09: December 2015 #08 - Autistic Dark
Authored by James Kwapisz
00:18 reads the dash, and beyond the road winds on eternity. The abyss of these Nevadan hills hollow against the blue-black night. Phantoms of eons past crowd the sky, sprawled over their spinal zenith, their back to us. We are deaf to their light. Time is written in your hands. Look at them. Rivers drawn by the folds of your labor, the litany of deeds strewn across calluses. The granite lodged in your palm, a gift of memory from your spastic 3rd grade peer, frustrated with cursive. The meteor scars where warts were singed from existence: the virus the plague that would not let up. Not until the year you absently slammed shut a car door on your thumb, and the nail never grew back quite right after that. And when was that? Where in these 18 allotted minutes does this incident lie, crystallized in some vaporous mass among the phantom light? 00:18 on the dash, and time does not budge. The road winds on eternity, and the sun does not rise. Tomorrow, suspended in abstraction, golden and idyllic, as distant, as close, as death beyond the horizon. Render the scale and see how the mind reels, slipping its grip of its feeble reckoning. Earthbound insistence on linear progression reconsidered about other axes, or about nothing at all. Ease your hand along the invisible contours of entropy, endless vectors extending far beyond your reach. Far out to the nether regions where indifference reigns supreme, where ignorance of sentient trials governs that court of inanimate peace. Ease your hand over the steering wheel, hug close to the line dividing the road and know: it has been drawn for you by a fellow of your form, akin in your destined course. Smooth on through manmade caves still dripping nitroglycerin from what artificial supernovae conceived these black hole tunnels, our limbo, lit only by signs and the dividing line. The road is aimless, yet it is our sole conduit to the other. Here lies the pavement of agreement: here lies language, logic. This, our venture for objective order, our encroachment on the timeless earth, is brittle, subject to weathering, and, despite our seasonal reinforcements, ultimately will be grown over at the end of this cosmic hour. At 00:01 there is an explosion of light. And within the next few minutes the exposition of life: bacteria, fish, reptilian life-forms unto full-fledged mammals; and alas, it is 00:06, we awake with some unnamed vengeance against existence: quickly we usurp all monarchs of the animal kingdom in opposition to the cause, or lack thereof. The royal We, with blood on our hands, assumes the throne, which we long to maintain until the winter of our discontent, at the close of our hour. Judgment day like a Mayan eclipse: watch the shadow of Earth creak over night’s beacon like a sewer cap enclosing us in our own waste: the sum of our desires, reeking of sex and death and excrement, all a rosy tinge under the muted light of a blood moon. Until then, we hunt, we gather; we unite in tribes and divide into factions; hierarchies are established and kingdoms arise; we devise economies, we wage war and oppress others for their otherness; all the while love and greed buzz in ever-wavering gridlock the hum of normalcy and catastrophe. The intervals between minutes seem to dwindle as our tools and toys advance, and at 00:17, the invention of changeable parts. Factories are pieced together with steel and steam, humans are shackled to machines and routines, children are put to work. The flatulence of profit billows out smokestacks as some get fat as others wither. The sky deflowered by our swanlike lust, choking against our ravages—yet see how pretty are her blemishes, how the hues of her bruises saturate deeper at the end of each passing day. Over a distant hill a mock sun rises, harboring the mock gods, more merciless than those of heathens’, who erected this haven of eternal day whose contrived radiance penetrates the night sky. Here the balance between binaries is off-set: here one does not define the other, but one is glorified and its opposite denied. Forever-lit casinos wherein oxygen is pumped through the lungs, and alcohol flows perpetually through the bloodstreams, of patrons loyal to their quest for the comfort of death: timelessness, every pull of the lever the same pull, each a new opportunity at the slots to win the jackpot. And what might that be, if this continual rebirth is not reward enough? Over the hill the mock sun rises, scintillating the prophecy of our premature demise. You can see Jeremiah moping through the casinos, begging men not to bet their families’ budgets on black, paying off call girls so they do not defile themselves for this one evening, resisting a destiny already written, and all rebuke him. Perhaps an hour is too ambitious a ration to hope for. And how you would like to see them suffer, the immoral swine, from your high seat in the court of apathy when our doom is deemed by the gods, be they human or ethereal. Yet who is the more removed? Come down, return to time. All your purpose is relevant only in relation to our spans of suffering. Smooth on through the city, sin with the sinners, humor the whores, offer libations to your self-imposed deity. See the weeping prophet sitting on a rock at the city’s limits lamenting all consumed in the pyre of their desires. See him, but move past him. Over a distant hill a purer fire burns, and over that hill death sits clad in the clothes of a new day.