writing to survive
. . . only the retelling counts

Acolyte

Do I know you? Have we met?

Seriously: have we met?

Because you look familiar, like someone I used to know, except he was a he and there is the matter of the eyes. His were a different color, quite a contrast, actually, to yours, but, trust me, you have beautiful eyes. Maybe it’s the feeling I’m getting from you. Your aura. Somehow, we are connected. Guilt by association? You seem to know a lot more about me than I do about you, but I know some things. The eyes give you away.

You’re a kind person, I can tell. Your skin is soft, too, the area behind your knees sensitive to the touch, and right now you hunch your shoulders, bare in November but still your skin exudes heat, and–-ouch–there's a split-second twinge in your lower back, near your left hip, followed by a full-body tingle, the shudder of recognition. Yes. I can see you. The phantom that haunts this space can see you. I am harmless, just trails of foggy emotion and tendrils of metaphor, a withered specter floating down nonexistent hallways, shaking my chains at fading memories. My only remaining power is that of description.

I don't know you, but I am proud of you. Does that make any sense? But it's true! I am proud of you. I don't know you, and yet I feel it, the thing you don't believe in, the flow of love from me to you and back again. It's a gift. You are a gift. I take it on faith, but I know it's true. I accept it. So don't worry about me. I've shed my desire. My hands no longer hate, my heart beats slow and steady, my mind is clear. I feel no anger or attachment and have taken it upon myself to give advice to those who seek it, even when the questions are disguised as statements or hidden under floorboards or jammed between the pages of disused books. Scrawled on scraps of paper, penknifed into the bark of unfortunate trees, typed in emails never sent, your questions are safe with me. My answers come in metaphor; the ellipses, the gaps between words, are more important than the words themselves, but the words will not betray either of us.

The questions will assert themselves as aches, pains, needs. If you wish, you will know where to find me.

Or maybe you're already here.

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I have no idea how to categorize this. So it goes without.

Image by Xavier Mazellier.
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