The experimental life

The words came pounding at his door like ruffian bill collectors. He had turned them away so often that this time he decided to let them in. He took his thrashing equanimously: after all, the thrashing was less of a sacrifice than the years he had lost putting it off.

The blows were filled with the scent of his spurting blood. But along with the crimson scent came stories that had been lost beyond hope of recovery, vague memories of incidents that never happened, elaborate outlines of moments that would never be. He lay there, wallowing pleasantly, grateful to be surrounded by so many friends. Before night descended on him like a painful entity, he took what little he had and offered it up, hoping someone would come and lift it from his hands. Then he fell.

In retrospect, thinking back, he had perfected his life in absentia. He had not understood the words that first time around, had only thought he did. He had mistaken them for friends when he should have been more wary. He shook his head ruefully: one only learns with time.

But from a distance it now seemed worth it. My frequent crises. The rise to loneliness. The savage peaces. The necessary pain. The extraction of thought. The push to create and to be and to do. The upright end. The dream poems and the inner sanctum where we only need be. Seen in this light, there seemed a certain sense to the whole thing that he had overlooked before.

Even now, as the juice ebbed away, he felt the word beating inside, pouring like music through his life. Even now its sound was strong and even now it called to him. Even now, when he was powerless to follow.

Perhaps this Christmas, he thought to himself, I will be granted an armistice in this endless war that I have waged against myself. Perhaps the battles will end. Perhaps I will be absolved of these suicide missions whose only object is to bring down a part of me. Perhaps, he thought.

Perhaps Santa or the all-powerful God or the lazy slut will concede me that one gift. Or perhaps, this year, I will just go and grab it for myself.

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