Today was one of those Autumn evenings in the big city when the sun is standing on the horizon yet it shines weakly. Bright, but without warmth. On the streets and in the shadow of the building the fresh, cool breeze penetrated strongly while the rays of sunlight on the skin seemed burning hot. Nevon and his colleagues left the office building saying goodbye to each other. Tired, yet friendly.
»Today was another day. Well, see you tomorrow.« Then Nevon set off straight home without thinking about it, simply leaving a hard day behind.
For someone who grew up in the ghetto, he has achieved a lot. Both worlds are brutal in their own way. The ghetto, as we know it from the movies, is even harmlessly described comparable to what he experienced himself. While at his job at the bank he has to prove himself day by day. Nevon doesn’t complain. He knows that fate, or whatever it is, meant well with him and gave him a look that makes working between mostly white people easier. He simply looks likeable and sociable, even when he is in a bad mood. Fortunately, he does not have to pretend. He is usually in a good mood and he is grateful for what he has. When he thinks about it, he feels comfortable between whites. Everything works out so well with his colleagues that he no longer perceives any border between the two worlds he lives in.
Nevon muttered to himself: »I still have something to get, but I don’t want to go far. The day was too exhausting for that.« Meanwhile, he looked around for a supermarket. He just felt tired and for a moment he unconsciously faded out everything around him. He turned around several times on his own axis while he looked around in the densely developed city center. He was tired and somehow desperate until he reached the bicycle path, although he failed to notice this. A cyclist passed by noticed the scattered Nevon a few feet ahead and began to ring his bell wildly, effectively rousing him from his thoughts. He was still able to dodge him by a hairs breath; instead upsetting his balance causing him to slip off the curb and into the busy street.
As soon as he reached the street a massive SUV hit the unlucky man while the heavy vehicle attempted to brake. Nevon’s chest hit the hood with an audible crunch. You could see his bones giving way to the impact as he bent over the car body like a scarf. A millisecond later Nevon was flying backwards, landing a few meters up the road. Some people who observed this shouted briefly, or with a frightened face asked themselves loudly: »Is he still alive? It would be impossible for him to survive that impact!«
Still conscious, covered in blood and completely broken, Nevon looked at the curb in front of him without being able to move his head or body. Only his eyes did not stop, otherwise even his thoughts were frozen to him. It only lasted a moment, during which he did not even feel his body. Little by little everything around him became dark and silent. He could not hear or feel anything anymore. Yet, somehow, his thoughts did not stop. He hadn’t fainted, nor had he died. He was still conscious.
Thoughts flitted through his mind: »It is said that the brain remains alive for a few minutes after death and that the time passes as if in slow motion. Am I still lying on the street? I can’t feel my body anymore. It doesn’t feel like general anesthesia when thinking really stops. I can’t be dead. I see, hear, and feel nothing. The accident was too violent to survive, but why don’t I stop existing or see that fabled light at the end of the tunnel? Why don’t my thoughts stop? Wait, I only remember what I did today. But before that? Are my memories only what was in the RAM? Now I tell jokes? Obviously I still remember what a joke is.«
It took some time while nothing happened. This deep silence, impenetrable darkness, and Nevon thought further: »This is, perhaps, the reason why injured people are urged not to fall asleep. There is no feeling or reason telling me to think or do something. At some point you would just stop making yourself noticeable even if you were not dead. Am I in a coma? Without contact with the outside world, or any sensations, it wouldn’t be necessary to do something any longer. You will practically cease to exist. As if the time would stand still. How long have I been lying here? Have only minutes passed?«
»Life is a journey and not a goal. If the goal is reached, you feel emotionally like here. Why do I remember that now? I didn’t hear that today; maybe there are still some memories. I just need to search for them…«
»Still this silence… I must try to stay awake, or to be more precise, not fall silent. It may be that I never start to think again if I allow myself to stop. Without new external incentives I have no choice but to repeat what I can still remember. Am I dead? Is that actually my subconscious that speaks here? I don’t feel like I am still breathing.«
»Something is different. I can hardly perceive it, but this dead silence is not like it was before. Something seems to vibrate slightly.«
The vibrations have now become stronger and clearly perceptible. Then, Nevon heard something like an electrostatic noise to the vibrations and at the same time points of light slowly appear around him. They look like a clear starry sky, yet the light points were not as far away. They were close in proximity and Nevon seemed to be in the middle. The points of light were small, chaotic as arranged in the sky. At the same time they were far enough apart so that you could look past them and see that the points of light floated like colored clouds on the horizon. The colors were pale and emitted hardly any light. They looked somehow dull, but because there were so many, the darkness brightened as far as the eye could see.
After the noise and the appearance of the lights Nevon was amazed, whispering to himself: »Now that I look more closely I can say that the light points have different color and intensity. Even different sizes. The light points can be assigned to a particular color, depending on location. As if several clouds were next to each other, each a different color. The colors are pale, but the large cluster of color is easy to see. The light points there are dark orange, light orange, orange, reddish, or yellowish orange. Next to it play out the same colors, but in blue. The color change between them is not gradient, but clear. It looks so beautiful. But what kind of noise is that? It sounds like a soft noise on the radio; but it can also be voices, or many everyday noises all at once.«
Nevon looked around and noticed that his position was exactly between two color clouds.
»This is nice. The lights are light blue on the right and light pink on the left. What does that mean?«
As he asked himself, Nevon noticed that the points of light he could see most clearly somehow pulsated in color nuances and intensity. Sometimes a slight back and forth jump, or vibration, could be seen.
»Wait. Does my position also look like a flickering point of light to the others? Does my place shine or is it me?«
»Has my subconscious literally gone to heaven now? But why the color differences between the light point clouds? Are these people? That can’t be. Those are far too few light points that can be assigned to a color.« Nevon had hardly finished the thought when the noise and lights began to lose their luminosity. This time faster than they had appeared, they moved away. The slight vibration was now noticeable again, but also disappeared faster than it had the first time. As soon as everything was silent again Nevon began to slowly feel his body and the crashing waves of pain that came with it. He could no longer feel his calf and foot, but the pain in his left knees let him guess what had happened.
»Oh, that is unbearable. But, at least I am not dead«, he joked through the pain. The strong pain in his knees brought Nevon to consciousness quickly, but the cold around him was much more unbearable. He slowly opened his eyes and the first thing he saw was the beautiful sunset.
»Then why is it so cold here? Have I been lying on the ground for a long time? And this intense pain. How bad am I actually hurt?«, his inner monologue continues.
The sun just went down to his left from the horizon. To his right, not far away, was a very steep rock face, about five thousand meters high. That was terrifying. To his left, far away, the same rock face was clearly visible. A kind of long deep grove in the Earth’s surface was this, about fifteen to twenty kilometers wide, as far as the eye could see with Nevon lying in the deep canyon. The evening sun, which seemed to be too big, was about to disappear from the horizon above the left rock face in the distance. The really lava red sunset was still temporarily bathed the grass not far from him. It was a spectacle. The grass looked deep green and the reddish sunlight was bright, while not bright enough to illuminate the surroundings or the dark blue, almost violet sky. As if you could look unprotected into outer space. A thin stream of fog restlessly covered the still warm grass stemming from the cold air coming down from above along the rock face. Strange, but beautiful scenery. He became very cold. The cold air from above flowed noticeably on Nevon’s face, yet right above him on a rock pulpit the trees were still bathed in the picturesque red evening light.
»It shouldn’t be so cold down here. Where am I actually?«
The place where Nevon lay was a spacious, flat place not far from the right rock face. On the expansive meadow many pigs were to be seen. Apparently a pig breeding farm. Yet something was off. The pigs he could see most clearly did not have few light hairs; rather they were coated in a dense fur. Everything held a familiarity to it and yet is wasn’t quite right. Plants, pigs, even the sunlight. It was as if someone had tried their best to create an Earth they knew little about. Different and yet close to home.
»I am certainly still in shock. It makes no sense what I see here. I should be dead and everything hurts.«
Nevon looked at his legs, yet both knees were unhurt. He ran his hands over his whole body only to realize that his head was covered in blood. He was lying in a pool of blood. He couldn’t remember anything. He could speak and realized that the pigs looked kind of weird, but he couldn’t say exactly what was going on. He also couldn’t remember how he had gotten there. The only memories were what he had seen since waking up, and yes, he remembered the clouds of light and only vaguely about his accident. But as he looked more closely at his body in the weak light, as it was already getting darker, he was amazed to find that his skin was white. Nevon fell back in confusion.
»What is wrong with my mind? I know I was black before, yet now I am white. Why don’t I notice the difference?«
Once the shock had subsided Nevon looked around him again. Not far away from him he saw two people lying on the dirt. Nevon slowly got up, his legs seemed to be unhurt despite the pain. He didn’t even look at his knees anymore as he slowly approached the two men lying on the ground. There was no grass where the bodies lay. The ground was trampled down by the pigs here as well as in other places. The two did not stir as they lay with their faces in the dust. They could no longer be alive and both bodies were coated in blood. Since it got quite dark in the meantime he could no longer recognize anything. Nevon made a point not to come any closer. He didn’t know the people and any intrusion on his part would only bring trouble, contaminating the crime scene.
»Thank you, crime movies. Why am I thinking about the cinema? Why am I even here and in this situation?«
Suddenly the large area was flooded with light, and in the distance you could see pigs eating on huge screens. The corresponding noises could also be heard throughout the valley. The many pigs in the valley now ran chaotically and gathered for dinner. Obviously this was a pig farm, with everything that belongs to it: dirt and stench. Only the Pavlov concept was unusual. Nevon made his way to where the light was brightest, hoping to get help. The longer he walked the dizzier he became. After a short time he could see how the farm workers were taking care of their work. Now, in the light you could recognize that his clothes were smeared with blood and he had a head wound. Soon the workers noticed Nevon and hurried toward him while they talked excitedly. Nevon didn’t understand what they were saying, but he felt too tired after the effort and his senses slowly fogged. He felt relived, fell to his knees, and closed his eyes. He could no longer grasp clear thoughts and let himself fall tiredly into the hands of the helper. A noise gradually drowned out the workers, almost waking him from the unclear thought. The noise resembled a helicopter, albeit a little too quiet. The swirling air forced him to open his eyes, but he could see nothing clearly.
»This must be a helicopter and I’m finally being taken to a hospital.« He felt only how he was put on a stretcher and flew away in the aircraft. On the way Nevon fell into a deep sleep.