What is it you need? For you to remember? Can you? Do you even bother? Or is it still just a vague clump of stars? Once upon a time they meant something. Once upon a time they were a memory.
But what is that, really? He says this to the void but it doesn’t answer because the void can’t hear.
She tries to understand this, but the voice on the other end of the phone has long gone silent. She thinks the phone is dead and hangs up with a sigh. This isn’t what she’d dreamt of as an innocent girl who was still full of hopes and dreams. To her, back then, the world was an enchanted place filled with magic and wonder.
It’s her tears that miss those days the most. They paint their wistfulness on her face in angry lines. They have the answers to all the questions she or anyone has ever had. But nobody asks them because that’s the greatest secret of the universe.
If we didn’t ignore it, it wouldn’t be a secret anymore.
I know this, so stop screaming at me! He screams and the hollow walls of an alley scream it back to him. Things could end up with a knife in the back and a stain on the cement. But that’s not the way of things. Not now, not tonight. Tonight he loses his wallet somewhere between the bar and the taxicab. Later, he thinks the pretty woman he was desperately hoping to screw stole it from him.
He’ll never know she was really a man who only ever wanted to feel like his mother would feel those nights she got dressed up to go out dancing. On those nights she didn’t come home until really late. And sometimes she came home with strange men who stank like his daddy used to all the time. And sometimes she didn’t come home at all.
But that’s the story of a lot of mothers.
Yeah, but that doesn’t make it right. She tells him this matter of factly because she’s tired of hearing his excuses and lies. I wish- Sadly, she can’t finish. She forgot what that means, what it really means.
There are young and excited eyes squeezed tightly shut. Even so, she can still see the dancing red outlines of puny candle flames. She wishes so hard, she wants this one thing more than anything she’s ever wanted before in her whole life and if she gets it she promises she’ll be real good and brush her teeth every night and morning and not pull her little sister’s hair anymore and she’ll pray every night and she goes on and on. She makes it real. She believes she will have it. And why shouldn’t she? Suddenly, bright blue eyes, deep like the lazy summer sky burst open and a large and dramatic breath is taken in before—she exhales and all her wishes come true.
But she doesn’t remember things like that, not anymore. He tells this to his strictest confidant. His oldest friend. But the void doesn’t listen, because it can’t speak.
Somewhere, when God mumbles, there is thunder. Somewhere, when God screams, the wind rips apart the very fabrics of our silken reality. Somewhere, when God smiles, light parts the clouds and illuminates the skies with a subtle narcissism. Somewhere, there is a rainbow. But no one has the balls to go over it. That’s the story, the legend, the scientific fact.
I guess I’ve always had an overactive imagination. He confesses this honestly and openly. But the void doesn’t ponder the point. Because it opts not to think. And it doesn’t care if you get too tired to go on. That’s the point I suppose. Another big secret of the universe for everyone to ignore.
There, I told you. I gave you all the information you need to make yourself an enlightened being. But what does that really mean? I’m saying, when we get down to the brass tax, do you (being inherently human or otherwise and thus inherently flawed) have what it takes to master it?
I smell the cigarette smoke as it singes my nostrils with eye watering proficiency. They sing their thanks to Jesus. Now, eyes water for a different reason.
It’s his tears that remember. That really remember what it was like. And he let’s them just wash it all away. He lets them escape into oblivion…into the void…and never gives it a second thought. Who deserves anymore chances?
Let’s just throw them all to the hells. Those nasty irredeemable pestilential souls. Let’s kick every last one of them to hell’s tropical and romantic resort of unending fiery torment. First Class, baby. Just like you always wanted. That’ll make the Christians happy. That way they can finally give the world a big:
I TOLD YOU SO!
She can’t remember the last time she felt so good. She can’t recall the last time that life was translated with an esoteric caress. Those occult kisses that stimulate the right charkas remind her body what it feels like to be desired. She laughs and hugs herself. The rain doesn’t bother her despite the chill. And everything is up in the air again.
But that’s not the point. The point is: You saw it, didn’t you? When you were younger, you saw it and it scared you shitless. Your parents told you it wasn’t real, but that didn’t matter. Because you saw it!! And if you try hard enough, you can remember just how real it was.
So I told her, Let’s get. it. on. Hell yeah I did. She didn’t expect that, neither. But I mean, she should have. I mean, she was practically begging for it. Come in the place all dolled up like that. Did you see that skirt, man? Hell yeah, is what I’m sayin. I could really dig a girl like that, man. I mean, I could really dig on her. Sumthin’, I dunno, classy or sumthin’ about a girl like that. I mean, she’s a total slut, you can tell, but she has class or style or sumthin’ man. You dig? You really dig? I could use another fuckin’ drink. I mean, I could really use another fuckin’ drink. I’ve been dry for like ten minutes or sumthin’ man. Can you believe it? Ten whole got damn minutes!
Minutes turn into eternities when confronting the mirror. He looks at himself and wonders who he is and how he came to possess this body, these thoughts, those actions. He can’t remember. He tries, but he can’t remember. Then the moment fades into absurdity.
But that’s how it’s been lately, I’m telling you. An afternoon Bloody Mary waits, untouched by lips of any sort. …It just…waits…
Then the world just seems silly. It’s like completely foolish, all of it. Everything. All the people and places and even the tiniest actions that people do. They all appear to pointless to a degree of absurdity that is pointless in attempting to describe. When that happens, I just want to sit down and go away. You know? Leave my body and just float away. It’s very lonely. This she says to the sleeping figure laying next to her. She doesn’t bother listening for an answer.
I know it’s alright already. I just like saying that. It, I don’t know, it makes me feel better being able to vent like that. You know?
It’s dead is what it is. Dead like a doornail. Whatever that means. Dead as a doornail. What the hell does that mean?
This one time, the world was spinning and it just keep turning over and over and over and over like being caught in an infinite loop-de-loop ride. That’s when I went to the desert and got scared because the void was coming to get me. And then it did get me and I was floating in it and I swam, like a little froggie in the pond, over to this beautiful face b’cuz I knowed that if I could get there, I’d get away. And then she touched me, she was an angel. She was! And when she touched me then’s when I could remember my body again. And how I knowed that she was an angel is that she brought me back. I even said so lots of times. I said; I’m back, now. I’m back. And I was just hugging the angel and hugging her and feeling so glad that I was away from the black void. B’cuz that was a scary place. Is this a child’s dream? I think so. Is this a dream to be conquered? I think so.
And somewhere, far above our conceptions of Him, God rolls over and mumbles thunderous supplications to Himself. He’ll sleep a few more minutes and then He’ll get up. Then, there will be work to do. Just 10 more tiny minutes…Then, the world will change…