Flare

28 03 2007

*Note: this piece is for “mature” readers.

They believe they know this, that they have accepted it, but I have watched them die, they smile sometimes you know, but I have seen them with the candles out.

Our windows were like shadow spots, through them I could see nothing but storms ahead. Beneath the seas and swift currents of our delusions I had once investigated a reality, but now this reality beyond human experience was to be experienced, a poisonous secret shared and drunk. As if the plane were not crashing imminently into the blackest sea imaginable, and as if I would remember this time before sleep eternal — we pretended. Life stretched out. A voice spoke clearly into my very mind, “I want to die now, cut my fear now, save me, kill me, kill,” and somehow parsed between the virulent screams I could hear, carved out from the crowds, a silence. “Somebody take me, strip me, I don’t want to die a virgin. I don’t mind, even here on the ground, in the aisle, sex,” pounded away at my sanity — by some other, younger more familiar woman but again the same silence. Voices cried hollow from shapeless creatures that preyed upon aisles and passengers like animal cries from the birth of time. I could feel that they too were human, but I could not see their humanity; I could see that I was human – a body at least. But a body for what, a life passively resting only to die. Life and living and being seemed to dissociate all at once; I could see that I was but that I had only the most mean and brutally short life.

Pushing aside the trembling old woman who was a soul lost to religion, praying her way to an imaginative salvation, I wandered. No, I fought … or did I really hit that hard … through the sea of people trembling all at once, the forceful dying children of savages. I wanted to find that voice and distill it from all of humanity, conquer it and make it mine. She was an experiment that I could watch and find. It was sensual, sure; I placed her moaning voice immediately, I could feel its quivers and tense sighs pulsing through humanity’s soul, resonating in mine like an art. She was wearing only a opaque lace bra, her body trim and shaved, all of this giving me the most relentless power to observe. Her virulent pleasurer had come as commanded, manisfested itself to please her. Strange it was, how ready she seemed, how she looked at me watching her in this public display of a private need born from a public desire. Her blue eyes seemed not to cry but to lavish upon me, teasing me onward. The man seemed not to notice me, I watched his body, untamed, unkept and human push in and out of her. She seemed not to ask for privacy but instead for more pleasure as if the experience had betrayed her somehow. Insatiable virgin. She was made, made, made for me. After the man had finished, I immediately took my place and took back what was mine. There was some savagery in me too I suppose, but I was careful with her, she was my own; but how sick I felt at the thought of the other man’s, no I cannot say it. That I suppose is my weakness. Was it weak though, to continue on, to finish what the human heart had called out for? I had overcome my weakness or succumbed to it, and I enjoyed it. Darkness pulsed underneath my eyes; I was alive, passionate, viral, looking inside at the depth of gods, all pooled into that hollow darkness that cannot know itself. She could feel it and taste it but god, she could not look into it and there in that moment we gasped like we were dying and we knew and we understood.

I could breathe yes, then. There was a hatred hungering within me, strained and forceful and I could see, buried beneath those familiar eyes, a strain for hope and my old reassurances. I tried to lie away the familiarity, you know, the frustration with myself, that familiarity that could spoil lives. To give in to such human tendencies. I have a wife and we’re in love, married for the interminable length of twenty-three years. She is a writer who does not write, a mother who does not mother, and a love who I doubt loves. But we put on the pretence of love.

Quite suddenly, as we were suspended upon that most delicate of rivers, the air, a most frightening image of a red, bloody father writhing under necrid pain, holding an innocent’s head above shadows, but of course the head – the most harrowing of all – was his own, scarred and welded all the same. Such fantasies were strung together by my most incoherent mind. I was four or five people speaking, shaking all at once and I or some other I was trying to discern amongst them. I could be calm, and then in that momentary pause, that cessating breath, I could see the world for what it was. We cannot afford these breaths, being so still relative to the city’s relentless flow. When we stay still like this, god, we see, and we see too much.

I had in me this most suppressed, unconscious desire to kill, but we would not say so in these parts; it was a desire that was born into me, inscribed and dictated by the grandioisity of the city. There was blood in me then. The sangrous taste that darkness itself might feed on was for me merely the manifestation of hope. I knew it then like the expectation of a particular dream. I don’t remember killing him; only what led up to it but I would not excuse myself with those pretty-boy lies of temporary insanity. It was deliberate, every hacking inch I drove into his skull was unavoidbly precious. He tried to take what was mine, mine, mine. I could not believe my luck, to have the door safely locked, to have the pilots incontrovertibly incapacitated, to have them safe from harm only to be killing us crashing us, and to share in this primordially immediate dilemma. To think that I found a knife on an airplane; to think that I, such a once tame man; to think of the unbelievable and believe. Hatred was a vicious force until it met mercy, then violence became justifiable: a death is a death whether sooner or later. A life is life whether lived or not. And the wonders that the mind of man can rationalize. I suppose the wonder of man is not in his vice but in his virtue and in the wondrous, silverly delusions we can glassily wish into existence. From the metaphysical air we draw in spaciously, we exert out a tangible thing – such is the power of modern man.

I found nothing in the air, the air, but nonetheless something dissociated from me and without warning, I was. In one spartan moment where nothing could be misunderstood, where life could linger but not meaninglessly, where small enchanments threw minds into disarray, I simply became. Was it some deity judging us blindly in that supreme moment — or rather an incarnation of death, some grim reaper — that so drew the falling aircraft to the harshly solid ground.

It is not a difficult thing to die. One becomes so morbidly afraid of it in life, but at the moment you peer over into that unquenchable abyss, you learn that it is only one long breath into the black. You see all the world and all your actions, then the story is complete — it fades out, with nothing but your pulse to listen to. It is tasteless boredom, the pathetic few words trying to escape from the moronic mind of death. You listen with life and vigor as if in those frivolous words some hell might be pardoned, but alas you find nothing but rivers of blather.

And I watched them die in droves. Yes, there were limbs in the water floating ashore, people crutching over the bodies of loved ones. I could see vacations torn, families that had hoped only to return home. They too dealt with the guilt of knowing too much, something in the stillness betrayed them — perhaps it was some share in humanity that our dying afforded us.

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