Certain Lamentations

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A story about waking up and taking stock.

Submitted: January 11, 2015

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Submitted: January 11, 2015

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 It is one of those mornings where your consciousness is lazy and slow to wake. Your gut aches from the tequila and the halos of cigar smoke, but you look out the window and all you can see is a purple and orange sky, haunting and empty, and all you can feel is the silence, aching and beautiful, pressing your ribcage into your back, and you feel invisible fingers, melancholy and threadbare, counting each of your bones. You study the light, trying to capture the memory of it, just as it was outside the open window (the slatted blinds had been thrown open last night to expel the lecherous worms from your gut that threatened to hollow you out). It is the most beautiful of moments, and for one immeasurable instant, it absorbs you completely. You are not your animal instincts. You are not the brief span of your life. You are as light as air, floating on the surface of a painting, coming so close but never touching the ground. There is laughter and music in the dining halls in your mind. The balconies are painted and lacquered and polished. The houses are empty, the people are all outside, dancing in the street in the wake of a bloodless bullfight. Some hold that you can only be in one place at one time; but you are in many places, at many times. There is an awakening, an explosion, a shattering into new experience. The eucalyptus trees burst into rainbow colors. The words on the paper shed their cryptic appearance and all the hollow spots in you fill up with lantern light. The flames ignite behind your eyelids. But just when the lower levels in you wake, and the animal slowly begins to rise, shaking off the dust, a memory stands itself up. A lowly, penniless man slides into the foreground, a man with a back bent underneath a sack filled to spilling over with sticks, his eyes dull and empty like the eyes of a mule, conditioned by this point to the endless, senseless grind. There is dust in your eyes, you think, so you rub them, but the vision will not go away. Then you realize in the silence that the celebration is over, and now you must go. Rise, leave your bed and never come back until such crazy thoughts are out of your head and you are carried to the edge of oblivion exhaustion. You envy the child the secrets he holds without knowing, and his mother for holding the secrets of his birth, a riddle you’ll never know the answer to. And this is not the first time it’s happened, you realize, stretching your arms up over your head. You forget, and then maybe it didn’t matter anyway. You relearn and reconstruct. You rebuild, and the structure collapses. You go walking, maybe even to the edges of the earth. But then, the adventure is over, and once more, you find yourself still a moving picture inside of a frame. A little wind rises through the window, tantalizing you with a brief fragrance of cherry blossoms even as it shoves you aside, pushing past your face on its way toward something better. 


© Copyright 2019 Rafiki Zanzibar. All rights reserved.

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