The steam whistle doppler
s in my head, making a bizarre siren song
. I feel like I'm being teased down a black hole, smeared toward the event horizon
like a stripe of paint on a canvas
. Thinner and fainter, slower and further. I feel the cold
. This is familiar. He rattles his cage in horror
and raw animal fear. He knows.
We have been here
We are beyond the pale
now, again, same as it ever was. Each life we live runs aground
here. The chairs are set in the familiar places, either side of the stone faced Judge.
There are three players on this stage. The Judge, Myself and It. I am myself. No, wait. This will make little sense
to a whole soul. We exist as three parts of a whole, the jigsaw
. I am free of want, the essence of nirvana
is the spot of black that colors all things, the negative of my image
. He thrashes against his chains, foaming and howling, a whirlwind
. The Judge
, the keeper of Here
, sits in eternal repose
, waiting for us.
I just died again
The shortest life I lived was when I was a silkworm
, clinging to the underside of a mulberry bush
. I died in a frost
, before I even tasted the leaves. It was cold, almost as cold
as it is here.
I've heard the whistling sound before
. When I stormed the trenches in Ypres
, the grenade that stomped
all the air away beside me drowned
me in it. The overload that made my ears scream
was a pale echo
When I slipped off
the icy rooftop in Prague
, I felt everything fall away from around me. The void
swims exactly like the cobblestones
did just before they leapt
up and struck me dumb
, dashed to pieces on the cold wet street
. The vertigo
washes over me.
each and every time I lived because I remember
each and every time I died. It is the punctuation on the sentence.
They remember too.
He is incoherent
with rage, not that he says much when he does speak. When the lives end, he loses. The fire
of life lash
es and torture
s him, and he wails and howls for the ones he leaves behind
. They are the tether
s that tie him down to his chair
. He squirm
s and thrash
es, never tiring, as though the chair was made of thorns
and red hot
iron. The animal wants to live.
nods to us each in time and opens the book
, same as it ever was. We do the dance
we have done a thousand times before.
You stand in Judgment.
He spits and bares his teeth, wild-eyed with rage
The karma must balance.
He cries and wail
s, frothing at the mouth.
If it does not, you will be cast from the bardo once again into the world.
Why does he cry
This is his hell. He wants to live forever. Do you?
. I couldn't remember the stories without the end