Part One: A murderer I cared for
There was a young boy once who has read a lot – not for any romantic reason, other than his father being unavailable, and his mother being overly available. He spent most of his Saturdays in Chapter Zero (local second-hand bookstore and library) – not for any romantic reason, other than his father being unavailable. He would have spent most of his Sundays there too, but he stayed home instead – not for any romantic reason, other than his mother being overly available.
One day he woke up and it was pitch black. His mother’s hair covered everything – his body, his thoughts, his shoebox, his desk lamp and all the corners. Her hair tangled around him. He found it hard to breathe, he missed his father.
If you were to ask me what I make of his life – we may agree that he was an unfortunate boy. Yet, you see, you and I are the ones with the unfortunate concepts. He was just trying to get by, or even less (more if you wish) so – he was just trying to be. He didn’t think about the darkness, he just noticed the absence of the light.
So, he started cutting the darkness – quite literally. Not for any romantic reason, other than he wouldn’t do anything metaphorically. He kept on cutting all night until crimson coloured raindrops began to fall (I’m more metaphorical myself). The raindrops covered everything -his body, his thoughts, his shoebox, his desk lamp and all the corners.
Then he saw light coming through the window, he felt a sudden sense of relief. He stood there, took a deep breath and inhaled the rain drops. He thought of his absent father as he fell onto the floor. Some say life flashes before your eyes when you die. His life didn’t flash for him, he saw something else. He saw a vivid vision of everything he didn’t have.
He saw his life free of hair or colour – his body, his thoughts, his shoebox, his desk lamp and all the corners. His lips curved for the first time; his eyes filled with tears. This new vision felt unbearable for him (and for me to watch). He looked at me – waiting for an ending.
But how could I have ended his story there? I held his hand and pretended I was his father. We walked out and began to search for his ending.
Part Two: Ahave
There was a young girl who lived in Buvilion (the last capital of steam and fume). She lived in the basement of the post office. Her mother died when she was six years old. She cried for so long and so often that her eyes have flown down with the dirt. As they flew away with the tears, they bumped into one another, before ending up just a few inches away from each other.
Down under the city. Down under steam, and fume. And action and reaction, and all the noise.
Here they were without their host, facing each other. Their ways of expressing themselves were limited, yet I felt joy watching them.
Eventually they rolled closer to one another, slowly but surely it happened. They were waiting for it all along, since they saw the first thing (I think it was a blurred vision of a ceiling light). Finally, they touched each other, and the fruit has lost its forbidden quality.
They were rolling all around, enjoying every second.
Down under the city. Under the steam, and fume. And action and reaction. And all the noise.
Oh, how they didn’t miss the eyelids of their host! There was no darkness or momentary interruption. There was just one thing (let me name this thing) – it was the infinite vision of love. Make no mistake, infinity is felt rather than lived, hence the ‘was’.
There was no dull stillness anymore, they were moving and seeing. Living the life, they wanted. Only love can shake you up like that (only love can make living down under quite so wonderful).
They were telling tales to other living beings down under – tales about how they ended up here. They referred to their departure as the Big Flow (with capital letters indeed), and had no idea that pain generated the most exciting trip they ever had.
They haven’t thought much about their host, there was no guilt nor regret to be dealt with. For the first time nothing mattered but now, and so, after a while they settled. I was at peace with the thought of leaving them (or even more so rather anxious that it wouldn’t stay that way). I was heading back up, some part of me yearned for the life in the city.
In the midst of steam and fume. And action and reaction. And all the noise.
Ahave was on the floor, all bundled up as I was walking towards her. There was not a single sound (except for the creaking of the floor under my feet). I tried to reach her with my hand. She grabbed it with one sudden move. She had no time for promises. I guided her up from the basement and didn’t let her hands go until we reached our destination.
It was another basement (but under a rather special place) – a second-hand bookstore and library, called Chapter Zero. I couldn’t wait to introduce her to someone – someone I cared for.
Part Three: A silent creature
They were sitting on a back of a yellow truck until they got pushed down by the driver. As they fell onto the sideway, they looked lost more than anything. I was walking towards them, not knowing that they were apart (thinking in a foolish limited frame). They invited me to come close. They quietly drew a line in the air with their hands as I was stepping closer to them. Only then I noticed there was a split in the middle – one figure became two with a gap in between. A split so narrow, it took me a while to see. They left it to me to make whatever I wanted to make of it (the very thought of this felt liberating). And so, I imagined a sort of energy that held them together.
We were standing so closely together, a person walking by might have mistaken us for one. Intimacy allowed me to see their split. Although closeness felt important, it had very little to do with my feelings towards them. There was something in their silence that made me care for life again. By not saying anything I felt as though, not a single moment was wasted.
I remembered the time I decided to do this as we were walking through the bridge of Red Coat. I remembered when I felt I had no choice but to collect them, to collect all of them. I suddenly felt a lump in my stomach as I realised, I left the gate of Chapter Zero open. I started running and they naturally kept up with me.
It was burned to the ground when we got there.
I felt lost more than anything. I couldn’t scream, the noise keepers would hear it. I had to keep it together, I had to be the hope (the hope I’ve learned to let go some time ago). I stood there, I kept it all in. I looked at them desperately. Then we jumped through the crumbles and lifted up a black board that fell onto the basement door.
There they were, alive and well – Ahave and Timothy with not a single sign of surprise on their faces. It was hard to not expect fire when you lived in Buvilion all your life. We walked out together. I turned back and quietly bid goodbye to Chapter Zero – to a place that I was so sure of. A home that I thought would not care about time or shadows, pity changes and meaningless transformations. A place that would always be there. We were looking over it – a gone past, a present shelter and a future promise.
All gone, just like that and we had to move on, just like that.
I felt like a failure. In the midst of all that, the silent creature had their hands on my neck. They were gently holding me, doing what I was supposed to be doing.
We didn’t leave together (if that’s what you thought). I could not risk taking them to an uncertain path, as much as I wanted to, for my own sake really.
Uncertain paths leave no room for comfort.
Perhaps the time has come for Chapter One (what a cliché I thought). I wanted Chapter Zero to last; this was my plan. Maybe plans are nothing more than cushy illusions.
So, we quietly parted. I’ve noticed there’s more noise in welcomes than goodbyes. Except when I met the silent creature – they made no difference between greetings and farewells. What an order to live by. I thought ideas like this either kill you or keep you alive.
This one killed me a little but kept me going.