Thursday, December 2, 2010

In the Wind

The vortex tears through the landscape, ripping apart everything in its unspoken need to feed oblivion. Objects passing by mere blurs in peripheral vision, though the roar in the air remains a deafening constant. Occasionally, there's a momentary scream, piercing and mercifully brief. He's labeled the ones higher in pitch as "children," and he'd be pained to learn how accurate the connection is. His muscles are exhausted; there are no calories left to burn. But he's holding on with fingers locked. He's no idea what foundation the metal bar is attached to, but he's certain it will not hold forever. For the life of him, he can't figure out why he just doesn't let go. Are seconds of life that precious?

Reality turns inside out. Winds, usually invisible, paint themselves with remnants of dust and water. He can only look down, towards the gaping maw that wants to swallow him. Breathing is almost as difficult as hanging on, and each inhalation feels strangely like a lung has collapsed. He's always wanted to fly, but now only wants to kiss the Earth, even with pieces of it stuck in his throat. There's a chorus of screams, passing marginally slower, and below his feet he sees the bus disappear into the nothingness. A fleeting impression of pity gives way to the realization that, unlike him, they didn't die alone. Perhaps that's what he's waiting for. A companion to travel with to the other side.

The pursuit of knowledge is destroying existence, and the irony is laughable, but the fear of asphyxiation prevents the joke from being enjoyed. There's another joke in watching one's life flash before their eyes, but it's lost its humor in light of everyone's life flashing before his eyes. Density increases under rapidly strengthening gravity, compacting the whole of human history into one small molecule. He can feel his fingers about to snap, the bones fracturing and the ligaments stretching beyond recovery. Hearing more screams, he forces himself to look up. The shape of a body rapidly approaches and he lets go metal in order to grasp flesh.

He doesn't know who the body belongs to and doesn't really care. Eyes stay closed under the sensation of falling. Their embrace is tight, passionate, and cognitive of their ultimate fate. Giving in, he finally appreciates the wind. He's never been in love, doesn't know what it looks like, or even where it lives. Maybe it'll take him there.

8 comments:

  1. The vortex feeding oblivion is a stark image. I like the fact that he can give in and appreciate the wind. Not sure about lives flashing in front of other people's eyes.

    However, really like the conceit of riding the wind to the other side.

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  2. Blogger Harnett-Hargrove said...

    I like this a lot. Realize the literal aspect of it, however, still can't get 'After you jump and before you land is god', out.
    Or, about jumping into the (very busy) void.
    - Absolutely sure about 'everyone's life flashing before his eyes.' -J

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  3. Sounds like a perfect description of a cold to me. "He doesn't know who the body belongs to and doesn't really care", is a perfect description of how I feel just now.

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  4. This reads like a Dreamscape to me. As always the writing is superb, but the images are just a little too nightmarish for me.

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  5. Tragically romantic but you've nailed it.

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  6. too right, a romantic to the end...ironic coming from a stone cold bachelor

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  7. i do like the close and the hopeful ring to the words...intriguing vignette jeff...

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