Memories and Claret
I’m not coming home. I have to tell you I will never come home. There is no place for me. I will never come home.
Soft grass, low gravity, light rain. I had stepped through space into a place of loneliness. A place of isolation. The beauty is suffocating. Fitting. I find no peace in the quite. I carry a train of souls behind me and their chains rattle through the night, forbidding me sleep.
I saw the moon. Huge and sickly. I thought of Earth and of home. Of the home I can never return to. I thought of the forest of towering giants, of the woman I almost loved. The chains and the screams silenced her.
Maybe it was different here. Maybe here I can silence the rattling chains.
I wasn’t too far when I found it. A metal tube leading down into the earth. The darkness whispered to me. Beckoned. One of the voices rattled its chain, insistently.
Not just a cave, but a portal. The darkness speaks to me; it talks to me of secrets. Of why the earth is stained red. My laughter shook of the walls of the cave. The voices began to pull on the chains. Tugging. Snarling. Their angry and I can’t stop laughing.
You were always cleverer than me, you saw the me within me, so I’m sure you realized what I would become faster than I did. Everything was so muddled. Do you remember how I came to you? Hands soaked in red? Do you remember how I couldn’t remember what happened? The red earth whispers to me. It speaks of things that make me remember. Fond memories.
I crawled out of the cave and walked. I felt the wet, loamy red earth pushing up between my toes. It took me a little while to remember that I was hungry. It was a dark pit in my stomach. It almost weighed me down as much as those damn chains. Every step I take they rattle and scream. The voices, the shades. Their howling. They hated that I went down into the caves.
Again, I dived below the surface. This time I found something, almost homely. These place with its soft, red earth. Its history is almost as bathed in red as I am. I can hear its ghosts. Chained to the grass, the red earth, the mountains, the monuments.
Do you remember? Do you remember the second time I came to you? Soaked in red up to my elbows? Was it love? Was it love or hate that made you break me? Would you like to know a secret?
It reminded me of plans I had made. Plans we had made; you spoke of love. You spoke of moving away. Perhaps to Italy. The little villages with their sweet terracotta rooves. Somehow they’d managed to remain free of the steel and glass that was overtaking the rest of the world. Your insistence should have been my first clue. Would you have enjoyed it? Watching me? Broken?
The voices won’t shut up. They howl in my ears. The ghosts of this place have joined my own. The rattling is deafening.
There were cuts in the horizon, like the cuts I made in your canvas? Where were we? I think we were at the shuttle-port. Our bags were packed. A porter was wheeling them away. It came to me. I can never remember what exactly it was that stirred it but when it came to me it came with crystal clarity. I saw the spilled blood soaking my hands like ruby claret. I started laughing. I couldn’t help it, because you had tried so hard to break me. To make me less than I was and you didn’t even know. You didn’t know who you were traveling with. Eloping with. Oh the sweet, honeyed irony.
I remember when you got the news. Long before I came to you covered in crimson. When we were still ‘professional’. Your mobile went off. A short, sharp beep. You’d kept it on. You were usually so good at switching it off. You excused yourself from the room. The worry pulled at the edges of your eyes. You were gone for a long time. I waited. Very still. Very patient. When you came back your eyes were red. You were vulnerable. You needed solace. I dutifully provided.
Oh we had such sweet times. You had no idea, so defined was I created into your mind that when I came to you, vulnerable, bloody, you couldn’t comprehend it, could you? You saw me. For the first time. You saw it all and I remember now the horror in your eyes and then the adorable determination. You broke me and now I can never go home. You made it personal.
This planet. It’s so steeped in blood. It puts me to shame. It almost makes me feel small. I drop of blood in an ocean of viscera. I think of you and I think our times. Even broken I think for a little time I was happy. It’s strange to think that. Did you make me happy?
The chains have softened. This world is ending. The grass withers and dies. There will be no fanfare. Now, I can only wait. I sit here, my ghosts and my chains and the red earths ghosts and the red earths chains. There will be no great explosion. No great shattering. Just a slow decay and a soft whisper.
I think of you, and I think of home and I think, perhaps...