I stand outside in my back garden. I have a glass of whiskey, it is warm from being held in my hand whilst I sat inside watching the night through the patio doors from the warm comfort of my sofa. The night sky is black crystal, perfectly clear, and yet impenetrable, the abyssal darkness broken only by the pricks of light showing the position of another sun millions of years ago.
I breath in deeply through my nose, smelling the sweet aroma of the whiskey, the cold of the night air sharp in my nostrils, carried deep into the back of my throat. As I breath out through my mouth, the fog of my breath surrounds me, floating, thinning, ethereal. My ears strain, picking up every sound. The distant cars, the gently musical rhythm of the trains on the other side of town, the sound travelling for miles on the cold, still night air.
I sit on the bench, looking upward, seeing the infinity above me. Feeling small. Insignificant. Awed. Overcome by the beauty of the spectacle. I try to count the stars, but give up, it’s too hard from the earth. One must be up there to get the true count, and must have an infinite number of lifetimes in which to do so. I shut my eyes, and will it so. I feel myself leaving my body, floating slowly above myself, looking with interest at the inanimate object slumped on the bench. I see the breath fogging around my head, and the gentle rise and fall of my chest in the still, silent night.
I turn my gaze toward the sky, willing myself to be there. I accelerate, smoothly but rapidly until I am many miles about the earth, the land below me is a mass of lights. Pin pricks in the darkness of the earth night, echoing the stars floating in the sky above.
Faster, faster, I burn through the sky like a comet, a trail of hot sparks following in my wake as I rocket to the cosmos, until suddenly, I am free, I am floating.
I lay on my back, facing out into the universe, my back toward the earth, resting on the cushion of clouds many miles below. I’m no longer cold, my breath no longer fogs around my head, there is just me, and the stars. I am one of them, a bright, shining object in the night sky. I take my place in the constellations with my fellow astral bodies, and begin my count.