I found myself lost in an epic stare, drinking in the mosaic pattern in the tile floor beneath my feet. Smiling at the images which emerge; the secret ones, the ones hidden from the rest of the world. My eyes see one thing, but my mind sees another. The pictures keeping coming to me, one more clearly than the previous. I start to lose substance and begin to blend into the landscape created by my mind. I see a Bengal tiger in all of its beauty, orange and black, full of strength and power, slinking across the barren grasslands. A native man stands behind a brightly decorated shield holding a long thin spear. His skin is glistening with sweat and his breathing is shallow. His eyes twitch every time the tiger moves. The tiger knows this and every so often abruptly moves for no reason, simply to get a reaction from the man. I am not an expert on wild animals, either real or imagined. But I think this is the first tiger I have ever observed who had a sense of humor. I stare at the floor watching the two adversaries stare at each other for hours, neither moving too much, simply watching one another. Man against beast, or is it beast against man? Either way, there will be no combat today; simply getting to know one another. Across the plain a small village sleeps. The last embers of a cooking fire silently smolder and die out, almost surviving the night. A single barren tree bends, but never breaks as the winds whip through its branches. Shadows that once covered the ground creep into their resting places as the night gently gives up her grip on the rocks and grass. The sun has begun its daily journey far in the background of the tiny village. A single golden ray splits the horizon like a knife; glowing and heavenly. It is nearly blinding and one not dare to stare at it directly. My shadowy self is forced to shield my eyes, even though I’m not really there…or am I? As I said earlier, I can see things in this floor that no one else can see. Or perhaps I only think that I’m the only one who can see these magnificent sights. In my mind a question forms which quickly divides once, then again and again. Maybe the dwellers of the village were tucked in their huts watching me as I surveyed their lands. Perhaps the hunter stood his ground as he waited for me to make the kill. Was the sun really shining or was it just a reflection? Perhaps the dying embers were actually the moment when the flames took their first taste of the wood. Or is the mosaic tile my adversary and we are just beginning to know one another?
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