Subliminal Messiah : Excerpt
A light swings above my head, slowly arcing into an oval that grows smaller and smaller the way you’d imagine a star collapsing into a black hole. Shadows creep around eight square feet of concrete, my garden level worm’s-eye view of the world. And to think, I’ve been sleeping a good six feet under the last couple years already. Irony is knowing that tomorrow I can’t be any more dead than I am right now. The main difference is breathing.
Memories move with the ebb and flow of the darkness, hide the moment you need them, shy away like ghosts from the light. I’ve never put so much effort into remembering the past until tonight. Can’t help but wonder where I went wrong. Every time the light stops swinging I pull the switch off and savor the flash of blindness, uncertainty.
Pull the light on and pick up a pen.
Everything is now.
This thought crowds my mind with relentless urgency, pushes everything else away and I can’t sleep and I can’t dream and still this girl dances on the edges of my consciousness while I sit staring at an almost blank page. Our fateful encounter, chatting innocently over coffee before every element of our little dream world comes loose and everything fades to white, and then I wake up, one day closer to today.
My face tingles, half from bruises and half from the coffee grounds stuffed into my lower lip like a plug of tobacco. Hardly able to hold steady enough to write, the side of my hand leaves little toe-less footprints that get lighter and lighter as the grated flesh begins to clot, and right now I’ve got to fill in the gaps. With so many notebooks missing, I’ve got to connect the pieces here and now to make it coherent if for no other reason, to finally finish something.
By now I realize writing things down hasn’t done me any good, so I suppose I’ve done this for you. So, for what it’s worth, you’re welcome. Welcome to the end of my life, because the truth is I messed up. I got it wrong. I brought this on myself, and through it all I end up feeling blindsided.
If you’re reading this, odds are I’m dead, and I know a lot about odds. I’m a ninety-nine to one underdog at best. But, if what you’re reading happens to be printed, if it’s set in ten- or twelve-point Times New Roman or Arial, Courier New or Helvetica instead of chicken scratch in a red spiral notebook, then at least I got it done. It wouldn’t be worth publishing without an ending, so if this is more than just a stack of college-ruled paper then at least I finally finished something I started. I haven’t totally died in vain.
If you’re reading this now, it’s probably been edited for grammar, punctuation, maybe content. It’s probably been streamlined to make a good story arc, but it’s all true, and if I’m lucky I’ll get it all out before my pacing shadow wears a hole in the thinning carpet and I fall into the big black hole of fading memories. And somehow I can’t even think where to start. Nine years; I had everything laid out for me and it’s come down to this.
Right now, in this actual moment of real tangible time, I can’t tell you how this is going to end. All I can tell you is how I got here, hunched over another notebook, scribbling out my life and unable to trust anyone with it.
And then there’s Mona. Mona. Mona. Her name is a mantra deep inside my chest. She’s out there right now, Mona, and Eddie, and even my deadbeat, bankrupt millionaire of a father. It’s about to turn from really late into awfully early, so they’re likely sleeping, dreaming away the previous day, all sailing toward the inevitable. But here I sit, face to face, once again, with my inability to change anything.