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Bloodflowers excerpt 10*

June 9, 2013

*another very rough draft, before I really flesh things out fully. I have the feeling that a lot of this is going to get scrapped pretty soon. Things have taken a most unexpected turn, and the gaps I’m constantly creating are becoming harder and harder to fill. I hate first drafts.

***

Finally, he speaks, and he’s as angry with me as he’s ever been. I try to brace myself in preparation of his verbal onslaught. Yes, I’m an ass. And you’re a selfish prick. You’re laying this all on me. I said I didn’t tell you about TGB, but it’s not like I didn’t try. I couldn’t tell you. I should have phrased it differently.

“Whatever.”

Whatever nothing, Bryan. I am so effing sick of this. Don’t you wonder why you never get a glimpse of my memories of the accident? Do you honestly believe I don’t think about it? How did you manage to throw away every drop of alcohol but the last bottles of wine we bought? You just block shit out. You’re so busy being wrapped up in yourself that you never even consider what information you might be missing.

This shuts me up quickly. He has memories. Memories. Of life. And death. Of before and after, and of the accident. Without warning, I’m presented with a barrage of images from the accident. It’s not just images, though – there is movement. There are sounds, too, and sensations of pain, the metallic taste and smell blood, and the fear of darkness and the sudden knowing that the darkness is permanent. I can’t block anything out, or I don’t bother trying.

The enormity of what Dave has shown me is overwhelming. I want to pass out, but I don’t. Instead, I sob. Over and over, I think at him: I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I didn’t think you remembered anything. David, I didn’t know. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.

I’m an asshole, Bryan, yeah. But I’m not inhuman. Do you know what it’s taken to forgive you for living when I’m stuck with that kind of home movie on repeat here? What it’s taken for me to forgive you for blocking that out? He’s yelling in my head now, and I can clearly picture him pacing in the living room. Wrong image, he snaps vehemently. The image of our living room is replaced with blackness. Here’s the right one for you. Constant. Fucking. Nothingness. All day and all night, except that eternity lasts an instant and an instant lasts an eternity.

I gasp, and I feel like I’ve had the wind knocked out of me. Nothingness, he growls. It’s not even blackness. It’s sheer nothingness. Concepts of the senses, of proportion or time don’t apply here. You can take Euclidean Geometry and shove it up your ass along with everything else you’ve ever learned about how the world works!

His voice quiets suddenly. I have consciousness and nothing else, he whispers.

I keep sobbing into the void, aware that there is no sound, there are no tears. David lets me cry, keeps me locked firmly in his reality. I know I’m sitting in my living room at home, but for the moment, it simply doesn’t exist. I don’t bother trying to will myself back there, even now. I just keep crying.

I made the choice to come back, just to see you, and I got so angry when I found you taking everything in front of you for granted. Every breath, every blink wasted. WASTED. So I stayed and fucked with your head. I thought you’d start appreciating all that you still have. But you didn’t. By then, I was stuck, and you still refused to have a life without me; and I was angry. I was jealous that I couldn’t be so careless with life anymore like that.

My jealousy doesn’t excuse what I’ve done to you, I know, but I’m telling you everything, so make sure you’re following me closely. I’m not angry anymore, but I was angry then, and I was angry that you blocked me out, blocked memories out, when I found that you had done so. I know that you didn’t mean to, but I was angry all the same. You wouldn’t let me tell you about James and TGB when I found out, so I tried to screw things up for you. I honestly only wanted to protect you; my anger and frustration got in the way.

James isn’t what you think he is. He is a duplicitous liar. He’s had parts of SIATSIA memorized since before you met him. I don’t know why he lied about the book, but he lied. He’s been fucking around with TGB behind your back for months. Do you really believe that it was coincidence that he hooked up with TGB? Quit being so naïve.

Rightly, he doesn’t trust me; he’s suspected I’ve known more than I was letting on or telling you for as long as he’s been with TGB. He thinks you’re a good lay and a meal ticket, but he’s afraid of me, and so gave up on you after, you know… last month. I got him to go away, but you became even more miserable. I can feel you doubting me, but go ahead and dig around. Find out for yourself who he really is. I’ve just been trying to protect you since you’ve decided to be such an ignorant dick.

Boom. Like that, the living room returns. Grunt is asleep at my feet. I’m still holding a glass of wine, even. I feel and taste the tears I’ve cried. I lick my lips and wipe my eyes and face. I feel my chest rise and fall. Everything is crystal clear, like every sense has been sharpened threefold. It’s staggering after the void. I stare at everything, and for the first time, I truly understand how Dave has felt living with me the past several months. I am aware of all the nuances of life I’ve ignored.

I hate to break into your reverie here, but I wanted to toss another idea out here for you to consider before I have to go.

“G-go?” I stammer. “You’re leaving?”

Yeah. I don’t know when. I just know I have to go. I wasn’t exactly allowed to share the nothing-space with you, apparently. Rules and shit, you know?

I’m absolutely confounded. “Rules? Whose rules?”

Dunno. It’s, like, ineffable omniscience, if that isn’t some crazy shit. He laughs some. You die. You get knowledge. You can’t possibly know whose or the extent of it. You just get it, pretty much like the memories and experiences I threw at you; it’s there whether you want it or not all of the sudden.

“Gods alive, David, but what the fuck? You just go back to the nothingness?

Nah, I’ve had enough of the nothing-space.

“So there is something else?” I know he wanted to tell me about something else, but I have to know about the nothing-space and whatever comes after.

Yes and no… I don’t really know how to explain it, but I think folks are onto something when they say matter can neither be created nor destroyed, so I’m not too worried. I don’t get to come back, though, once I’m gone, I don’t think. I’m not sure, actually. So if it’s all the same to you, I’d like to live it up, so to speak, while I still can.

“What exactly do you have in mind?” I ask him. I don’t know what to do with all of the information I’ve received tonight, and I’m feeling a little shell-shocked.

Vengeance! he says, and it’s one of those moments where I can hear his smile. All traces of anger, frustration, and sadness are gone from his tone.

“Um…”

Trust me. It’s gonna be awesome; you just really need to trust me for now that James is a piece of shit. Do your own recon later. Give me your keys.

“Fair enough. Where are we going?”

Dave laughs. 80s night.

“Oh shit. You’re not dragging TGB into this are you?” I groan.

Oh, hell yes I am. TGB is pissed as all get out at James right now after our little visit. He’s vulnerable. He’s hurt. We should really go make sure he’s okay.

“You just want to screw him after all these years,” I chide. It should bother me, but it doesn’t. I laugh.

Right, and you don’t. David treats me to a nauseating counter-clockwise eyeroll out of leftover spite.

“Touche. I still think it’s weird, though.”

Yeah, but it’s kind of awesome. Don’t block me out, anymore, though. Let’s just go have some, you know, fun. And who knows, maybe TGB is a really sweet guy. Maybe he knows what James is all about. Maybe not. There’s only one way to find out.

Oh boy. “Let’s go then.” I hand him the keys. I have to admit that I’m really curious what TGB’s real name is.

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From → Bloodflowers, fiction

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