The vortex was like a cigarette burn through the fabric of space itself. It was difficult to reckon where the vortex was headed, but it appeared as though a bright, blinding explosion had lacerated the skin of our galaxy. A thin coat of deep blue shielded the white-hot vortex core. From there, the vortex curved elegantly outward as gaunt lightning streaks illuminated the charcoal skyline. The vortex didn't make any noise and yet I could hear the cries calling out from the other side. This whirling ball of searing energy was a welcome boon for such a grim and gruesome day. An acidic Brooklyn tempest was suspended within nauseous storm clouds. The surrounding back alleys and brownstones had all but eroded overtime, not least my own humble abode. On days like these, there's no motivation to do anything or be anyone. You feel as though you've slipped into an antique black-and-white photograph of an English industrial town. But the vortex was trying to rescue me. The vortex had no interest in taking my money or breaking down my sense of self-worth—already I preferred living in the vortex to living in New York City. I was acutely aware, as I was watching the vortex, that my computer was calling me. There were important messages aplenty to consider. Facebook, that overcrowded, self-righteous dinner party that feels like it's never going to end, was squawking loudly to remind me about a lacemaking event to which I had yet to RSVP. Then there was the carousel of messaging apps pinging mercilessly in my ears like a conga line of shrunken Range Rover alarms lodged into my ear canal. This was because my boss had concocted yet another brilliant adjunct idea for the next big project that would one day finally make us rich; then I had to see somebody about picking up two urns to be transported across three independent nations, and meanwhile, it seemed as though my student loan people hadn't taken to my proposed payment plan of one dollar for every full pregnancy term. These were all doors I needed to slam. It seemed I would always be plugged into the matrix with or without the hardware keeping me bound. If I step into the vortex, I thought, will I find somebody who can carve my head open and remove the chip that keeps me logged in at all times? For the life of me, I can never work out when or why I decided to acclimate myself to the sardonic clamor of social media. Already I felt more connected to the vortex. Rather than forcibly plugging itself into my sockets, the vortex was politely asking if it could plug into me. It was a consensual connection I craved, you see. For starters, I preferred the music of the vortex: from somewhere beyond, a symphony was weaving itself onto my brain like spastic polygraph needles recording the cosmic sound waves of the vortex. I wondered if there was some way I could find out what was beyond the vortex without taking any sort of risk with my life whatsoever. That's why I turned back to the computer. I knew I had to find somebody who had risked a vortex adventure before me. I think I can remember a time when I would've been forced to find out the answer on my own. I'm well aware that I didn't always have such easy access to knowledge. The risk would have been unavoidable and could have changed the course of my life. But in the twenty-first century, it's much easier to live without living. I believe I was a click or two away from the information I desired when a wave of hunger came over me. Suddenly I could no longer recollect my last meal. It could have been within the past five minutes or it could have been five days ago. I could barely turn my head. I felt like somebody had shoved a vacuum cleaner into me and sucked out all the nutrients therein. It felt unbearable. As I groaned for sustenance, my gaze turned back to the vortex. The hunger passed. The cobwebs in my brain had blown apart like a dandelion flower dissipating in a gentle breeze. I felt awake, alert, and invigorated. But how? Had my fascination with the vortex distracted me from my cravings, or had the vortex telepathically transported the nourishment I needed from somewhere on the other side of the universe? If this was how the vortex could make me feel then imagine how it could make think, learn, and write? There was no doubting my desires—the vortex had won me back and I no longer felt apart of this world.
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