I hate people, with their odors, and their skin heavy with stench, those rotting perfumes, that viscous blood putrefying in tangled tunnels worming all through a porous hunk of flesh. Fluids twisting through those caverns, a labyrinth of lymph and pus and oils and bile. They heave and leak and shuffle and wheeze and whine all the while tugging about at the world about them like it’s their mother’s sweaty hand to guide them along. Why should I do anything less than loathe them.
With January comes spring, and with spring comes both water and time, clear, trickling down in a transparent stream, draining out to rush in rivers and to tremble at the edges of bays and to be crushed beneath itself in dark, murky lakes.
And so clouds are born from this liquid time, pale, untouched, forever embracing and tangling and painting themselves over in a cavernous and brilliant sky. The air remains crisp and the water cool, and the time comes and flows like the free-floating structures of a dream, swirling round and round and making bright days fade into forgotten evenings, all the while the songs of feather-clad birds vanish in and out through their own tangled and invisible currents.
I sometimes yearn to be in true darkness. Alone. Not oppressive summer air, but in the vast emptiness of winter. The void.
Knowing that you are surrounded brings fear—this near-comfort suggests some threat, allows for the possibility of danger. In winter, it is sharp, the air, it cuts. Each shiver is bliss, it detracts from any anxiety, any excess sparking of nerves, that little stimulation that flows over the threshold, just a little, and releases a spasm of terror. Clutched by the precious blessing of frigid fingers, I accept the perfect clarity of the dark silhouettes of things, the yonder streaks of pale, nearly invisible clouds painting the sky. Light is residual. It hangs high up in the air where the last flecks of sunlight stretched as their source fled. On the ground, there is none. Only dark. Only night.
I remember a time when the snow was thin flakes of glistening dust, rainbow-sheened, scattered, flat, like an untouched beach of crystal laid all about the bases of the dark-skinned trees, over mulch, and boulders, bringing to stillness trickling brooks that rush again in the verdant springs once this cover to the world is dissolved. The snow was so light it could easily billow through the air. There was something beautiful there. No weight. Clean, shimmering, icy.
When you still played outside, you didn’t care whether or not you had friends. You suffered the slings and arrows of the elements to appreciate their glory. To know their fortitude, to be absorbed in each glimmering crystal as it was caught in a streaming javelin of sunlight.
Amber hollows nestled within smooth black shells. Where does the soul reside?
And this is the best that can be done—outside, looking at those motionless shapes, whose hearts show just a little. Within there is warmth, honey light pressed against each wall, spilling out over the starlit ground. This is time, this is agony. To be Tantalus, to be bound and entrapped without while there is life within. Uncertainty, silence. No tongue to speak, no voice to be heard, no eyes, nor lips, nor brows to express that ceaseless frigid sorrow. Only silence. Only darkness.
Temporary, but enduring a ceaseless night in wordless painless wonder. Such a threat, this great trench of surrounding darkness. This is the sea floor, too far to have time to escape to the shallows, to the surface, to find the light again. Naught can be done to withstand the pressure, if that curtain of blackness were to come crashing down and crush and consume the interior of such a house. No escape. That is guaranteed.
These settlements beneath the sea, they so confidently spread themselves, they do not cluster in fear, they do not huddle in a misshapen conglomeration and with a single voice scream out against the night. They merely light themselves, inside, and, unknowingly, they wait until dawn.
All the green light—no, golden light, falling through thick curtains of that deep green—and that haze of cicada chirps; clean, wet air; that peace; those dreams. Cream-colored, worn, grainy paper. My bare feet rustling through the grass, scrabbling over rough bark, ascending, wrapped in a living tapestry of green, of leaves, so warm, so certain. I will never forget the days when the day seemed eternal, and the night just a brief glimpse again at a new day.
This loathing, it never ceases. Embrace the reality of fire, let the ash, clean, feathery, rip away at that hateful flesh, shuck it away until the embers eat at those bones. Hate hate hate. Let them burn. Let them boil. I want them to be consumed by pain, these putrefying things. The rot is best cured with flame.
I try not to let myself think that perhaps there might be something beautiful enough to it.