4:36

by Eman

I feel a tentative happiness, an anaphylactic swelling caused by close contact with a Happy allergen, a distended belly full of butterflies and Happy parasitic organisms. This rests on the foreground of the angry virile eye of Jupiter, screaming a repulsive song of disgust, disgust at the sight of EVERYTHING.
Black plumes rise everywhere.
I am blind.
Black plumes rise and violate my lungs. Tendrils slither up my nose like oiled serpents, down my trachea and into their base bronchial nests. I close my eyes and I can see more clearly. I close my eyes and I don’t see the fissures, the cracks from which the plumes billow, a GENUINE TRAGEDY. AN ABOMINATION. Later the news ticker reads THE GESTATING SUPERPOWER, THE DEVELOPED NATION. The exit signs are taken down.
Footsteps are quieter on linoleum floors. It’s harder to grit your teeth when they’re not straight. “If you so much as fucking do something I will fucking etc.” and “I swear to god I will fucking snap if you say one more fucking word etc.” Meanwhile there is no exit, nowhere to flee. The doors have been quietly painted over. If you look closely you can see the slight rectangular outline of past hope. No one looks closely. Doors are a thing of the past, if they ever existed?
Destiny.
It is destiny that leads us to shuffle, carrying the growing burdens of mortality, to a dusty hollow. That thirsty bed with a reptilian pillow and sandy duvet. Our surprising destiny. SURPRISE! The passed wear that look… SURPRISE! As if the earth hasn’t always been a mass grave, an obituary to life, a spinning wheel of death. Death that grows with life; grows more putrid, more perverse, more unscrupulous with each rotation. Or perhaps it is life that is perverse? Life is a harbinger of death. Decay is natural, it is the initial spark – the match at the gas stove – that is depraved.
The injury is in the brain stem, the folds weep crimson, a different plume. The patient does not mind, they are already comatose and LOOK, like a giant mosquito bite their belly grows and grows! Like idiots we chuckle at the bedside, telling crude jokes and more bellies inflate. The patient weeps, the corners of their mouth turned upwards like a clipped toenail. The hearse is outside, but the driver cannot get in.
The news ticker reads PEOPLE ARE HAPPY, PROGRESS IS ETERNAL.

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