Sunday, 25 March 2012
The following was inspired by this piece: http://myhomeiswriting.xanga.com/731674930/a-moment-in-time/ and the many others I’ve written over the years, of course.
I have written you letters. I have written you poems. I have written you prose pieces. I have written for you, I have written of you, I have written to create you. And I will spend many more years writing your existence into reality. Each time I sit here at this computer screen, or before a pad of paper with a pen in hand, I hope (in my secret heart of hearts) that this time you will materialize out of the page, out of the computer screen, so that I may never have to write another word for you, to you, because of you.
Water is a conduit to hell.
It was raining on the day you died. Through my mourning veil I watched them lower your coffin into the ground and my tears mixed with the rain; though really, they’ve always been one in the same. I lingered long after the congregation was gone. I stood at the edge of your grave, staring down at your black coffin, watching as the rain stained your coffin and the ground eroded away from saturation. I watched until my mourning dress was stuck to my skin and my heels had sunk into the earth. I watched and waited for the rain to wash me away, wash me to a parallel universe where you were still alive, but it never did, so I walked away.
And the backhoe shoveled the earth in over your coffin as I left you to rot. The sound of grinding machinery was the music to my death march out of the cemetery.
I stood in the foyer dripping upon the linoleum a long time before I realized I’d arrived home and done nothing. The cat was sitting in the doorway with his tail curled around his paws, staring at me with his piercing yellow eyes. I glanced out the window and noticed it was dark. I’d been standing in the foyer, dripping upon the linoleum for hours. There was a puddle beneath my feet dripping from the hem of my mourning-wear, and there was mud caked upon my heels. They were new yesterday. The mud was all I had left of you now; it was the same earth inside which you were rotting. I would never clean it off.
The cat waowed but would not come near me to twine between my legs; he didn’t want to get wet, and I didn’t blame him. He was your damn cat anyway. Carefully I climbed out of my mud-caked heels and set them by the door where they would never be worn again. Then I removed my mourning veil and set it upon the entry-way table so that I could remove my dress. It was a difficult task because it was stuck to my skin, clinging as it were, and I felt it scream inside my mind as I pulled it from my skin. I almost expected to see blood and little bits of skin tear away with it, but there was none. I flung the dress in the corner by my shoes and walked through the house in my now transparent undergarments.
I stripped off every last bit of clothing that clung to my body and stepped into a steaming hot shower. It seared my skin but I only wanted the memory of the rain and the cold to fade from my pores. I felt as if that sensation would linger for all eternity; that no matter how many warm showers I took I would never be able to erase the memory of standing in the rain, staring down at your coffin, from my flesh’s living memory.
The hot shower didn’t last as long as my time standing in the foyer, but the moon was riding high in the sky by the time I left the steam filled bathroom wrapped in a white towel. There were no lights on as I crept down the hallway, except for the one I’d left on in the bathroom, and it illuminated my way enough so that I wouldn’t trip over the cat prancing along the wall at my side. He nipped inside the bedroom before me and disappeared into the dark. The light from the bathroom only permeated a foot into the room, the rest was illuminated by moonlight, but it was more than enough to see the figure silhouetted at the window.
I stopped dead in the doorway, and for a moment I truly felt so. Everything ceased for a single second: breathing, thinking, consciousness – all of it fell away, and then returned with clanging clarity. I felt my lungs expand and heard the sharp inhalation of breath. It caused the figure at the window to turn and face me. The moonlight cast half his face in shadow, but the half I saw was more than enough to tell me he was absolutely beautiful, and absolutely impossible.
His skin was alabaster pale in the moonlight and his eyes radiated red and pulsed as if they were supplied by veins of blood. His features were sharp and defined, stretched across his bones like a painter’s canvas over a frame. His hair was slicked back, revealing his convex forehead. He wore a form-fitting black t-shirt and plain black pants. There were dress shoes on his feet. He stood with his hands clasped behind his back and stared at me.
My fist clenched around the towel covering me, and I instantly became aware of my nakedness beneath, and the fact that I was once again dripping water upon the floor, this time on the carpet. My heart was dancing in my chest to a tambourine beat slowly climbing the scales. The cat waowed as he weaved in and around the figure’s feet. Watching the cat brought this absurdity to life in a way that it hadn’t felt real to me before. If the cat could see this apparition then it meant I wasn’t completely crazy.
“You’re dead,” I said. It was all I could manage given the circumstances. He didn’t speak, but he smiled, and the smile revealed a feral grin I thought I’d recognize only in a parallel universe. He stepped towards me and the cat scampered off into the dark. He closed the distance between us and the light from the bathroom illuminated his face, and that hellishly awful grin. It was far from human. He wetted his lips with a forked tongue and raised a hand. He placed a palm upon my cheek that I never felt and leaned in for a kiss.
His lips met my own and I felt my blood boil inside my veins as electricity shot down my spine like the crack of a whip. The kiss was brief as our lips and tongues explored one another, but it was enough to confirm what my eyes saw and what my brain tried to deny: you weren’t dead. He pulled back and his eyes captivated my own like the serpent ensnares the mouse.
“You’re not wearing your hooded cloak,” I said. It came out sounding like a question.
“I no longer need it.” He said and his voice fell upon my ears like velvet. “I’ve been reborn with a face you recognize.”
“A skeleton’s face,” I said trailing my fingers along his neutral skin, from his temple to the edge of his jaw. “I’ve been sleeping with skeletons I didn’t recognize,” I whispered the quote from the numerous pieces of my work that referenced it and he smiled. He took my hand in both of his and placed it over his heart. I watched the movement in slow motion. My head snapped back and his eyes caught mine with a smile.
“Nothing,” I said referring to his lacking heartbeat. His grin widened, revealing feral fangs.
“Join me, love, here there is no pain.” He said placing his hand over my own beating heart. The double meaning in his words wasn’t lost on me. It would be a reprieve to be rid of the pain in my heart; with each thump-thump-thump I wanted to tear it from my chest and present it to him as a gift, he all ready owned it anyway. My heart was racing wildly, as if it could race away from this nightmare like a galloping horse spooked by a shadow.
With the barest twitch he released my grip from the towel and it fell to the floor with a flump. I knew his body pressed against mine and his teeth in my neck as his arms encircled my waist, holding me captive; not that I was a prisoner fighting for freedom.
Outside rain dripped from the eaves and thunder rumbled in the distance. It was raining on the night I died.