The night was completely still, as if the earth was holding its breath. The day’s warmth had stolen in to surrounded everything as the poison was slowly doing its work, placing me gently back inside the world again. In the face of all this aimless enormity I am reassured that the thoughts I cannot express will one day crystallize and something will still be there waiting for me, open and lovable. In this mood I can barely feel the years scraping by. A life of idle waste, spent sitting and dreaming in noisy places.
But attempting to joyride booze and whatever else to some sort of emotional freedom is a rocky road and eventually balance is lost. A sudden fury wells up inside me, against everyone and everything: The idiotic trivialities, the rotten greed, the bottomless self-absorption. I imagine leaving it all, flying away into space, alone, millions of miles from here.
I look back at the only planet we know, suspended and rotating in weightless space, one of eight recognized planets drawn into the orbit of a local star that is slowly burning itself out. Meaning changes rapidly and dramatically. Everything is so stubbornly relative, subjective. What I have left behind becomes more unbelievable, more insanely misguided the further away I get; the entire thing a distraction, a grand deception played out on nerve endings and electrons and a twitching, tiny, fading flesh. Our enemy is ourselves; evil does not exist outside our own minds.
The horror of this ongoing calamity strips me of any opinion and all spirit, leaving only a dull submission, a defeated acceptance. I want to disappear, to cease to be, to sink my failures, my hope, my mistakes and everything else that solitude and drink and darkness brings. Once again the madness drives me towards a woman’s body. The moment briefly fills the dark with light, but it’s all empty physicality, a temporary and insignificant defeat of an indifferent reality. The body gets a hollow victory, never enough.
I stare out into the black that continues on beyond any comprehension of distance or time. There is no ambiguity, no grey areas, just pure energy and the absence of anything, everything else. There are so many forces at work, invisible processes in play, so many incomprehensible, beautiful things – our blood is red due to iron that was formed in the heart of a self-destructing star – it makes it hard to believe in anything and impossible not to want to. Admit it or not, we are all agnostic.
Love is the final witchcraft, a shadow we cast that stretches only as far as we can see. I think of the girl with the bruises on her legs. I told her from the start that I already was who I was and that eventually she would outgrow me, but there is little consolation in being right. In the end, we are only the reflection of ourselves that we attempt to buy back from those we care about. Still, what ordinary paradise I briefly knew in a two-bedroom weatherboard.
I push further into the nothingness. Eventually the fear recedes. Thought, language, hope, love, all distinctions flatten out. The solitude, like the endless black space, is empty and absolute. This boredom will never be broken. We are forever alone with ourselves.
All at once everything fails. It is stressed and stretched by the indifference of time and matter, expansion and contraction, in and out. All matter begins to breach. I rupture into a billion pieces, separating into each single thought and desire and failure and joy I’ve ever known. I burst into a fine mist and spread out, carried in every unknowable direction at once, and eventually to the Earth, on to car roofs and eyelashes and the leaves of trees. Attached to nothing, connected to everything, whole and shattered, free at last.