Nihilism, then a little symbolism (Guest-starring: Black Adam!)

“Yeah sure go ahead,” I tell her in response without really looking her in the eyes. “You go and shower first.”
I´m laying back on the couch wearing shorts, no shirt or shoes, leafing over a comic book without too much interest or attention: Captain Atom is rallying the supermen of America against alien invaders hellbent on destroying the planet, that kind of kiddie crap, just another day at the office.
The aliens swarm in and destroy Australia or something. I take my time and wait.

It´s much later when I get back to the bedroom after taking a quick shower, and she´s lying semi-naked, fast asleep on my bed in the dark. I turn on the air-conditioner, fix the spare mattress on the carpet by the bed and stand there for a minute or two not really knowing what to do, or feel, next.
I close my eyes, pinch the bridge of my nose between thumb and index finger, and it´s like the whole world comes weighing down on my shoulders: I bow down, stare at my own toes as if seeking to extract some hidden knowledge from them or a reason to carry on, and find nothing instead.

"You have the right to work, but only for work´s own sake,” I whisper to no one but myself, recalling a verse from some holy Hindu scripture or another: The Bhagavad Gita or something like that, however it´s damned spelled. “You have no rights to the results of your own work.”
I get to repeat those lines some ten or fifteen times over like a mantra despite having no credo, belief or religion whatsoever. I´m not entirely sure why I get to do it just then, like that, but it helps me focus anyhow.

I pick up the bedspread by the floor just by the bed and gently slip it over the girl who starts shivering because of the cold.
I get to do that because it seemed the right thing to do—I´d just assumed that´s what regular people would do, see, and pretty much followed suit.

I was called a goldfish the other day, see—I was like riding in this car with a couple of friends over the weekend, we were going over to the hospital to see M.´s newborn son, and they told me I had the exact same emotions and ability to relate to people as some goldfish does:

They got a kick out of watching me trying to hold the baby at the hospital. I pretended to understand the whole thing just a little and smile even though little of it actually made any sense to me. I was kind of happy for the couple though, because they´re like, really nice people and stuff.

“You can´t really go on living on this nihilistic void like that, man,” I was told. I found it a little funny that it sounded sort of redundant but turned my mind to this Def Leppard song playing on the car stereo, and never really gave any of it a second thought.

I had a dream that night.
I dreamed of this girl from the office, totally unrelated to this other girl I´ve just been with—I´m sort of into her and that kind of stuff even though nothing´s really happened yet. I´ve been kind of toying with the idea of asking her out.
I don´t know.

So, in my dream she was with this Arabic-looking guy by her side: It was a comic book character, Theo Adam, who´s the human host for the spirit of this dude from Ancient Egypt or thereabouts called Teth Adam. When Teth, or Theo, cries Shazam, he´s like hit by this magic thunderbolt and becomes the world´s mightiest mortal, Black Adam. He´s this Captain Marvel foe from 1945 even though he´s been getting plenty of screentime still.

So there she was, green eyes behind thick glasses and the Mona Lisa smile that kills me at every Good Morning on weekdays, Mon-to-Fri. He had his arms around her and she, hers around him. I asked if they were going out, he said Yes, they´d met over at some superhero wedding or something, which didn´t really make much sense to me, not that I really cared.
I got sort of pissed because I´ve kind of called dibs on the girl at the office so it was pretty rude from his part to move in on her like that. But what can you do, guy´s probably stronger than Superman himself—What´s a boy to do, then?

But then it clicked: F*cking Theo Adam. Not Teth, not Black. But Theo Adam: The placeholder. That´s my mind playing tricks on me, I assumed. Meaning of dreams and all that jazz.
“You´re a vessel here, a placeholder,” I told Theo. “This is a dream and you´re standing in for something.”

“You´re good, I´ll give you that,” he said and held the girl closer. “But you´re not that good.”

“Hey dude,” I smirked. “Like, that´s the Wisdom of Solomon talking!”

“No. That´s Captain Marvel´s and you should know that by heart,” he replied. “My wisdom comes from the Egyptian pantheon. It´s the Wisdom of Zehuti.”

“Or of Thoth,” said the girl with an uncharacteristic lisping ´S´, snakelike, as she pointed to a full moon over our heads. “If names and words matter so much to you.”
I was unsure whether she´d meant thought or the deity itself, but in hindsight it was probably really just a pun.

I scratched my head and looked to the lunar disk above: “Thoth. The moon. That´s some... female iconography you guys got going in here, eh?”

They said nothing and pulled each other´s body tighter against themselves , then brought their lips together as actors about to kiss at the movies. They lisped an ´S´ as they told each other either Thoth or Thought, or both at once, and I realized their bodies started looking like two snakes intertwining around each other, just like in a caduceus: Thoth and Hermes.

I woke up just before understanding the whole thing, shook my head and crawled up from my mattress on the ground, and went for a glass of water. When I got back to the bedroom, I noticed the girl no longer had the bedspread over her body.

I did nothing and left it on the carpet this time around though, and went back to sleep anyhow.