You came back haunted.
When you get to the edge of the barrier, the threshold, whatever you want to call it, you cannot turn back. Innocence can be remembered in a photo, a frozen echo, you can still see it in their eyes. When innocence has been damaged, the eyes will be changed for ever. The smile is more forced now.
Innocence is our Eden, our tabula rasa, where everything is beautiful. This is when our spirits dwarf our human form, they radiate from us like a protean chrysalis in its naissance, drinking the purity of our perception. There are no boundaries. But once we are tainted, the colours are unlustred, mutated by melancholy. It hurts. Oh, how it hurts. Soul shock. The first scar can never truly be healed. It is our stigmata, the Holy Spear in our side, bleeding out. Now the eyes tell us of sadness and heartache. The spirit retreats back into the fragile shell of the host. It still yearns for beauty but it is wary.
What is beauty? It is a glimmer and a shimmer from the beyond. We have a word for it. Quintessential. Of course we have a word for it. Blah, blah, blah…cataloguing the banality of existence – a kaleidoscopic mindfuck. The conveyor belt of humanity pouring out drudge sludge.
Returning to the quintessential, or the fifth essence if you have a stunted education. It is angel dust mixed with demon spunk. We cannot quantify true beauty, it is an act of folly to attempt it. We have sold the lie to ourselves. And still we bleed. We have taken the ugly side of human nature and deified it – glossy images of opulent ocular onanism; capitalisted, capitulated, copulated.
There are boundaries but they are trampled obliviously, carelessly, deliberately. Wreckage is everywhere. Monoliths inscribed with the names of the dead, photo montages of corpses in casual embraces. Pile them up, a Mayan Jacob’s Ladder. Fuse religions for more flesh and money! Assemble a placard that says nothing and tote it like a fresh crucifixion. Bless them with your blood, your fervour and your hate. Murder by flesh lust, by cerebral mutilation, by spiritual massacres. The killing fields are our stigmata, souls weeping for eternity. We hear them when we sleep, they try to warn us. Sometimes we are caught in their phantasmal slipstream, blundering beyond time and space, a coin rattling in the universal slot machine. Do you know how to collect your winnings?
The bigger the collective, the bleaker the isolation of self.
“Help me, help me!”
Are you lost? Are you a prisoner? Who holds the key to your freedom? A god? Yes, one so ancient its name has been obliterated from our subconscious. It has bought your soul with the blood of your ancestors.
“I don’t believe in gods.”
Oh. A human then. Do you believe in saints?
Good. They are scattered through the annals of history – impaled, chopped and burned – the punk rockers of religion, keeping it extreme until they can fit into a matchbox.
“Religion is a human construct and thus invalidates any credo.”
You lied to me.
“Martyrdom and persecution are real.”
Has someone radicalised you? Maybe in some alternative reality?
“What is reality?”
I am not sure. Let me ask my avatar.
My avatar is travelling through fictitious landscapes and environs, she is looking for someone new. Apparently, I oppress her.
“How does that make you feel?”
I am a bit pissed off. I may delete her.
Some are destined to be martyrs, singing their devotion as flames consume them.
“Now who is being radical?”
I meant from the past.
“Is there any difference from then and now?”
Fuck knows! Anyway?
We were searching for a key.
“I thought that was a metaphor?”
“Can I ask you something?”
“Who the fuck are you?”
I have no idea.
“How is that possible?”
And then she was gone. Her simulacrum was fresh in my mind. A saint awaiting martyrdom. Did she realise this? She was surrounded by mirrors etched with mutable memories yet in her world she was invisible. I wanted her to come back. A truth was trapped inside of her. Surely she could free herself by raising a hand and bidding the world to stop spinning? She did not have a key but she could pick the lock, she could trick them. Maybe the door was not even locked and she was too scared to confront the reality behind it.
Wait. She was right. Keys are a metaphor. If she was here now, what would she say? Probably nothing. She would simply stick her tongue out…mocking. I need to be more abstract.
Voice: Why are you crying?
I a weeping for the helpless, the abused, the lost.
Voice: Who weeps for you?
I cannot answer that question. I have poured my love into the hearts of others.
Voice: I weep for humanity. My tears are oceans.
And the rain too?
Voice: No. Rain is rain.
Is all of humanity worth weeping for?
Voice: Yes. How do you select who is worthy of your tears?
Voice: My tears are unconditional and a blessing.
Your tears mean nothing! Pathos is a construct to you.
Voice: You amuse me.
Voice: You are drawn to broken souls. You feed off their energy. You stand tall, a prophet with wise words and benevolent tears. Are we so different?
Voice: Ha ha ha! You have a sharp tongue for dull minds.
You are not real!
Voice: Neither are you!
Then the voice was gone. I was not sure if it had ever been there. Would it be simpler to run, to hide? Maybe we are caught in the echoes of past-future, ripples in the flux – unhappenings, irreality.
Would the demons ever drop the mirrors? What is your best side? The side no one can see, the void filled with darkness, a universe inside of me. A universe that lusts for the absolute. Absolute control, absolute loyalty, absolute tyranny. This universe wants to be the last ever divine idol recorded in history. The One that forced billions into yoked submission, the harvester of sorrow. A primordial soul enmeshed with a new soul. A war was raging from the instant of my inception. The darkness infects my DNA – hibernating, hatching, h(a)unting. Isolate the defective gene, experiment on it, kill it. Except you are too late. You have always been too late. Remember when you stopped at the edge of the cliff and peered down into the abyss? You heard the whispers of dead bones. You said that was when you started to fall. You had been falling way before then. Staring into the bloodied mirror shard, your eyes flashing with lightning, your cruel sensual mouth breathing logos into your victims; legions of living corpses marching to the beat of your laughter. Dance, twirl and cavort for the end of days. You can feel them creeping over your skin like cold-blooded harbingers. You are worship, you are blasphemy, you are contrition, you are heresy. You are the love that kills and incinerates. You are complete.
I understand who I have to weep for now.
Myself. I came back haunted.
We came back haunted.
Don’t ever leave me!