China Crisis

Brushing the dust from my shoes, I lean unconvincingly on a discarded antique baby grand. All the keys look like rotten teeth from years of overindulgence. If musical instruments have soul, surely they should be allowed to grow old like the rest of us? A shrug. He has sex in trees you know; so much desperate thrusting and rutting accompanied by the smell of dank moss, pine sap and the steady discontent of many displaced creatures. You’ve got to admire the man – one half of his brain hammering away, the other half carefully looking for ways to keep himself upright in a rather different sense.

Footholds and cuckolds. Up to my thighs in fucking snow. I ignore the girl spread across a fallen tree; it’s not good for you I keep telling myself. She walks across without leaving a footprint. I can barely contain my erection.

*

I will always fall to memory. As an atheist, I suppose I owe it to myself to live backwards and presently. There is no forwards, just a line of white tape that grows ever closer as it flutters in the breeze and a stream of people you haven’t seen in a while clap and cheer you closer and closer.

I wondered recently about the possibility of God existing in an atheist dynamic. If, as Creationists insist, that intelligent design had to be behind eyes and clitorises, it leaves no room for an interventionist God who fails to intervent. I imagined God with an infinite Universe to play with, hand picking planets to test out his creations. I imagined Earth as a failed experiment, a petri-dish of bad results. What if God exists, but we were just a first draft. As we continue to destroy ourselves and our surroundings, God travels to another corner of infinite space with a checklist of Lessons Learned. Don’t do this. Offer them this. Do this more. God hovers over another planet, eagerly testing out this new data on a new species, as we are left to fend for ourselves. Just so many crumbs in the petri-dish. He continues, billions of light years away, taking all of our failures and tweaking his latest creations in search of utopia. Human beings, us throw-backs, are left to fade away.

*

I don’t know. I say that a lot lately. I don’t know. A non-committal shrug in the face of indifference. Encounters and flickering candles is what I live for. Sometimes I get both. Only in a town like this could you spend an innocent hour in a bar with a book and be absorbed into a group of three – the class warrior with dreads and a Banksy t-shirt, the quiet painter and the holistic therapist. Weird attracts weird. These are my kind of people. These people don’t accept not knowing. Most others are content to know as little as possible. Daydreaming provides some answers but a lot more questions. I don’t ever want to stop asking questions. When the questions dry up, I’ll know that I have no soul anymore. Much like the select few songs on my playlists. I know, for example, than when I start skipping past Windowlicker, I’m doomed. I cannot ignore this. I don’t want the dreamer to slip away when my back is turned, looking at something fucking stupid. Like… I don’t know.

*

‘He has his father’s eyes’ they coo, unwittingly.

She married safe, always wishing for the one that got away, who possessed the same deep brown but with the added spark, like a pair of imploding suns, and the smile that put the imp into dimples.

When she looks at her baby she does not see his eyes. She always and only sees His Eyes. The One That Got Away.

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