Sometimes the darkness and I wander by my hopes and dreams, which are dangerously close to my regrets.
The darkness picked me up, after the apple.
It hisses, but I can’t make out the words. I say “What?” and it hisses again. I still can’t hear it.
I hear the howling, though. It’s muffled, like traffic on a highway out past the neighborhood, but I hear it. I think it’s coming from me. But I’m not sure. Maybe it’s coming from the freight containers. Maybe it’s my hopes and dreams, all dying a terrible death.
I stumble, and the darkness picks me up.
Sometimes the darkness and I sit on a bench and listen to the howling of the abyss.
I bend over, my head between my legs. I’m cold and I’m sweating and everything is spinning and the howling in my ears goes loud and soft and loud and soft and loud and then soft again. I can’t take the spinning, I can’t, but I have to because it’s not stopping.
I feel finger bones on my back, and I can hear a quiet hissing when the howling goes soft. I can’t make out the words.
The spinning stops, finally.
The finger bones on my back go still, and I think I hear a word in the hiss. Something about “pass”.
Then I vomit.
It’s red, but it’s not the apple. It’s dark and it’s ropy and it looks a bit like coffee grounds.
The darkness hisses again, and this time I hear the words.
It says, “This, too, shall pass.”
Sometimes the darkness and I run our hands over the railings of a bridge. I wonder if maybe I will get a splinter.
The darkness says that I am still alive, but I am not so sure.
Everything is bright and sharp but also blurry when you don’t have enough blood. Colors are…so colorful. They pop into your eyeballs. Stay for a while. Have some tea.
But then they leave.
I fall down on the bridge.
The darkness picks me up, again. It says, “You can walk.”
But I can’t. I fall down again.
The darkness does not pick me up this time.
Out there, somewhere, over the bridge and the water and the popping green trees, I hear the howling.
I start to crawl.
Sometimes the darkness and I crawl along the wooden slats of a blue sparkly bridge.
I think this is death.
The darkness says it’s not.
I say that the lights are very twinkly and blurry and big, and that I should go toward them.
The darkness says that if I go toward the lights I will fall in the river, and no one wants that. It says it will have to fish me out, and that its bones will get all wrinkly. It says, “I don’t like wrinkly bones.”
I wonder how bones can get wrinkly, but then I put it out of my mind. The sparkly lights of death seem more important at the moment.
The howling blows across the bridge.
I want to stop and curl up and let the howling sing me to sleep. I’m sweating and it’s cold and the bridge looks so long. I’ll never finish crossing it. It holds all the big blurry death lights of the universe.
I reach out towards the lights.
Something cold and hard grips my wrist.
The darkness hisses, “Damn it, I told you I didn’t want wrinkly bones.”
Sometimes the darkness and I follow the twinkly death lights into oblivion.
I fall into the water, down and down and down, and I wonder if the darkness has wrinkly bones yet. I wonder if I will ever stop falling. Maybe the darkness will stop me again, its wrinkly bony fingers wrapping around my wrist
I can see the reflection of the twinkly lights down here. They go up and down, up and down, gently, softly. I like them. They are very calming.
Oblivion is not so bad, maybe.
I keep falling. The water gets darker. The lights get smaller.
No wrinkly finger bones ever come.
Sometimes the darkness and I fall through the water, down past the lights and into the depths.
But I don’t know. I think maybe the lights followed us.
I am floating in bright blueness.
I like it here. It’s nice. There are no dreams. No regrets. Just brightness and blue. I hear the howling still, but it’s so far away. Everything is far away.
I could go to sleep. I could sleep forever and ever. Just lying in the water, moving gently with it, the sparkly death lights sparkling above me.
Probably my bones would get wrinkly, but that’s okay.
Sometimes the darkness and I wake up together on a bench.
It’s eerily silent.
The howling is gone.
There was a brightness and everything was blue and quiet and I was getting wrinkly and I was so sleepy.
But then I woke up.
I look over at the darkness, at its wrinkly wet gray bones. It stares out over the water. Its red eyes seem faded now.
The darkness picked me up.