Soft grass against your back, and a cool breeze massaging your body. Staring upwards, the deep black weighs upon you. A light sprinkling of glowing points brims your view, blinking and flickering like a million candles burning away in a dark autumn landscape.
"I'm glad you get to be here, with me," you say.
"In what way?"
"To watch the stars like this, y'know? I like it out here, but it can feel quite lonely."
"Lonely?" your friend enquires, turning their head slightly towards you.
"All these stars," you explain. "So many of them. How many peta-, exa-, zettametres between us and up there?"
They say nothing.
"I get scared," you continue, "I don't know. You might leave." You turn your head to face theirs. "Maybe you'll get angry at me or something, or disappointed, or find someone better.
"Maybe I'll be alone here. I feel like no one will miss me if I go. Or that I don't have a greater potential. Or that I do, and I've missed that opportunity, and that I'm now just living out my life far behind everyone else."
A long pause, highlighted only by crickets and your heavy breathing.
"But, who are you?"
Confusion. "I...I'm me," you respond, uncertain.
"Who are you?" they repeated.
"I'm someone who lives here, on--"
"No," they interject. "You are much more than what you think you are."
"I'll ask you something, where are you?" they query.
"I'm here, next to you."
"No, where are you? Can you draw a line for me?"
You pause and extend your arm out to pat at their side. "That's you," you say, before bringing your hand back. "This is me."
"How do you know that?"
"Because I am...because I'm my body."
"But I am made of the same stuff as you."
"But I can't see what you're seeing. Feel what you feel."
"Maybe not now, no," they say. "But maybe you already have. Or maybe you will, sometime."
You pause again.
"Perhaps you draw lines, but the universe doesn't. The universe has no lines. The universe does not draw borders between nations, it does not categorise vegetables and fruits, it does not name the colours."
"But those things still exist."
"And they do, and only do they exist," they added. "And you, you are not separate from anything. Only you draw lines."
"So, I'm, like, omnipresent?" you ask, half-jokingly.
"Omnipresent. Omnipotent. Everything. The universe. You are the universe. No lines between you or the grass here, or that planet far, far away, or those stars, or that galaxy over there."
"But I don't feel that."
"You don't think you feel it," they said, "but it's true, and you do it all the time. You know many things you are not aware of yet. You don't know how to beat your heart, but you do it. Nor do you know how to translate the photons in your eye into the image in front of you. You don't know how to shine the stars, or waltz planets about their suns, or make the rain fall. But you continue to do all those things.
"And you experience yourself all through the eyes of different people, one at a time, cycling birth and death, experiencing a different part every time.
"And so you are the night, and so you are the day. And so you are the vast deserts, and the sweeping hills, the towering forests. And so you are the hot furnaces in the sky that burn, or the twenty-five exametres between our two homeworlds, or the ship that crossed that gap those four hundred years ago. And so you were the man who lived in a cave those thousands of years ago, the stream that fed him, or the bright green trees that filtered crisp summer light that shone upon him."
"And so this corner of you said, thank you for being here for me."
They finished their words with a soft voice as you continue to gaze back into the glimmering sky.