Some built it up as a burning thing, a combustible thing, but I knew it as a pierce through the window. There were too many small bites to let the heat show. I lost track. The bones inside kept moving.
Jillison had a red incision and a face with various backings. Chalk, gypsum, pigment, or any combination of these.
The room was in linear form, the interior was cut out of dark paper. The walls offered advice on how to distinguish between a drowning (water in the lungs) and strangulation (broken neck cartilage). Jillison read them in front of me.
You start to hate yourself and you don’t even know it. A crow storm at the corners of your mouth. A silhouette split open with an ice pick. It becomes every day.
Head wounds (zygomatic fracture, nasal fracture, orbital floor fracture) matched perfectly with a piece of wet paper they kept in their pocket.
The room went from cold to bone level in less than an hour. I don’t know how.
They told me to wait, so I did. They said it would hurt and it did.
I tried to sleep, six blankets on top of me, it wasn’t enough. I tried to put the skin back on. In the dark, with only my open veins.
A cornered animal must create their own cage.
Once, there were rumors in hell that human beings were happy. So Lucifer sent some minor demon or other up to see if these rumors were true.
They weren’t. Yes. We can zero in on that a little bit.
Children think their imaginary friends know more than flesh and blood people do. It seems ingrained in our mental programming that a mind without a body will know more than a mind within a body.
Dreaming up gods that don’t exist yet (but maybe should soon?). This is how the afterlife comes to devour actual life.
December. Dotted lines across the eyelids. Hair and teeth gives the illusion that there is more body there.
A tenth less atoms. Many times our memories are very low resolution and highly suggestible.
It would be unsettling if we didn’t have all these other identities and read throughs to fall back on.
What are the other possibilities before us? Another tired light hypothesis? The entire framework is much more fallible than we think. Flawed.
We humans are descended from a need. This need. I don’t think there is any use in trying to hide it anymore.
Stared at me like I was missing a part of my face. Or as if I was wearing two faces, tells on top of tells.
An uncanny valley of obvious giveaways, past lives practically in plain sight. Canyons for shadow, cheeks covered by makeup and clay, eyes close enough to crater me.
I watched you blink deeply, roll over your irises, blanket your gaze.
I wanted to understand what scared you first (an avalanche of recency bias, a whole life spent in an empty room, feelinglessness in your face and fingertips).
How you could forget where I left myself in that valley too?
Extinct already, first and last of no one’s kind. There are certain things you should have known by now.
At least ask.
You worked at the church, waited for the animals of your family to die. Hundreds of acres of skin and stitches and still no surprises.
They disgust us because they show us what we are, always, eventually. Small, scattered. Confused. They make a mockery of our pretense of “progress”.
Legs moved like a hydraulic system, unnatural, mathematical, controlled by blood pressure, judgements of lesser parts, meaningless never ending methodical action.
Insects have their own scenery of denial.
I remember a lot of movement without momentum. Angular. Divided. I remember they came out like an ink storm on the sheets and the bedspread.
We took out the mattress and then we took out the whole room.
Jillison. Listen to me.
Don’t ever mistake activity for achievement. They already had a name for that, they called it the insect century.
Do you still not understand what the problem is? I don’t understand the entomology, that’s what you said.
Jillison. Listen to me. This is the truth. Your past comes with you. If you have any insects, you have all of them.