By Matt Jones
I think if you remember back far enough, you will find a heavenly time. For me it was a long time ago when I was a spoiled kid. I had everything, including an atmosphere which would let me get away with it. There is something about being young where anything goes because children are closer to where we all want to be: sitting in the sun up on that island. God is my head and there is but one rule: don’t forget how it works---and for a time, it was good. Conversely my parents, being atheists, really only had one rule which was enforced: eat thy fruits and vegetables.
In my adolescence I was struck, as we all were, with what we came to know colloquially as ‘Twilight Rains.’ That is, when the frozen Moon of Iddarus was shattered by our brute mechanics. An entire body. A time of contemplation and catharsis swept over the world, for as I remember frozen shards of water fell down on our planet in rain, cubit by cubit. For how many days, nights? It remapped things for us here. Some would say a maturity, some would say sin. I remember exactly when I began to wonder if our post-apocalyptic remnants would see themselves perhaps ill-representative of how they came to be.
I met Lilith. Everyone did. A stubborn, exquisite woman born from the dust, it was eventually where she would leave me. I still find it appalling, looking back, that she rose to the position she did. A problem lover--a problem, period--she just makes things worse. Ironic, for her enunciations, her books...her spelling. The whore, that such a leech is capable of love shows the complexity of things. She damned me. If allowed she’ll damn her husband, their androgynous child, everyone.
It just went to shit.
So I find myself lost--a recluse for how long now? Of memories, of friends, of everything. I crawl on the dirty floor of drugs and dirty sex, chasing the transient taste of that once divine spark so that I might be ignited and heated once more. Do I deserve that love? This is what I sit wondering. That purpose of my note here. I don’t know. I can’t remember. I haven’t talked to my parents in some time now. Instead I spend the days creating my own magic. Crowley, and Dee--this and that--like holding E flat. Call it rock bottom, or call it a truth refused to be accepted, I lay here so tired.
I really don’t feel well at all.
“Well, you have Scurvy” the doctor comments. He has a slight lisp, and his pin of intertwined snakes tells me this with a hiss. Ophiuchis
I sit in the walk-in clinic’s examination room with my empty musket, a colonial dunce lost in the mysteries of the frontier. An explorer, far from home. Why haven’t I called home? All around me I hear natives laughing. I guess you never know just how far you’ve slid down those shale slopes of nutrition until you hit the foothills of an official deficiency. I’m not sure whether to laugh or to cry so I blink three times and say: “Oh.”
“Yeah, just go home and eat some fruits and vegetables...” He trails off, looking down at something on the clipboard in his hand. Complete imbecile? Check. I sense no pity from the good doctor. It is just a fact of life, seemingly, that Scurvy rears its ugly teeth now and then. Until this point I assumed it was lost to the antidotes of history---but then again, what year is this? “Yeah get some vitamin C, and once you get that into your system you will be looking a lot better. Nothing to worry about.”
“Forgive me.” I have no further words I can muster. I am running on fumes.
Later that day I am walking strong. I am cathartic: no longer a desperate fool fallen to an alien planet, but a shaman melted to its earth. The horizon is beautiful: the black sun with its dancing rays, they are crooked, nagging at the moon to turn around. Don’t. I am not home but somewhere else--and it is good. Morality? Well, that is of another order. There are those who remember where they’ve been and those who do not.
In my hand is a fruit smoothy of the largest size. I drain the inverted phallus of its contents feeding the anima. As I pass by people I muse: we are so many varieties, some of which are not human. I peer into each set of eyes I pass by. The pupil is black; there is depth. Somewhere deep within I hear the sound of a waterfall, and lit up through the suspended mist are the higher lights of a burning Avalon, my destination.