Upon opening his eyes, he wanted coffee. What had woken him wasn’t clear, but his eyes felt strange. Sleep must still be clinging to them. Everything looked blurry. So he made his way to the kitchen and turned on the coffee. He tried rubbing the sleep out of his eyes to no avail. Giving up, he just grabbed a mug for the coffee.
Immediately, images began flashing before him. The lines around the mug – the blurriness – resolved into a scene, his ex purchasing the mug, wrapping it, and giving it to him several years ago. He expected – no ‘expect’ is the wrong word – he thought the images would end there. Instead, the scene continued to play out: the next year of their relationship, the messy break up, his move into this place.
He found himself hoping the mug would show him what happened to her. As if in response, the display shifted to her. She spent several unhappy months before meeting someone. Not wanting to see it, he skipped through their courtship. Their wedding followed, as did scenes from their marriage. She was unhappy and trapped.
The coffee maker beeped to signal it had finished. He let go of the mug and looked at the machine. The images vanished, but more lines surrounded the coffee maker. Now he recognized them as holding potential, the promise or threat of revealing the history of people involved with the item. Having understood them, he found it easier to see them and ignore them, reducing the blur.
What did any of this mean? What was happening to him? He found himself reluctant to touch anything for fear of what it might show him. And yet, the possibilities were fascinating. Perhaps he could help solve crimes, or even uncover forgotten treasure. What might different objects reveal?
A thought arose, and he quickly went to the closet, the coffee forgotten. Inside the closet was the blanket knitted for him by his mother years earlier. He clutched it close to him and sat on the floor.
He watched as she knitted the blanket over months and then gave it to him on his birthday. He felt a measure of joy at seeing her smile again. The joy turned to sorrow as he watched the cancer consume her once more, tears welling up as the funeral unfolded. But he pushed on. Rather than follow his own history with the blanket, he switched the vision to his mother’s story, just before her death, and followed it beyond.
Days later, he was found sitting, still clutching the blanket and staring blankly. Alive, but unresponsive, they took him to a hospital where he received care. But his stare never wavered, and he never spoke to another person again.
It is almost as if his life literally flashed before his eyes. Great flash!