I sit alone in the dark facing the fading West.
My cats and dog keep watch with me.
They are faithful and far-seeing companions.
The moon waxes. It is not yet full but her face is bright and turns ever more towards me with each new night. She is veiled by dark and gathering clouds, some gray, some white, some black and pregnant with storm, some barely a mist, yet still she is unmistakable in her intrigue.
The wind is cool for such a screeving summer, strong and old, as if it arose from some uncharted province of another world. I wonder, did this wind once blow upon the ancient and over-anxious urbane streets of banished Alexandria, or circulate deep among incubating Antarctic caverns long before the glacial ice froze and swallowed up the remnants of her native life?
The screen of my cell phone suddenly alights itself, as if the sickly eye of an ill-bred Cyclops uncannily opened to search the naked night.
A call from some lesser time? A signal from a different world? A cryptic message encrypted by arcane codes to erupt in nothing and then become naught? I care not anymore.
I pick it up without looking at it, my instinct not to let it see me. It is less a monster than a pathogen, less a giant than a germ. As long as it is unaware of me it is unremarkable and still sterile. Or I am, and either way is boon to me.
I throw it far away, into the high grass near the oldest part of the western woods. It can lie there, and lie there, and lie again, stinking of itself. I’ve no interest for where and when it lies. Or how often. Hopefully it will feed the foxes who first laid the trap for me to catch the damn thing in the first place.
Hoist them upon their own petard; the infernal machine eats the makers of itself by some ill-designed and eternal osmosis. What better and more truly fit kind of slow digestion than that?
Still, all in all, it will probably survive. Recirculating itself infinitely, not in some stream of fervent, living blood, but in the countless channels of that vapid vapor that is the unreal aether. I fear there is no upper limit such unnatural things cannot reach and no pit so bottomless it may prove itself a lasting grave.
I look again at the moon and wonder to myself, “Is there any satellite of man like you?”
Are all our works just empty screens that mirror back our unspoken tongues, a looking glass to nowhere, nothing ventured –
Do you too ever read messages from long dead worlds?
I truly hope so.
And when you do I also hope to trust that you will turn your face away from them, to other and far more important things.
Like the quiet darkness that fills all the spaces between the thing that isn’t anymore, and what’s to come when this is something once again.
For it is always something once again…