Do you understand, I wonder? Is there any way that you could? Surrounded by love and warmth and companionship, and still you’re alone. Having the world at your fingertips, knowing that the future is just around the corner and knowing that it is nothing but shining promise and potential, and still hopeless.
A single red leaf falling into the rain-rushing river, lost, no matter who sees it, no matter where it ends up.
The knife is protruding from the ground, buried hilt-deep in the soft mud by the bank. I stare at it, I wonder where it came from, what it’s for.
It could stand for violence or peace, stuck in the ground like that. It seems almost holy.
I pull it from the soft earth and try to tuck it into my belt. It cuts me, and I watch the blood fall from my hand to the dark dirt, and I hear laughter.
In my mind, in the air, it makes no difference, I have lost. I have paid the price, and I will be shown the wisdom.
“Life demands blood sacrifice,” a phantom voice whispers. “You never understand anything until blood is shed.”
I see a dead penguin, stuck solid in a pool of its own frozen blood, and I see children dancing around a broken watermelon, and then I see a carved jack o’ lantern and then a melted chocolate bar.
And then the laughter is no longer phantom, but real. And I am no longer real, but phantom.
I watch the world fade as I fade.