And Now As The Cities Burn



Part 1:

Lies Upon Lies Upon Lies.

They say that the wounds will heal in time. That in time everything will be OK. They are wrong.

The pain is sharp and incessant and constant. It never stops. It constantly prises open my eyelids and keeps me from sleep. I feel that my rage is beginning to consume me. I hate everything I see. I loathe everyone I see. I want to watch it all burn to the ground. We will pick through the blackened and charred remains of us. We will turn over rocks and look at the scorched black earth. The memories smoulder amongst the wreckage as we long to see the sky. The stars glint above the smoke, but we cannot see them. The broken rubble is now the landscape and there is nothing left. We destroyed it all and I would gladly do it all over again. The acrid smell of death hangs heavy in the air and we choke and choke on the fumes. Those days when we lived for the touch of another are over. The uncontrollable, deep itching crave is not as irresistible now. Now the fiery passion is dull and quiet and morose. Those irascible urges are extinct and they have died along will all the rest of them and they sleep soundly and snugly in their early graves.

Everything has always disappointed me, but I have been proved right yet again. There are bodies strewn on the ground, rotting in the soaking wet mud and black ash. Just exactly where they deserve to be. There is a mass of human flesh, dead and decomposing. The stench is unimaginable, but it is no worse than when they were living. Just a mound of corruption and lies and broken promises all twisted up inside their own inflated sense of self-importance. The dread never leaves me that I will see another living soul. Just the sight of one single breathing mess of flesh who will scar this perfect revolution of solitude. The human race destroys everything good and pure and leaves nothing but desecration in its wake. Where I leave nothing but intemperate footprints in the sand that will be washed away by distant and turbulent waves that are yet to come. We scream and scream at each other and fuck and fight and consume and consume and consume and obliterate everything that has any true value or worth. Anything that is sacred we pull to the ground, anything that is beautiful we rape and use and leave an empty, quivering husk endlessly rocking back and forth in the spray of a lukewarm shower of shameful regret.

Stop. That’s what the red button says. It floats just in front of my eyes. It looks into my soul and it knows that I am alone. I hate it. I want to push it just so that the bodies on board take flight and crash through the windows. Just so I can watch the glass shatter and the sight of the blood will reassure me that someone else feels pain. Stop. That’s all it says. A red button with white writing. The white paint is starting to flake off. Perhaps this was caused by the eager fingers of a lover who was getting off to go and meet someone they love. Maybe not. I will never know for sure. Maybe it will be warm if I touch it. Maybe it will be cold like my fingers and I will feel nothing from its artificial plastic surface. The music in my ears controls me for a while. It soothes me and stops me from carrying out the horror that is occurring in my mind. There is always a storm raging within us all. I look down at my hand and it is clenched. The knuckles are white and the blue veins stand out on the surface of my skin. My teeth grind against each other. The scraping crunch reverberates around my skull and I fear that they will hear. Them on the outside.

They all sit there with their worries and their stresses and strains that show upon their gaunt faces. Their hollow black eyes carry the pressures of the day for all to see. It is too hot because of the heaters blasting hot air and the steamy windows are sealed shut so no oxygen can penetrate this undulating metal cattle container. They: the victims, the drones shift uncomfortably in their seats. Some of them have electronic gadgets or books or plastic bags filled with shopping. The bags are full of things that they have been told they have to buy. Shiny packets that promise everything; but provide nothing.  No precious nutrients will pass their crisp starved lips.

The one next to me is sitting too close. He is dressed in black like all of them and his nose drips and drips. All so generic and uniform, so dead or dying on the inside. The ghost sitting next to me is sitting too close. His elbow keeps touching mine and I hate it. I want to push him off the seat and into the aisle where he belongs. He deserves to be on the floor with the muddy footprints and the old pieces of torn, dirty newspapers. They all can’t wait to get home, so they can take off their uncomfortable shoes and forget about the emails and sticky notes so that they can sit in front of a glowing electronic box so it can tell them that their lives aren’t perfect and you need more shiny packets and products so that you can feel complete. You are so unfulfilled, you need these things, they are new and improved, new recipe, new formula: they are better and you need them. You need them to make you better. They are full of nice chemicals that will make the pain go away. The drugs will make it better; then you will be able to cope. Everything will be OK. They say that all you need are the right drugs and time will heal any wound. Everything will be OK.

It’s alright that you live a feverish existence and every day is a struggle, you aren’t the only one that feels this way. You just haven’t got the right multi-vitamins and you don’t get enough cardiovascular exercise and you eat too much red meat and you smoke too much and perhaps you should just have one glass of wine a night. It’s full of anti-oxidants after all. They are meant to be good for you. They are meant to take away the pain. Not the pills, don’t take too many pills. They won’t make the voices stop. They won’t stop you from hurting other people. Stop. That’s all it says. Stop.


Part 2:

There Is A Storm Coming

But now that the destruction and the chaos are all I have left. I detest everything about you and I want to make you suffer. And it’s fucking hard to drive with tears blinding you. The fires and dying embers of the cities are bright and they shine through the tears like blurred red diamonds. That night I saw the hate within you and you wanted to make something hurt. You wanted to destroy and maim and sever and you were just like the rest of them as the rage claimed you. Not you. Anybody but you, don’t let them take you.

Now that I am the only one left I don’t miss anything. I still feel cold and empty and even now that the roads are empty and desolate I don’t feel anything: I will just drive and drive until the road ends. I will drive until there is nowhere else to go, until the road runs into the unforgiving embrace of the ocean.

Now the car is pitched downwards in the water. The blackness is creeping up the outside of the windows. The light is starting to disappear. This is the last light I will ever see. The water is starting to come in through the door and the cracks around the windows. The water splashes around my feet and I can feel it start to freeze the extremities of my rank dying flesh. It is up to my shins now. I still feel nothing, except the cold. It is up to my chest now and the pressure on my chest is building and it is restricting my breathing. The weight of the water is pressing on my ribcage. I can feel every individual molecular cell starting to shut down. I can hear my heart beat getting slower and slower. I feel every one of my internal organs being consumed and penetrated with the cold. They are telling me something is wrong and that this isn’t going to end well.

I still feel nothing. I feel no remorse or pain or suffering. The water is up to my chin now, it caresses my cheeks and now my whole body is numb. And then I think of Her.

She whispers to come into her, to slide into her. She whispers that it is time to sleep. She puts her cold ghostly arms around me and pulls me under the surface. Her eyes are misty and sad, but I see no fear within them. Her face is just how I remember it and she flashes the shadow of her forlorn little smile. An echo of something lost. I kiss her lips as we slide deeper under the surface and they are still warm. The water swallows me as I take my first breath and the piercing cold glides into my lungs. I feel no panic as the burning red pain begins to grow in my chest. All I have known is pain and I’m glad that you are all gone and I will never waste time thinking about any of you. I never needed any you, you were just the dusty puppets whose bright colours temporarily distracted me and kept me sane, for a time.

Ashes to ashes. Dust to Dust.

But through of all of this chaos, when the birds fall out of the sky and the clouds are aflame we will still be together. Even though you are dead or dying you will be there holding my hand. Even if the hand has no skin, I can still feel its warmth. We stand in our masks and breathe the purified artificial air as we watch it all burn. There is a storm coming and we don’t know if we will survive it. This might be the end of it all and then we can dance under the heavens with the stars on fire and wait for it all to crash down around us. I wait for the ultimate, unbroken and relentless silence to press down on me from above and crush me into the earth once more.

And then it happens and there is nothing but black


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