The Desecration of the World I knew
Politics seems to permeate every nook and cranny of our lives. Ideologies literally stomping down the sidewalk in SWAT gear, rounding people up, dividing people into different camps ready to go to war with one another at any moment. Like, how is it that these people are being ambushed and abused for trying to catch a bus? I barely ever paid attention to politics. It was only ever him. His face was always buried in the paper or online news, relating the injustices and the issues back to me. His passion. I was so ignorant - don’t even know if I had a passion.
Mesmerized and unable to stop staring at the anarchy outside of the bus. A new wave ofrevulsion ripples through my body at the bodies being shoved in to the gaps in the rearranging world. Transfixed by the small, feeble attempts to resist; hands flap wildly, feet kicked out weakly as they become a mockery ofHan’s carbonite days. What was I saying before this? Oh, right. Space. Their futility in it. Entombed by the very structure that is meant to liberate them. The idea crashed headlong into me with a crushing weight. “We have to do something!” I shouted at unsympathetic ears. Charon spat at the floor again. Then she turned back to me and growled, “these are on a different journey than your own. There is nothing to be done.”
“No. no, that can’t be right.” I retorted. Like a Buddha on the lotus petals, Charon placidly replied, ”it is the way of things.” Then as if gagging on her own bullshit, she choked and sputtered, coughing up a nasty wad of phlegm, spat it through the little driver’s window.
Everything had devolved. I have no clue who these people are or why they are being treated the way they are. What would he have done? I always find myself thinking that. You know, it is a cliché. And I bet everyone who says it doesn’t really mean it. But, I think I really do mean it when I say, he always made me want to be a better person. Or, maybe just like me, we say it and we mean it, we do want to be better. But, does anyone ever actually become better? He’d probably try to get off the bus, tuck and roll while it drove on if need be. Ever the up-stander, he’d never sit idly by. There I was, at least twice I sat and watched while those - I’m still not even sure how to refer to them; shadows or creatures, or were they people? Are they people? - are beaten and broken, only a few feet away from me.
Galvanized by thoughts of him and the old adage, or acronym or both, WWHD, what would he do? I stood up. If I ever get to see him again, I want him to know that I tried to be my best self. That I stood up for myself, for what was right. I didn’t want to be the coward, or the damsel. The minute that I did, as if anticipating of my angst, my anger, the bus’s review mirror flashed and flared its own challenge. Set deep in the seething surface were violet eyes; a vortex of fire and ice. Crackling with energy they glared directly at me. The whole atmosphere of the bus darkened and joined the electric throng. A hollow wind whistled through creating an eerie chill that ate right through my flesh to the bone.A strange, thin, tinkling of bells echoed out of the darkness. Hooks on the end of chains sprung like cobras out of the floor, down from the ceiling and out of the nearest seats voraciously piercing my flesh and coiling my arms and legs tight to the support bars forcing me down in supplication. Screaming in unexpected agony. Pain I never thought possible. It was absolutely incredible. I was being haunted by my favourite movie. How could it be? A love twisted around.
Kneeling there, waiting for the Cenobites to come and punish me but none did. Was I suddenly disappointed? How far was I going to go? Another question floated out of the darkest recesses of my mind. Something I hadn’t given enough thought to until then; was I dreaming? How else could such a familiar scene have played out, if not for my consciousness? But the answer came fast and just as painful as the hooks; I couldn’t be. This pain was remarkable, ineffable. No dream I’ve ever had felt like this, this physical… this real… I’d been pinched and the pinch never left. I struggled against the chains but that only tightened their hold. I was a fish who’d swallowed the whole hook. Still struggling to get free and forcing the hook deeper into my gullet, dragging its edges across my guts and piercing it into the softest, most vulnerable flesh. So ignorant.
“It is the way of things.” Came the voice booming from every overhead speaker on the bus. I had to figure something out, a way out of this. Once again however, my needs trumped everyone else’s and I forgot about what caused this in the first place. I had to be careful not to wedge myself in deeper. I had to think, but I was struggling with thought at the best of times. Was I a better person? Or, was I dumber? Was I still just acting on impulse, giving what I thought was right instead of paying attention to what was being demanded of me? The pain overtook me and I passed out. I gagged on a swollen sandpaper tongue that seemed to move serpentinely on its own, widening my lips further and further without any thought from me. Dreams within dreams suck. I was numb. Thank god, because my lips split around the engorged appendage.The problem with that was that when he showed up there was no feeling there either. He was beautiful and shrouded in a translucent shimmering aura that engulfed the dark atmosphere of the dream, bringing warmth and light. And I felt nothing, none of it. He was wearing jeans that highlighted everything in all the right ways and a black t-shirt with some strange kabalic symbol that seemed to glow red against the darkness.
“How are you here?” I asked.
“You are missing out on everything.” He said.
“Thanks, that’s real nice.” My temper suddenly flared. I didn’t need a lecture. “I’m on my way to see you. How am I missing out on everything?”
“You really don’t get it, do you?” He asked.
“I’m getting really tired of the questions.” I responded, as if it was him all along, goading me, tricking me, asking me where I was.
“There is no us. Not anymore. That is on you. You have to take responsibility for your actions. You have to figure things out and set them right. But… it might already be too late.”
“What do you mean? I’ll be at the party shortly. I’m coming and we’re going to have a great time.”
“Never mind that. Take this, it’ll probably be the last time I’m going to help you. I loved you… once. I - I can’t do this anymore…”
He quickly began working at loosening whatever was constricting me. Sharply cutting invisible threads. Kissing my cheek, there was warmth, I felt it. I did feel it. My tongue was no longer swollen, but my lips hurt. ”Hold out your hand,” he instructed while wiping sweat from his brow. I did and he put something in it. My fingers closed around it instinctively and he held my hand in his. It weighed nothing, a dream item. I looked at it and it confused me…