Perception is a port on the river of Denial. There's a tavern there called Maya that I know well.
One too many of the barmaid's special cocktails and next thing I know, I'm on the casino boat playing blackjack with the boy with old man eyes who is drunk, and muttering to himself.
He's a lot like me when I get in one of my moods.
The cards always seem to favor the boy, but I continue to play and continue to lose. When my chips have run out, I retreat to the deck for a smoke.
An older woman approaches me and says
"I'll tell you your future if you give me one of your cigarettes"
I'm a cynic, but I recognize crazy when I see it. I hand her a smoke from the crumpled pack in my purse.
She lights it from a lighter that looks as old as she is, and draws a long thoughtful drag.
Why does she look familiar to me?
"You need to get off the river or it will be your undoing. Stay out of that bar, and stop gambling with the boys. They will always beat you. Perception is your safest best."
She nodded, smiled with a grin of crooked stained teeth and wandered back toward the casino.
The old woman had a point.
I've been riding this river for too long, and have spent my too many years of my life gambling against opponents I thought I could somehow outsmart.
Perception has many rooming houses with lovely picture windows overlooking the river or the tavern, but some face the east which has no view to speak of. It's been said that the east facing rooms are the most desirable because they don't draw the roomer back to life drifting on the river.
Most dreamers choose the rooms that face the river or tavern views because it's easier to face Denial or Maya than it is to face a less glamorous Perception.
To tell the truth, I'm rather fond of Maya even though I know it always leads me to Denial.
I've met some interesting travelers, and together we've floated up and down the blue river being tossed against the rocks a few times, been thrown off a few boats, and have weathered some intense storms.
However, I think it's time that I give one of those austere Perception rooms a try. I hear that on a clear night you can see the lights from the distant town of New Perspective.