Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Against

Rain through the window like falling stardust.

A voice whispering to itself half-mad, a mantra chanted to comfort itself from the cold.

The cold: not so deep as ice, but deep enough to shiver a spine, to pierce the skin to the bone, with time.

Of wind only a slight breeze, let in through the window, open far too little to allow much wind in. It was much bigger than the crack in the window. Unseen though it was, wind spread vast and far and wide, billowing if you followed a gust into gale force winds over the sea, some great distance from this cold, sad scene.

The voice halted abruptly; a mind crouched behind it listened, struggled for control, then the eyes closed over the mind's sight and the voice took hold once more: comforting. comforting.

Nothing else but the voice could help now. hands had failed already, the eyes could no longer bear to see what they'd accomplished and failed to accomplish; what they'd failed to avoid.

Ears scarcely listened. only alerted when something louder than the voice spoke, tapping branches and an occasional gust of wind pushing cardboard and leaves on the street.

It's not true it's not true it isn't true it's not it's not it's not true--not--it--no!--not true it isn't I didn't no not true not true...true...isn't! didn't happen it's all okay all okay nothing's the matter, where are you baby? I know it's all okay nothing wrong we're good, we're in love I love you! you know it's impossible--I didn't. that was a dream, it's a dream and this is not true...

The mind could not stop the voice because it could not conceive of what its body had done--could not do so. All thought and reason and concreteness must not be, that the self could live another day, live if only withdrawn from the world.

Thought could not be allowed or else the mind would be destroyed: fiberglass insulation, it prevented transmission of real facts into its ken of understanding. Into its warm house where its faculties dwelt.

It could not be breathed through.

Blood already grew cold: fresh, it had been warm, but cold had claimed it and the draft made it sticky. Skin: white. Hair: motionless, dark.

Both bodies clumped involuntarily against the same wall: one because it was an empty vessel, had fallen there. The other waited for change, waited for something to change before it could think about motion. Motor and sight, connecting the two would be impossible: it would contradict inner knowledge--that the hands could not have done it. There was nothing for them to have done, in fact.

Just wait; something deep, pathological, said. Wait. Things will be fine again.

And that was the only thing it knew, now. The only piece of knowledge the voice could draw upon.

Water: creeping, sought the blood, creeping across uneven linoleum to intermingle: seeming to give it fresh life, a cold life and a diluted, but life. It moved now, creeping where it had begun to dry.

From somewhere a flickering light reflected hazily in, strobed vaguely across the scene.

Like the rigid mind, it was faltering. A flitting between on and off stuck it into a limbo dimension, freed it from consequence and from reality, while maintaining the semblance of life.

It sought to preserve, but in fact it was destroying itself.

The thing had failed, and even the sickly smell of blood could not stir it: a scent that butchered animals gradually came to recognize, being then thrown into frenzy to escape the slaughterhouse.

There was never escape: that fact the victims of hamburger dinners and bacon breakfasts had in common with this broken mind, which played like a skipping record, a dying fluorescent light. But there was no recognition of this iron-laden scent, no frenzy. Only flat denial.

Like a thing condemned to slaughter, it may have been in its final moments of life, showing only brief flashes of one trait of life: response to stimuli. The very stimulus it reacted to, it ignored. Its response was non-response, and it had to impair its own operation to allow for its continued operation.

Thus avoiding its breaking, it had forced itself to become broken.

When bright lights finally flashed in the window, many hours later, one body was zipped up, the other treated for exposure.

The exposure of the mind could not be so easily treated.

Forlorn and stuck in its own defense mechanism, there was no way back out. The body was kept alive, the mind in limbo. Though seen by others as a person, there was none: the person had died when it had done the unthinkable, and now it thought no more.

There was but a shell, a shell, and within it a repeating, ghostly voice, heard like the ocean when held close to the ear.

A frozen mantra against life's cold.

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