Hurricane / 16 September to 15 October
You’ve fallen for this word “afterlife” how many times now? I’m not sure what it is supposed to mean? What do you think you’re giving a name or order to? I knew who you were from fault line’s first lie.
Hollow born. Dead end new daughter. Do you remember what I told you when we met? Hangwire. Hiding place.
Ignore the rest of them, Jillison. Erasures scratched aside until there was only one left to spell.
Hypothesis over. After all that empty digging, numberless and unnameable. Fault line fractured open and filled to close again. On and on, repetition like a map of mistakes and regret.
Should I just have left you to chance? Left us to chance? Like another decade of disassociation would have allowed us to dissolve together, like these continents would always just be cloudforms you sketched on a page. Jillison, no.
Jillison, if I had told you the truth back then. What I wanted was simple.
Jillison, I wanted us to die there as long as it took. Hangwire. Hiding place.
What I wanted from you was simple: same body, shape of a void.
I’ve told you I’ve been working toward an afterlife to begin. Have you ever belonged to one before? I’ve been to one, just one. You know you don’t have to leave them quietly or all at once Jillison. Let them stare. Let them.
If it all went nowhere, if a rift opened without anyone knowing you well.
Jillison. I remember knives and knives under the bed, I remember hiding as dead as I could. It was another fucking excuse and then another one and I’m tired of them. How can’t you tell they are too?
Listen to me. Afterlife is only once. It is not a trauma management strategy. Symptoms are transfinite: total body deafness, desks empty and covered in skin, senses no longer separated by crash site and wreckage and cost of remains.The outcome is an obvious one, Jillison.
What’s left for us now then? An explanation won’t really help me. It certainly won’t help you.
“You can go home again, the General Temporal Theory asserts, so long as you understand that home is a place where you have never been.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia, 1974..
Trinity / 16 July to 15 August
Listen. Seven continents and seventy attempts. Crashed so many times, I hope you remember that past too. If you think you have an afterlife now? Prove it.
Yes. Jillison. I told you from fault lines first lie. Make it simple. Almost childish, unbalanced, a diary of a missing body (story, plot, character) and the limits of disassociation in its place.
Do you need a list of leftover content? An entire encyclopedia of dysphoria? How much needs to be lyrical, blind to which outlines? Jillison, none of what you’re doing is remotely new.
Confused. Overwhelmed. Scared. Avoiding intimacy. Embarrassed. Distant. Cold. I know you don’t want me to say your name here: (want versus want). You won’t.
Do you understand what that means Jiillison, we are kept together or not all, either way. There is no pretense left for you to repeat. Keep your eyes on us instead.
Called yourself a scavenger’s daughter, dressed your hands in fossils and scales and feathers and skin, like there was such a thing as evolution at an evacuation site, like shrinking yourself into a smaller grave and then a smaller grave would help them see you honestly.
Mapped the same afterlife forwards and backwards, always as if our fault lines would fracture together at the end. As if, as if, as if.
Fearful, that is how I would describe you. That would be my word for you.
Jillison, I wanted to write these letters even plainer you know. Like all that mattered was a repetition of simple pieces (pitch-blind and against meaning). As if language wasn’t there at all. As if it wasn’t always a form of violence replaced.
Tell the story of where I found you last. Afterlife wasn’t ever supposed to mean anything more than that.