Thursday, April 12, 2012

That Grey Unending Dream of Tomorrow

Do you remember when the world stopped making sense? Do you remember what it was like to wake up and face the routine? Do you remember those little hassles that made up the day-to-day? Do you remember shuttling the kids to soccer practice and complaining because it took up so much of your time? Do youremember complaining about so many things?

But not everything was a pain in the ass.

Do you remember sleeping in on Saturdays? Do you remember how I used to roll over and hold you at night while you slept? Do you remember those days before the chill crept in? Do you remember how our children used to laugh and smile and play? Do you remember the days before the fungus grew over our lives?

Now I look at you and you are buried beneath layers of hairy white mold. The twins are there with you. I can see their outlines in the caps of two sickly white mushrooms. They look delicious, but I have resisted. I can feel you down there,Sweetheart, and I know you are watching. That gives me strength. I can feel you pulsing with spores. You are there, and I am here. We’re separated by years of growth and something like death, but still we are connected.

The Remnant, we are, and we are few. We absorb the stinking air. My unused lungs and throat ache, caked in fungus. I don’t even have a voice with which to scream. I don’t know if I even sleep anymore. It is all a dream. A grey dream, unending, yet somehow I endure this nightmare.

It is the little things that keep me sane, I think. The little things keep me who I am. Unlike the others, I remember. At leastI remember some things.

I remember you.

It is the little things that remind me of you. A column of sunlight sometimes breaks the clouds. Spores dance in the dim light, and I remember our honeymoon. I remember watching dust dance in the slanting sunlight pouring through the window of that little cabin while you slept. There was a smile on your face. The sheet hung off of your shoulders, and I could see just a hint of the side of your naked breast. Your body outlined beneath the sheets was young and perfect, and I knew that life was good.

When the others scream, I think of the delivery room. I think of your screams in labor, and Iremember the miracles that followed. Those memories hurt. It kills me to think about the twins and what happened to them, but at least I have those memories.

I can see the growths when I try to close my eyes. There are lichens now in place of my eyelids. I wonder how much longer I have before these growths seep their way into my mind?

Sometimes I can’t help but wonder if they’re my memories at all? We the Remnant share everything. We’re tied by networks of roots feeding on rotten soil. We are one in this new world, forged by our maker’s hand. The mighty connectedness peels back our individuality to make way for our collective. I no longer have the ability to walk. My feet are nothing but a stalk, my arms circle to form a cap, and my face looks upwards into the pale grey skies. I pray for sunlight, for blue skies, for an end to the endless dark humidity, but I know my prayers are in vain.

The world has died and now only the fungus remains. We eat the world away. We are the great recyclers breaking down an unused body to make way for a futurewhich holds no use for us.

At least I have the spores to keep me company. The spores always dance. They dance for me, they dance for you, they dance for the Remnant and become part of the Remnant. The spores take root and grow, eating wherever they land -- new life from old.

We feed on each other.

Philosophically, I know this is wrong, but my neighbor is delicious. Besides, Stanlydoesn’t think anymore anyway. There’s no face left. No mouth with which to devour. He doesn’t speak. His roots grew brittle.

Entropy attacked him long ago. His cells faded. So, I decided: Why should what remainsgo to waste?

I ate Mrs. Burgess from down the street last week. At least I think it was last week? Time’s funny here.

Death is funny, too.

I remember Mrs. Burgess’s sixteenth birthday. How weird is that? She was in her seventies when we were in our thirties. Remember, Sweetheart? How can I have her memories? I wasn’t even born yet at the time of her sweet sixteen! She loved a guy named Thomas. He had long curly hair and wore tiny little green-tinted spectacles.

I love him too now.

I feel you pulsing beneath me.

The spores in the sky seem to be thinning as time goes on. The earth seems to be drying beneath us. We have to search further for moisture. We dig down deeper for sustenance.

What used to be our bones are hollow and petrified. The flesh has dried, and I can feel patches of lichen peeling off andfloating away on the dead breeze.

Growth now covers my eyescompletely.

I don’t sense the Remnant anymore. There is only me, but I have so many memories. I don’t know where I end and the others –or what used to be the others –begin.

Sweetheart, I feel you beneath me, pulsing, always pulsing.

One day you will release your spores and they will feed on me.

Feeding you as the world fades away, I will feel complete.

I can’t wait for tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. This was uncomfortable in a really, really good way. Crackling & fizzing with ideas. Well done

    marc nash