Brock and I have the first two on lock still even though we’re old as fuck now.
Brock and I have the first two on lock still even though we’re old as fuck now.
and where there is no Echo, there is no description of space or love.
there is only silence.
how long does a life devoid of meaning last? days? hours? years?
what is worse: to lose a life of no value immediately, to die, just die, no one to weep, no mourning for the world’s perceived loss, no notable loss for the world at all, just one more body someone has to dissect and another has to bury, another notch on a to-do list is all your life and death surmount to, and the moment you’re checked off, knocked out, completed, that’s it. dunzo. you are no more.
or is it worse for all of this to happen somewhere down the line in time as you rot inside the carcass of your frame, only partially conscious of the prison that is your meaningless existence?
i suppose the former is worse, in most cases- or, at least, i like to think so.
the latter wields the possibility of impact on another’s more prominent and necessary path, even if only by accidental happenstance.
then again, the time you spend in the purgatory of uninspired existence may have a negative effect on something majestic, something poetic. you stand in line for a box of cereal at the wrong supermarket and BAM! you’ve ruined it. the guy behind you who was meant to lock eyes with the cashier, fall madly in love and begin a cataclysmic relationship of fire that ignites a revolution of thought and action across the universe, decides he doesn’t want to wait and walks to the self-checkout three aisles away, never looking back at the Love he never knew running your wheat-thins through the scanner and you’ve unwittingly deterred the most beautiful course for the world as a whole to take, simply because you chose to buy a box of cereal you didn’t want in the first place, only obtained as a way to kill time until a program you don’t even care for but watch everyday nonetheless comes on the television.
what if you ruin everything just by being there?
what if choosing to live damns the rest of the world to the purgatorial rut that you inhabit?
what if you ruin it all by simply being alive?
what if you’re the man who has the chance to meet that cashier,
if only you wait for the man ahead of you
to pass along through the world,
i wrote this tonight.
i hope you like it.
but mostly i hope you read it.
i like it.
the air spoke a soft and silent poem into my ear that night, warning me of the clouds that gathered across my path and the ominous manner with which they darkened. i called back with nothing but an unfounded beam of confidence, trying my best to hide the fear that lay behind my demeanor. nothing and no one could stop me from this. it was meant to be. tonight is the night i have dreamt of- the sole dream i have carried- for far too many years. i thought. the wind was ignorant and i would prove it so, ominous clouds or not. tonight was the night.
the concrete of the sidewalk seemed to run against my path, as what felt to be a normal pace was, at its slowest, a quick trot, and, at its climax, a frenzied sprint. bursting with an air of optimism, i fingered the savings tucked secretively into my jacket pocket, analyzing the sensation of their touch. soon it would be sunshine and rum. soon it would be cannabis and beaches. soon i would be free from the chains society wove around a once liberated man. a bohemian, a poet, nearly dead from the world’s battery, would be saved this night.
i saw the peak of a periwinkle house reach above the crimson horizon after nearly thirty minutes of walking and thumbed the hilt of my second pocketed object, checking once more that the safety was, indeed, locked in. should a senseless accidental chain of circumstantial misfortune ruin such a revolutionary plan, the past six years of inhumane degradation would have been for naught. i thought of this and cringed internally, fingering again the safety for assurance. the peak grew into a fully view-able house, and soon took over the entirety of the horizon as i stood in paralyzed ecstasy at the foot path leading to the large, periwinkle home of the human monstrosity that was my employer.
this, i knew, was it. this was my moment. this night would define the rest of my life. i thirsted to exist in this blissful preliminary hesitation of a moment for all eternity. to lie in forever with the taste of this palpitating possibility upon my tongue, soaking in the majesty of it all. i stood for a long, silent while, meditating upon what was to come. had this meditative moment never taken place, the following events would have been invalid, irrelevant, unnecessary and unsuccessful. had i not taken in the silence of his ignorance, i would have ruined it all. if i had not licked the despair from the cool autumn air, i would be nothing. N o t h i n g.
i numbered each step so as to remember them individually, care for each of their memories separately, as past lovers that held a part of me and always will, forevermore. One. soft, the grass beneath my feet. Two. so. supple. It beckons. Three. i must remove these godforsaken shoes! i must! Four-stumbled-to-Five. OhFUCKthatsgood! dig that grass. feelitdigitfeelit! from here i lost track of the numbers, enthralled in an existential infatuation with the ground below my freshly bared feet. i floated, it seemed, to the large, lighted window nearest the front doorstep. i could tell by the crisp detail in the voices that slipped through that, despite the evening’s chill, this illuminated living-room window was at least partially ajar. fate had deemed this possible. or God. but, with the nature of motive that was the night’s agenda, it was most likely a temptation from The Evil One. i felt a pull from the window as if a piece of my heart was built of an element magnetized by its proximity. closer i strode with light-footed steps of feathered toes. i could see the outlines of bodies in the window now, could clearly understand their words. there were two of them inside. i could tell that one of the bodies was my loathsome employer. perhaps by the grease that dropped from his silhouette to stain the earth, perhaps from the inescapable contradictory demeanor of self-righteous piety and complete, total moral vacancy stemming from the very same silhouette, or, perhaps still, the stench of deceit emanated by the figure. by any means, it was him. he and another. they were arguing. i would end it.
i hesitated, questioning the nobility of slaying a man in front of his company. but it mattered not, i finally decided. any man or woman with stomach enough to indulge in the grotesque act that was the existence of this creature could, unquestionably, also stomach the dramatically less detestable sight of a carcass becoming more devoid of life with each drop of blood that poured from their skin. yes. yes, this was still my time, my moment. no matter who else was there. no matter who.
i reached a hand through the veil of night broken by the light of the room and felt the bottom of the window nearly a foot above its pane. quietly, deliberately, i inched each atom of my force into the tips of my fingers, willing secrecy and discretion with all of my internal power, and achieving such under the cover of a dull roar now booming from the figures in the room. i saw, clearly now, the detail of the authoritarian tyrant’s large, pimpled neck roll. he was blocking whoever it was inciting the screams that threatened to pop each zit upon the roll, rising and falling as they did when he screamed. i knew, from experience, though, that they never burst, no matter how angered he became. they only grew. (it was my personal belief that they were sort of laugh-lines for his anger. blood longing to burst from his veins generating angered cells that go on strike, leaving their hostile environments for the tropical beaches of his sweaty, italian neck)
this, i knew, was the only way i would want this to end. with him in this state, venomous and cruel. it was when i hated him most of all, in this state, and it would erase any chance of remorse. seeing the zits burst from his neck, though….i needed that. so i aimed toward them.
with my left hand, i lifted the pistol from my jacket pocket, pulling down the safety with my right. hands steady, i lay the barrel in the air between the opened window. just as my father had taught me, i took a deep breath and squeezed, not pulled, the trigger in my hand.
the silhouette of my previous employer looked silly, i bet, from the street. from my position at the sill, however, there was absolutely nothing silly at all save, perhaps, how comically long his body stood without a head before falling. through the chunks of organic, fleshy debris collected upon my face and the thin stream of foreign blood trickling from my brow, i saw the thick, fatty rolls of the bastard’s neck sitting upon his shoulders, untopped by anything any longer. his head was extinct. that is, it was scattered between my face, the floors, the top of the window, and the walls on either side. still, i saw with a hint of rage, the pimples lining his grease-soaked blood-stained skin sat bulging, seeming, still, to rise and, for the last time, fall again.
his body buckled after a tantalizing spell of anticipatory delay to reveal a thin, mousy faced girl with the most delicate homicidic eyes i have ever held the pleasure of knowing. it was then that i realized i was not the only one who shot the fallen man. this explained the direction of his final excrement. the mousy-faced girl turned the shotgun in her hands toward the grand and i fumbled with my pistol, pushing it back to its place in my jacket.
"h-hello…." i said lamely
"hi. great minds, eh?" she said, gesturing toward her gun
i laughed, “yeah. you’re his…daughter?”
"step." she said.
"step." i repeated.
and then neither of us said anything for a long time. we just stared, misty eyed and sanguinely euphoric.
"mind if i…?" i said, pointing toward the chunks of her stepfather now hardening upon my cheeks.
"no, no, please, come in. use the master bathroom, it’s down the hall." she said, walking toward the door and directing me through,
"be quick, please." she added as i entered.
i washed what i could from my face and hands, plucking the larger pieces of skin and muscle from my sweater, and returned to the dining room.
"we should get out of here." she said
my heart leapt at the chance of connection and before i thought, my mouth spat, “wouldyouliketogetsomecoffee?”
it was then that i took into account the large, dead body on the floor below us. i’d nearly forgotten him, somehow, what with the presence of the mousy-faced girl. she was, i decided, most certainly not coming on to me or hinting at further examination of “us”, but, rather, stating that it would be wise to leave the scene of the murder one or both of us committed.
"……..coffee sounds supreme, actually. do you live close?" she asked,
"not far. i’ll hail a cab." i said, a bit too excitedly
"perhaps we should walk." she replied, pulling out her dress to show the bits of head acquired upon her.
"mine went through first, then?" i said,
"yes. startled me into shooting him, really. bet i’d never had done it if you hadn’t come along. thanks for that, by the way."
"oh, yes. glad to help." i said.
she smiled a smile that told me i was a lunatic no longer alone in his insanity, and extended her hand toward me. i took it and led her steps, over the body and through the door, closing it behind me. she slung the barrel of her gun across her opposite shoulder and we strode on, hand in hand, covered in the soon-to-be-rotting flesh of our mutual nemesis, laughing and playing in the grace of the moonlight. from there, we forgot about the coffee and my apartment, the city, the man, the act, as we never stopped walking until they came for us some weeks later. and down we went, on the day they came, in the gunfire that ensued. happily. ever. after.
You know nobody’s ever going to see the stuff, but you have to write through it. You’re just trying to satisfy some grim, barren mandate. There’s probably a German word for that.
There is always one woman to save you from another and as that woman saves you she makes ready to destroy.
we painted our faces and changed our names and voices and pretended for a while that we’d never existed any other way but this. it seemed invigorating, in that moment. it seemed perfect and beautiful and infinite. but should it end, i thought, i will never regret something such as this. how could i regret ever knowing such promise?
but i did, and i did quick, and i did hard. and now the regret has lasted longer than the moment. so i’m not sure which is valid, which exists moreso than the other. do either exist if one does not? surely one cannot exist without the other, but which is valid, which?
both, i suppose.
both are realities.
but not ones that may be escaped with painted faces.
there’s no one here anymore
to pretend with.
i pretend alone, now.
pretend very hard
that realities can still be escaped