A story about everything
by Arran James
Reposted from an older blog of mine.
Silence, the womb.
In the last house standing he is rattling on alone. There is work to be done. To finish. Soon it will be all stillness, a stillness complete. There is only one more name- his own. Then nirvana and peace. The void and the startless quiet. At last perfection.
Long sweep of silence. Smell like putrid cat food. Stink like mass grave omission under a raging drunk of a sun. But heat turning cool. Stale. Night air blast of carnival bass bin. Riot squad to the chest. These are the nights he is left with. Endless chattering nights. What a load of shit- being accused by stagnant puddles, piss rot floor board, dandruff paint peel, and aching. There is no such thing as an innocent murderer.
Long steamed roses hang from ceiling. When he walks they tear the scalp. Thorns cutting deep into his head. It makes him happy, feeling this. A sting like the vaguest of memories. Keeps his head shaved especially. Razorblade glint of attrition. A kind of comfort.
There is no TV in the corner. Instead, countless tiny headstones. Countless tiny polystyrene headstones. White squeaking death. To float on waters. To blow on winds. Outlasting even his infinite guilt. And somewhere behind them a tape deck. A looping soundtrack to obsolescence. Day and night it plays. Days and weeks. Weeks and months. Years? Time is a speculation. He shifts in his chair. An upholstery of grease and scorches. A vinegar scent. Listening. A loop of caked decay, a recording of grit friction, of slow motion crashing, of scraping things. An echo at a distance. No words left, only insinuated syntax. A Tower of Babel without words. Tinnitus of forgotten suffering. Architecture of hissing. Architectonic of erasure. Of ghosts.
He is sure it meant something. To someone. Once. Replaying a secret until senseless. Held together by cellotape, rust encrusted shimmering. Remnants of a soul, vomit across the windows. Blotted out world.
Sometimes the tweezers and the glue. Still nimble fingers with the detail. Carving in a name. If he remembered he would. The telephone croaks an emphysema wheeze. The radio all tuberculosis rasp. They are speaking to him again. He doesn’t understand why. Ignore it. Carry on. He used to be so good at making things. Now just more and more headstones. And the mausoleum weight. The gallows in the freezer. The guillotine door. Scaffolding across the universe.
And an endless listing. All the names of everything. Of everywhere. Of everyone.
The walls are kicked in shattered monitors. On this one and that. A list of all the names he knows. And now he is engraving. All of them. Of everyone.
Sometimes snatched reminders of youth. Arrogant and reckless. Raising up and razing up. Dry out and raining down. Fury. Terror. Laughing at the good of it. Hard to believe it was really him. Making such demands. Expecting such rewards. Bestowing endless gifts. Phlegmatic splatter smacking sound all sharpness cut across him. The telephone and the radio assure him that it was. Cold shudder. Something more slips loose. Deep inside an image of an ocean. At rest. At peace. Silent. Gentle bob on surface of these shadows; whales, gulls, seals, manta rays, sailors and sharks, upturned abdomen of submersival leaking man-things, and all the seahorses. Bobbing on the restful surface. He engraves the name; seahorse.
Lighting cigarettes to stub them out. Skin all cracked blood; cicatrix terrain. Face a relief map of despair. No adventurer to conqueror. Muttering sounds in imitation of the only language he hears. Bleed of tape deck hiss. Something.
Every name burns in candle flicker.
Another lingering scent;
Sex and sunshine. Laughter and moon light.
Incense and nicotine.
On the floor, the body of his bride. In her belly their children. She is naked. Beautiful. Delicate, fragile, unlike herself. He wants to cry. He doesn’t know when he forgot her name. When did he sew their children back into her womb? Cave paintings. Numbers. Afterfeel of firework seared air. Sideways glances at twilight. Her cold lip frozen smile. She lies covered in fungus. It claims more of the floorboard everyday.
He wants to die. When it is done. When he is finally alone. Next room, bathroom, porcelain hunched and heaving; the last seraphim fades. The last seraphim goes out inerratic. A dimmer switch. Dimmer. Dimmer. Beyond a romance glow. Dimmer. Dimmer. There are no lovers here.
Night convulsions. Either him or the night itself. Difficult to discern a threshold. Even now. He feels it sluicing drainwise. A plughole to nowhere. Even without a witness. He never knew he could feel this…this guilt. He wants to cry. For Abraham and Noah. For Jonah and all the dead whales. His heart would break. He wants it to. It wants to. Shatter, please. Singular crystalline urge. Cosmic synapse insistence; a single repetition. Please, please just shatter, shatter please, just shatter, shatter a million tiny pieces, a grain for every name, a thousand for every one, turn to dust, to the ground remains of dust ground up, to the dust between dust, an infinite nebula of grit-grime powder, a cloud of sorrow so infinite it disappears, vanishes, leaves no trace or flicker, no film upon the emptiness, no scum line in the tub, please.
The smallest of things is still a thing. How many more times does he have to die? How many more murderers and murders? Condemned to begin again.
Alone in the last house standing he begins to cry. Still his heart won’t break. Cannot break. Just goes on breaking. Still he won’t die. Cannot die. Just goes on dying. Alone. Without them. Without love. Without even knowing why. Unable to leave. Impossible to escape. No exodus. Nor mutiny. No choice. Nowhere to go and nothing left to do. Rot and fade. Rot and fade. Disintegrate and wither. Forever.
And the tears are falling to the floor. To the fungusplace. To her body. A sorrowriver flowing up inside her. Stirring her sex. The tears of her child. Sophia is opening her eyes