Castles

by dschapman

The sun set in an instant, quietly. The sky stood still in thin, brimming bands of purple and gold. I felt like I should make a wish, but I couldn’t think of a wish; love is the only wish for me, and my friends have always said that you can not wish for love, so I do not wish for love. Lines of white light bind the universe finely in place and I pass through it calmly, trying to think of a wish, floating my own crystal skull on its platform in time. The moment passes; I forgot to make a wish. A meteor shoots through the night. Magic rattles my eyes and they twinkle; I wonder when I’ll see the stars. My hair is combed into a tuft and my shirt is slightly unbuttoned and I feel lighter than air, although seated, I feel ethereal, and the twilight passes through me like smoke through vapor, and I dip my toes in the creamy blue river of dreams humming loudly. I am smiling because I am thinking about beauty, creamy, perfect beauty. I am endeared to the beautiful world. It renders me mute and a diamond appears in my eyes. I am smiling because I am not afraid. The world is nothing but pure and absolute goodness, perfectly whole, full, and deliberate. I am thinking succinctly. I think: this is the world frozen over. I am ice in an icescape, and everything’s ice…

When the floor fell out from beneath me I built beneath my fall a mattress and I rode that mattress all the way down until we landed, softly, in the sea. I breathe the sea-air and get some salt in my lungs. I am feeling human again, feeling animal. There is blood on my mind. I bat at my sanity like a cat to a rat in a cradle. I am bathing in pure and muted color, painting my face and hair gold. I am feeling introspective. I walk through the city, feeling introspective, an animal. Who am I to walk this way, when walking alone through an alley, when leaning like Dean against lampposts and sucking on cigarettes, pulling my hair, pushing my face against mirrors and reading the news; just what do I think I am doing? I am not the man I’d like to be. I am a fool. I am too earnest for this world. I am a modern man, too modern. I was raised by modernity, meta-modern. I love it, because it is all that there is, and I was meant for it. I drink from its tits when I’m hungry and suck from its cock when I’m bored. It pushes me against the wall and unravels me. My eyes are peeled open; I cannot look away. It is softer than cotton and perfectly translucent. The world is made of lace and ice. There is ice in my veins and it’s softer than cotton, as intricate as lace. I am a piece of modernity, perfectly clear; a sincerity. And beyond my modernity, my humanity – a subtlety, blurred, indistinct, a meandering finger of light…

I have been alone for years now… Alone, listing slowly inwards, pacing around in a circle and plumbing the depths with a bucket and string, I have been waiting to be saved. I have been waiting far too long. I have wasted all my health and charm and now I am an ice-machine, an ash-dispenser, portable, though fragile. I am a string of ones and zeroes and if you see me with your eyes, you’ll read me, and I’ll be a certain string of words, and you’ll wonder these strange words mean. Let me explain; I am not your average man. I am a modern man. I am a re-construction. I am a pale, golden light, a vision in a wave of vapor. I have died and despite death, awoken. And when I awoke I was in pain, and I could not move, and there was dirt in my bones, and a voice said: How was it? And I laughed, and said, “My god.” 

It is already New Years Eve and I am already alone again for the holidays. One more year; at least this year I saw it coming. I stream Time Square but I am a moment too late; it is past midnight. I have missed it. The mayor has already led millions of civilized people into the countdown, and they have counted, and the magnificent celebratory crystal ball has already made its suspenseful descent, and the initial rush of thundering, hopeful release has already passed. Now everyone is kissing. It is midnight; now you kiss. Millions of beautiful people are kissing. The camera sweeps through a crowd of couples, kissing. Well, not everyone is kissing. In fact, most people aren’t; they are touching their faces, or checking their phones, or looking around stupidly, smiling. But those aren’t the people that the cameras sweep towards; they sweep towards those kissing. And with the cameras on their faces, they smile and they kiss, and they do not stop kissing, and the cameras do not sweep onward.

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