Thursday, July 14, 2011

3. My Friend

I'm standing at the base of the stairs. They stretch upwards. They are impossibly high yet they don't fall victim to perspective. I can see the top step, miles and miles above me, and I can see the women sitting on the colossal edge of that step--one young, one middle aged, and one old--I can see the thread that they are weaving, and I can see my own reflection in the blade of the scissors that even now is threatening to cut. I can see all of this in sharp focus, as if it was right in front of my eyes.

They are miles away.

It is raining. Big, fat, slow drops. They take their time, seeming to hang in the air for seconds before they splash to the ground. I reach out to touch one--it falls onto the back of my hand with a thump, hard enough to leave a bruise, and what was just moments ago nearly gentle enough to be a baptism is now a punishment. The drops pound onto my back, and draw my head down with implacable weight.

There is a man sitting at the foot of the stairs. I know he is my friend, and I ask him if I can take shelter beside him. The rain is everywhere, yet I know that if I sit by him it won't wound and push me anymore. He nods acceptance. I sit. We talk.

He tells me I was a good kid, and that he is proud of me. He tells me he is impressed that I always tried as hard as I could. I tell him that means a lot, and that I am happy that I made him proud.

Then I remember that my friend, the man I am talking to, is dead, and it becomes unbearable to look at him, so I shut my eyes tight and grind my teeth together, but his voice, his tectonic, dust filled voice, it goes on and on, and his chant, "I don't miss the things that make me miss you I don't," drones, bringing tears to my eyes, stinging my sinuses and behind my eyes it's all a disgusting yellow that is rotten just like he is I know it and now my eyes are open and he is lying dead at the foot of the stairs, in perfect chilly repose, not a mark on him, just like always, right?

He groans, and his eyes open.

In my bed, my eyes follow suit.


I can already feel it getting too big for me. I have to keep bringing that first image to the front--the tree, and me both on and below it. It already seems faint in my brain, disconnected from this and the other things I've written down. It's crazy how quickly the feeling slips away from me. The image lingers but the meaning is lost. Still, I'm going to keep at it. Maybe I'm taking this all too seriously. I don't feel like I'm searching for some unifying equation that will make sense of my life, I just want to know why I wake up so damn sad sometimes and I don't know if this is helping at all. Hell, I don't even know if this is compelling reading or not.