I am to be set adrift by sunrise. They spoke of this while I slept, my daughter Anana and her husband. They think I am too feeble to hear them whispering but they are wrong. I am not as slow-witted as they perceive me to be. And yet I continue to rest as if I have not heard a word of what they have said. To them I am merely a greybeard, another burden for the family to carry, a piece of furniture to discard. In hindsight, I cannot blame them. I had thought of my father the same way when I had set him adrift so many years ago.
Thousands upon thousands of dead gods, their weathered bones littering the scorching sands of the endless dunes that lay before him, the harsh winds obscuring probably a million more memories from view. Towards the very end of the of the bone field stands a floating blue door, large “CAUTION” tapes placed across it in glaring yellow, making it look like the barrier from a crime scene.
Braving the treacherous terrain he begins to walk, the sand getting into his shoes, prickling his skin like heated needles. It irritates him greatly but he thinks: Please, anywhere but here.
And he’s sure that he would’ve made it too, never mind explaining how he could’ve reached for a door that seemed wedged directly between heaven and earth, let alone walk thousands of miles. But at that one step he gravely miscalculates, his foot sinking slowly into the sand, right before the rush of fleshless limbs reach for him, dragging him down into the endless darkness.
SHE sits on an uncomfortable, wrought iron chair, her arms and chin propped up on the backrest. With her back arched, she is naked save for a pair of low-slung denim shorts. Seated behind her, on a chair of his own, is a man who looks too old, too ancient to be doing this. Still, his wrinkled hands are steady as he works the machine in his grip. Bottles filled with liquids of different colors crowd around the table next to them, watching intently.
There’s a bullet hole gushing through my upholstery and I know that it’s not mine.
There’s a bullet hole going through my brand new beanbag sofa and even with the Prism in my system, I swear to God that it’s not mine. It’s the groan from the bed room that sets my world right-side-up again. The culprit, she fumbles out, dressed in nothing but my vintage Nirvana Shirt. She fumbles and scratches her ass before even flinching to greet me. “Zaki,” she says, in a voice that I’ve been praying not to hear for a long while yet, “aren’t you gonna give your big sister a hug?”
“I’m not real. I’m not real and neither are you. “
This is what she whispers to me as we stand in the crowded train to Shinjuku, soaking wet from the rain and late for school. Fiddling with the music player in my jacket pocket, I turn up the volume before I press myself against her, my hand pushing up her skirt as my fingers press against that warm spot between her legs. She gives a sharp gasp before arching her back, making my hand press against her harder.
I don’t want to hear her speak.
Slip out of your sins
Your precious lies
What you’ve become
And cradle me in the naked arms
Of your empathy
Strip yourself of words,
The doubts and fears
You’re hiding from
And kiss me with the lush lips
Of your precious tragedy
And if you can feel me
Reach out past the infamy
Believe in what you and I have come to be
I need you to break me
Hunt, ruin and kill me
To wrap me in the shadows of our own hells
And when worlds have fallen
And gods are forgotten
We’ll see if our empire is meant to be
I need the blindness of your faith inside me
Tear away your past
The corridors of our minds are shaking
Taste the sweetness of
that tainted soul
that time has wrought
your downfall will be the birth of
I lust for your power
to rend, slaughter, devour
I’m dying for you to breathe life into me.
And if you can restrain me
Delight in my purgatory
Partake of this discord’s sheer velocity
Then maybe you’re the one who’ll
bring the world down for me
…“Do you dream in high-definition? Do you love with surround sound?”
The light hit her face in such a way that her eyes reminded me of the Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland. We were alone, for now. Even in the spacious bedroom of the RV, I felt trapped. I stared at her reflection in the closet mirror as I got myself dressed. “I don’t understand the question.”
“If life was a television and your existence was a movie, tell me, how well is your perception of who you truly are?”
“Isle, not now.” Here in the midst of a post-apocalyptic wasteland, I’m stuck with a stripper who thinks she’s a philosopher. ‘Wonderful’, I thought, ‘Ain’t I just the luckiest son of a bitch’. You’d think my luck would’ve changed by the time that the world ended.
It’s four in the morning and instead of dozing off like any reasonable bum that’s spent most of the night playing video games or lurking on image boards in cesspool of the internet, I’m working on fashion articles that will most probably never be published by my socialite magazine editor.
This is a memo to every aspiring creative writer whose disillusioned about college, thinking that what they need is that fateful break into the real world, a note that should be scribbled onto those nice, sometimes scented, multicolored post-its normally reserved for your favorite text book with all those cutesy neon highlights that you only use for the lines that you think are important.
The world will not bow down to you like you’re the next Ernest Hemingway.
Lights bleed through Kuneho’s eyelids, denying him sleep for the fourth time this week. He cannot blame it, them; everything goes, flows, glows in a place like this. Sodom and Gomorra bathed in acidic glitter. Instead he crawls out of bed to stare out his window from behind the billboard that acts as his wall. This is home for now, he thinks. He sits on the floor, a lit cigarette clipped between his fingers, waiting till morning, a nearby TV set singing in static.