Monday, July 16, 2018

Sic Transit

When I look at the map, I can hardly breathe. All the air just leaks out my lungs. These particular squares of spacetime flicker across the bleached screen busily backscattering HEV light into the back of my psyche. Yet unlike a more respectable dose of bleach, there is no end punctuating the agony, only an expanding sense of agoraphobic vertigo—an abyssal chasm yawning in front of me, a camera filming a camera filming a screen—like the slightest fractal movement forwards might thrust me over the edge. I hate these names. I hate these hamlets. Each and every single one of them is a graveyard, psychic and osteotic skeletons lining their streets until they’re nothing but stale, cold, calcified ossuaries. I can already hear the bones starting to rattle—their bones, my bones, the collected bones of the Earth.

I terminate the map in front of me—try to catch my breath. Each of these shattered cities is so shattered because of all the death and gravity polluting its streets. A goodbye is a goodbye—no matter how fate might frame it.

Skirt tears at this thought—clench my diaphragm closed until the point of nearly choking, nearly fading, nearly falling. There is no one left for me here, or there (or here, or there…or here, or there). They’re all gone, and have been for some time. So why do I still look for them? Is there ever any forgetting, any closure, anything so sweet as oblivion when the only single fucking thing in the world you wish you could do is simply forget?

The only thing worse than staring at that sterile map? The terminals in between these maps, these empty fucking corridors, these haunted fucking halls, and there is no one here but the faded phantoms lurking in the umbras of my existence. I’m alone, I’m alone, I’m alone. This is all I can hear as I glide down these deserts of walkways, benches, and bathrooms; all I can think of are the dead and the departed, the absent and unseen. The presence is lost to the absence, always, and ultimately. I too will become a sad spectre glooming in the gloam, forgotten, dissociated, devoid and destroyed. This is the paradox of entropy and self-organization—the chaos confounding all my theories.

What is given that will not be taken? Nothing. Everything will be taken—every last love, every memory, friend, foe, love, and loss. Because even loss itself will be taken from us—the very thing we are all trying to avoid so dearly, so desperately. But not until every other earthly thing is taken.

Who remains in these haunted harbours of humanity? Only strangers, indifference, alienation. No ferrier of the skies dispels the clouds so louring, no lost loves welcome me with open arms. Only. Nothing. The abyss—calling.

My answer?

I am coming.

Photo © 2018 Colin Andrew MacDougall