Author’s Note: When my headaches won’t go, I like to imagine myself in a quiet place. This was the result whilst sat drinking my coffee. I hope you enjoy.
Endless, the valleys of the Moon stretched out before me in bone-white ridges. As always, the stars beamed through the punctured night like endless celestial spotlights; I tugged up my scarf and walked on.
On good nights when the air was clearest, the heavens shone in polished ebony like perfect Nubian skin; the darkness gleamed brighter than light. I thought that odd that midnight proved brighter than midday, but, of course, memory may have deceived me.
The valley opened out like an estuary of rock rippling away into the cosmos. If not for the oxygen being pumped through my weakling form, I’d have choked, or wept, or both.
The beauty of it all hadn’t hit home until now, the sheer magnificent loneliness of it all. The fact this was Earth, not the Moon, rolled over my consciousness like a cold compress to a fevered brow. I wiped my eyes and trudged on. There had to be someone else left, didn’t there? Didn’t there!
The night sparkled with star stuff, the colours of possibility like lichen on a cosmic rock. Creation manifested before my eyes, all those endless suns and endless worlds spinning through the universal vastness of space. Somewhere in that void a girl looked back, I just had to go find her.
Mornings just weren’t the same without you, the bed cold, my legs chilled despite the heavy duvet. Perhaps the loneliness affected me most, the creaking walk downstairs, drawing back the curtains to an unshared dawn. I miss you, Kat. You were the best partner a man could ever want — feline.
Tis a solitary confinement this existence I lead, where the light of day goes unseen, dusk and dawn forming an intangible prison, a clock. To live within a time span is inhuman, when one should range amongst forever. I shall think on this. I do a lot of thinking.
To be expelled in favour of the shining is too high a price for one unfortunate lapse. A misjudgment has secreted me in darkness when all I wish is to gleam. This ebon life ill-suits and I would return to my former state. But I cannot. Though, I’ve tried and try still.
Some think I like it here, that I lap up the midnight like milk. I don’t. I really don’t. It’s not that I don’t want to tread beneath a saffron dawn or golden midday, it’s not that at all, I just dare not. There would be consequences. I do not want to cease to be, wouldn’t anyone?
Mine is the moon and the bitter chill, the subtle, crisping frost. Mine is the shadow and the swirling fog, the abyssal depth and mildewed cave. And, I love them. I do. Don’t stare at me with those accusatory eyes. It’s just I wish for more. I yearn for that which has been stolen, abducted and trussed away. I yearn for the life I have lost. I yearn for me.
Midnight has sprung and deer are in the meadow. An owl sits in an old oak tree a mouse in his sights. He can’t see me, though. None of them can. I move like the mist betwixt and between taking a moment to stroke a doe’s flanks; I feel nothing, and it sets me to raging. They hear me then. Oh, they hear me. Still, I wish for more.
I meld into another moment, lapse into another dream. Sitting astride a mountaintop, I watch the distant surf smash against granite cliffs in great spumes of white. I want to be smashed, too. I wish to be ravaged and wrecked. I wish to die, yet I cannot. Eternity is too short a word to explain the unexplainable, when I have infinity to think of a superior replacement. God, that’s annoying! God.
And there it is, HIS name. It pops out when least I expect it to grind against my conscience. Will he never forgive me? Did I hurt him so? Would I do so again?
And I remember, as I always do. I recall the light, molten pools of shimmering bliss, not black puddles of sludge. I remember the songs, as of nightingales, but trilling all day and all night, an incessant joy. Most of all I remember the smell: freedom. Freedom never had a perfume until I lost it. Now, as I grumble and muse, it is whilst sitting in the stench of humanity. That is a true fragrance, a cologne to dispose of, not bathe in day after night after day. Where has the aroma of heaven dissipated to? I want it back. I want it all. Please, take me back? I’m begging. I’m hurting. I’m me.
They say the Devil cannot cry; he weeps all the time. There are rumours the Devil hates, detests and despises; he detests only himself. Angels sing of the once favoured, he who fell. I hear every syllable, listen to every word. Yet, I cannot reply. If only they knew how alone I’ve become maybe then they’d take me back. Maybe, but I expect not.
So, I wait. I live out my solitary confinement and hope it will end. Hope is all I have. Hope is half of hopeless, the half I must forget.
This pulsating fog thickens
Undulating to this heartbeat
My small boat rocking
Alone, absent, always adrift
She (A Story Best Forgotten)
I glimpsed her in reflection a moment’s colour on an otherwise grey day. She split the monochrome like the sun the night and for the first time in forever made me smile. Not a smile of pleasure, although a pleasure it was, but a smile of relief that the world was not quite the hole I suspected.
Following her like some common or garden stalker, I pursued the vibrant goddess through bleak suburbia. She paused here and there but never for long. When she did the world around her gained colour; when she left it seeped away at speed.
If anyone else noticed how different she was, they did not show it. The woman was one in a city of millions. To me, she was the one in a city of nobodies.
Minutes became hours, hours became infinite, as I trailed that divine being to the riverfront. She slumped across the protective railings like a balloon depleted of air. I did not understand that one so perfect could also feel alone. If only I had?
When she jumped, my heart jumped with her. When she did not scream, I too was silent. She slipped beneath the waves like a gull dipping for fish; she did not dip back up.
I left the water in my wake in a daze of confusion. So many questions. No answers. I swore that I would never recount my story for the shame involved; my inaction haunts me still. But now even that is gone and with it a sense of relief.
I shall only ever know her as She. I shall only ever know me as her coward. It is a story best forgotten, but they’re often the hardest to forget.
I follow a road
I don’t know
To I don’t know where
As the mists