A curious, experimental piece, partly born of a dream of mine and of a literary interpretation of the album The City, by Vangelis.
Each paragraph corresponds to one of the tracks, that go like this: 1) Dawn; 2) Morning Papers; 3) Nerve Centre; 4) Side Streets; 5) Good to See You; 6) Twilight; 7) Red Lights; and 8) Procession; Ligeia is one of the Sirens in Greek Mythology. You are free to interpret the concept of The Rapture she’s creating in any way you wish.
Solomon Burke stood by the bedroom window, adrift in the conflagration of colors that filled the sky. He should have been sleeping instead of daydreaming at the break of dawn, yet he couldn’t. He had heard Her sing for the first time a few hours ago and wanted more. Silently, the jealous sun looked down.
Following a ritual, he glanced at the morning’s headlines whilst preparing breakfast, only to be as disappointed as ever. Both the written world and the digital frontier focused solely on the thriving miseries, relegating beauty and awe to ghostly footnotes of no man’s land. He remembered Her voice, the honeyed promise of love, and sighed.
Stepping out into the real world was always fastidious, a chore that gave the word “epic” a bad name. He hated the pulsating hustle-bustle and the disharmony of trembling jackhammers and speeding car horns. Why couldn’t the sounds of nervous progress be more like the cadence of Her smile, the rhythmic dance of Her hands?
It was so easy to get lost on the way to the office, roaming the scattered alleys in search of his true self. Solomon believed he had caught a glimpse of it reflected in Her eyes as She sang, a lateral thought gaining relevance like no other. Leaving the streets behind, he tried to work.
He saw Her again around lunchtime, an unexpected surprise that made his heart skip a beat. She had very little to say, although one sentence resonated deeply inside his mind. “I know what emptiness feels like, but worry not. Things will change, soon.” And then, she left, his post-modern Ligeia with a heart of gold.
As the sky became ablaze only to deliquesce into purple hues afterward, something stirred in the distance, the hum of a memory or the memory of a hum coming forth. At first, he thought he was only imagining the sound but, when others all around began to listen too, he knew. She was singing again.
Solomon stepped out into the open with bated breath. Not only he could hear the ancient melody, but also see it spreading all around. All the noises of before had vanished, awash in stillness, an iridescent haze. Streets signs and traffic lights languished meaninglessly, for the rules that governed them no longer made sense.
As the song grew louder, stronger, its echoes merged with the spirit of the city and replaced the threnody of concrete with the vibrant effulgence of Life. One by one, people abandoned their homes and cars to follow Her call. Yes, things were going to change. He picked up the pace and joined the rapture.