eyes.
Why had he accepted that ticket,
he hated the theater.
When he looked up again, it seemed
the stage itself had moved farther away —
he could barely make out the actors.
He was shuffling uncomfortably in his seat
when, from behind, a dark shadow of a man
leaned down and whispered in his ear:
“I will spare your life if you can make it
to the end of the show without snoring.”
He knew the menace was meant for real.
Without turning around he forced himself
to concentrate, to focus as he had never done,
although the stage seemed even further away.
Now there was only a small black dot before him.
He placed all of his attention on that and entered in.
He found himself in an unfamiliar setting —
was he still in New York, or someplace else,
an exotic room where golden robe-clad monks
were chanting, the aroma of incense filled the air.
On a jewel-laden throne a commanding being reclined.
When he held his hand up at last in a gesture of silence,
the chanting ceased and then the Shining One spoke:
“Welcome, Friend — you have come a long way.
Please relax for a while, then return to the play!”
The man rubbed his eyes, but when he looked up again,
the production had ended — he was home in his bed.
He rose up and showered, then dressed for the day.
He made coffee and toast, and walked to the door.
An envelope had been slipped across the floor —
a theater ticket — he’d done this before!