It was as if he wore a special kind of glasses like the ones in the back of the comic books with the kid who can see through dresses except this wasn’t the same at all. There was nothing to look through, no physical barrier between him and the other side. They were there. They were always there. Hiding in plain sight. Portals, he sometimes called them, though he could never get his body to pass through. And he tried. He would feel blindly for some secret switch, with his fingers, grasping and probing the trunks of certain trees or in the crevices of boulders, hoping to unlock a passageway to the other side. But they would never open. They remained as he had found them, oddly alive, glowing with an aura that signified some hallowed quality he could feel with his entire being. A magnetic pull. A gravitational twinge. Something quantum, a Higgs field anomoly. He was like a song bird out over the ocean. Somehow he just knew where to head. He was like a honeybee who could see a whole new spectrum of color. He’d be out walking in the woods or in some meadow when suddenly he’d happen upon one of them. A numen, is what the old man later called them. A divine spirit trapped within a thing. A place. Sometimes there was no focal object. Sometimes there was just this gut-wrenching sense of elation, or dread. The haunted world. So much that goes unseen. The eyes of the body are just the tapping cane of the old blind soul, hurtling through the vacuum of time until the moments are undone and all the particles rejoin. Communion. That’s what he thought the numens might be saying. These were the waypoints on the journey back home. Remember. A mirror’s just a pane of glass coated with aluminum dust. Scrape off the coating and you can see clear through to the other side. Maybe that’s what they were. Another way of seeing a reflection. Mirrors. And that feeling was the pang of recognition, like a face you see for a flashing second standing on the subway platform as your train rolls through. But he could see them all the time and everywhere. Ghosts. Only they’re the ones who are living and we’re the ones who are dead. What do you call that? When the dead are haunted by the living? What word do the dead use to describe us?
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