We have been dining on the wrong side of life.
It’s strange, really. This epiphany came to me on a certain chartreuse day, the kind of day where everything suddenly seems weird. Like when the taste of water is unbearable, and the washing machine seems to sing instead of complain about the feeling of wet socks slurping and slushing inside of him.
Like when the ice cream truck plays Symphony No. 8 by Dvorák, and the ferns lean away from the sun instead of towards it. I woke up choking on dust. Nothing new, really. The air was still stale, and my creaky house was still dangling off the precipice of Mount Tsereve. Through the greasy, murky glass I could faintly see the other houses attached to the mountain by sleeves of decaying flesh. I mean what else are we supposed to do? Someone dies–happens every few minutes–and we just drop them down into the crystal azure sky?
We wouldn’t dare blemish those perfect white clouds with our rotting blood. It’s true, though, we’re rotting. People don’t seem to have a problem with it, content to display their frail bones, waving at each other half-heartedly with those disgusting, fluttering, wrinkly hands, with red veins bulging and throbbing. They look at each other unblinkingly, as if they don’t see anything but the air. The empty air. I can’t stand it. It seems that I’m the only one that’s ashamed. There’s no use hiding. No one really sees each other anymore. I can’t even see myself. We used to have these things called mirrors. It shows you what you really feel inside. Quite deceptive, but honest in a way as well.
I still have a shard left.
I couldn’t bear to look in it.
I wonder sometimes, why do we live like this? Why do we continue to follow that narrow path, that path that leads nowhere but here? We try to be strong-willed, to suppress our esoteric instinct to become a better species, yet where has that gotten us? Driven to the edge of the cliff, that’s where, hanging by the flesh of our ancestors.
It’s sad, really, that we still cling to the generosity of our past, of such ancient times, rather than the potential, the uncertainty of the future. All we have to do is reach out and take our fate into our grasp, hold and nurture it until it grows strong enough to chariot us away! Oh, can’t you just see it? It’s right there, oh I can just feel it! Right there! Quick now grab it! Grab it!
And then it vanishes into the choking air. It’s like I said, you don’t notice time until its gone. Heck, I didn’t even know until suddenly I had become…this.
Damn birds. Why couldn’t I be like them, free to fly up towards the sea? Sometimes I like to think they know something, some terrible key that unlocks the secrets of the universe. Everything won’t seem so trivial, trivial like the specks of blood that comes spewing out of my mouth when I simply whisper, trivial like my one leg that’s longer than the other, trivial like living on a chartreuse day.
Suddenly exasperated I picked up the shard of mirror and stared deep into my milky brown eyes. Slowly, they began to transform into a stranger’s eyes-a deep, startling shade of blue. And then-nothing was heard and nothing was seen. The shard of glass seemed to reach out and grab me.
Had Death finally graced me with her presence? And I went tumbling, tumbling down, down, suddenly realizing that for the first time the sky was up. Outside, the ice cream truck began to play Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven.