I exit from a fold in cranial space and witness the birth of a new planet. Sprawled on cold ash, I discern multiple towering pillars interspersed in every direction up to the nearby curvatures of this ashen body. With trouble, I raise myself and try to achieve stable footing over shifting mounds of ash. Looking closer, I take these pillars to be sentient projections, as they idly bob in place, tree-like, each one of them holding their own cigarette with a wispy appendage. Ashes from lit tips are seized by the microplanet’s gravitational pull and come to rest on the surface. They were calling out to each other in low, wobbly frequencies—or perhaps the sounds they emitted were merely a consequence of their existence. Their lack of faces gave no insight into their—
(Look at me. One second away from home and already I’m throwing human qualities at everything I see. How more human could I be, seeking to colonize all of space with my bias. But I’m trapped in this parenthetical and the locks are sealed too tight. Someone save me from my own lengua!)
There was once a metallic smoking area sign fated to roam the depths of space till the heat death takes us all. Not many knew of this smoking area sign and those who actively told of its legend were the first ones to lust after it. They say it passes through wormholes and unpredictably appears in any given point in timespace. There are those who have been lucky enough to have caught sight of it while on a leisurely spacetrip. Others happened upon it by chance without prior knowledge of the legend. Soon, The Followers of the Sign had developed a system reliable enough to track down the sign’s precise location, to everyone’s convenience. Passing smokers sought refuge with this sign. For some, it was a rite of passage. For others, it was the perfect date spot. Smokers have come and gone, leaving their mark on this designated smoking area. Year after year, the ashes revolved around the sign until, finally, the swirling mass grew dense enough to pull every particle toward each other, and toward the center. That is not the end of the tale, however, for new planets must inevitably usher in new life.
I gaze upward, in awe at the sentient projections, wondering what their parentheticals are like, too shy to bum a stick.