Saturday, September 20, 2014

Absolom

You have a scar you did not have. You have two strong arms, though you were born with one limb withered and worthless. You may not have been a man before, or an adult, or of the race you woke up as. These are small matters. This is normal. You can't be expected to keep track of everything.

The problem is the coif of red and silver which covers your recently bald head. You've seen that hair before, that same streak of silver, that same tangle of curls. Somewhere. You know you've seen it on your own head but that can't be right either. This is new. Or it was new. See you remember remembering it shorter and now...Have you a beard coming in?

But somewhere else, too. Another person, someone you saw in the street who gave you the idea of the style? But you've been nowhere for weeks. That seems strange also, come to it.

There's a knife in your hand. It was in your other hand, and now there's a knife in your hand. You did that. It's silver, see? But silver does nothing special. You tarnish the silver just a little. You're about to become frightened at that but this is normal.

You know you've seen this mane. Perhaps an animal? This looks nothing like the animals you usually see. Those animals twitch and spring roses, and cover a much larger area than you've heard animals normally do. They're under your knuckles and on your skin. They are in your hair, your red and silver hair.

It comes upon you that perhaps it was some painting, some statue to the glory of Heaven, or some exotic tapestry? Perhaps on one of those foreign jars where everyone's naked with wolves? You've seen it in a dream, you think, but no: you don't sleep these days. You've seen it in the woods, running through the trees, disappearing behind a lick of mist, running from strange screams. Perhaps, perhaps.

It's in your reflection, even when you are not. It's on the tip of your tongue. It's on your mind. It's a burden on your shoulders. It's standing up on the back of your neck.

It's standing in the doorway, silhouetted in the moonlight, and wasn't it just day?

They say your hair keeps growing after you die. That's the idea, anyway, and it means you're surplus. Perhaps you'll die soon. Perhaps that's what happened in the first place. These are details. Small things.

But you're right about the death part.