Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Damocles

I pull the knife out of me. Once and for all.
 

This is what I tell myself as I reach over my shoulder and across my back, hand testing, clasping the handle with the first fingers to alight on it. I manage another finger—the ring finger. By the time my silver-soaked pinky joins its peers, a cold sweat is breaking across my brow and my hands are beginning to shake, quietly at first, then violently, spasmodically, my heart now pounding and threatening to fly the coop of my cadaver; this point—this edge—is my constituting factor, my definition and my deepest adoration. It’s been buried there so long that I can’t remember what I was like before the blade was there.
 

What am I without that blade beneath my skin?
 

My hands shake, falter completely. Lose their tenuous grip on the handle still caked in my desiccated filth and gore.
 

I hate this wound; this wound distinguishes me. I love this wound; this wound obliviates me.
 

A new hand emerges from the darkness, and in a flash grasps the handle with a firm determination and wrenches it unhesitatingly free from that eternally weeping and gangrene-laden sore on my back, and yet, despite expecting the worst agony imaginable, hear only the song of steel surgically exiting my back, blissfully absent—and in this absence of agony, this sudden lack within me, a seeping, sickening, undefinable sense of the purest gilded dread descends on me as the mane of a maligned lion.
 

WHAT…NOW. Another ragged inspiration. WHO…AM I.
 

My putrefied heart pulses, once, twice, triplets, a blast beat; this is anything other than what I had expected. Not this nauseating agoraphobia, this absolute annihilation of my Existenz, my raison d’être, my metier—this pain extraordinaire.
 

WHO AM I, I ask myself, the corpse asks itself. We have no answer as light returns to our muddied eyes, air to our punctured lungs, blood back into our collapsed venules. THIS ISN’T ME we croak. THIS ISN’T ME…WHO IS THIS?
 

The novel hand of mercy, already evanescing back into the eternal umbra. We are alone…I am alone. The pain now removed, robbed and raped from me, leaves only me and me alone—nothing special, no rare calamity to explain, to expunge all the evil—no wrongdone benefaction blessing my beastly behaviour. Just patience. And understanding.
 

THANK YOU FOR LISTENING, I croak out my asshole. WITH MY THANKS.
 

Despite all the blood once again coursing through my heart, arteries and everything, I feel a small supernova beneath my freshly sanguinated skin.
 

WHAT HAVE I DONE?
 

She was ever my perfect scar; I was meant to always be hers.
 

THIS IS DISASTER. THIS IS CALAMITY. THIS IS WORMWOOD, LOW IN THE QUIET NIGHT SKY.