(Untitled Image, 2011)
Is It Live or Is It. Is it live, or is it? A man sitting at his couch, at least I believe it is his and that he is in his home listening to some music and is being blown away by a force which we, the viewer, do not see. What is this force, is it music, what kind of music, is this force violent, in the next frame are we going to see this man being blown away ripped in half with blood and bits flying in the air in this brilliant timeless moment or is he smiling or trying to smile as his lips and entire mouth are blown open by the winds of something greater than him, or you, or me, or anybody? Is it live, or is it? Are we alive or is it? Are you being blown away, by what, I'm not quite sure myself, all I know is that something trembles, something deep down inside of me, and perhaps even you, I'm not sure if it does in you only because I don't want to assume it does but for now I would like to imagine it does, it does tremble like it does for me in you, and it is very deep deep inside, something is awakening the sleeping giant, it opens its eyes, they glow in devilish red and they are hungry, someone woke the baby and he is now crying.
"You do it."
"No, you do it."
"Well, it was kinda your idea."
"Yeah, but you agreed to do it."
"I agreed to do it if you did it with me."
"I'm with you, now do it."
"I can't go first."
"Well then put it there, and I'll do the same."
"Count down from ten."
"No, that's too long, I hate waiting, let's just count down from three."
"Wait, I'm not ready yet."
"Ahhh, come on!"
A slick and thin piece of sharpen steel runs its course through soft pale flesh, it meets very little resistance. A pause as the flesh is gaped, white inside. The two await, looking at each other's self-inflicted wounds, no blood yet. As soon as the word, blood, leaves the mind there it is, rushing, creating an instant pool of it within the cut and as it fills it spills over in thick and sticky lines racing down towards earth. There is a tingling sensation, and the two start to feel a fiery burn where blood is leaving their bodies. Trickle down. Drop by drop. Pools form, and a daze of lightheadedness becomes them. Falling on to each other they form one, holding each other, whispering something like, "no regrets", I can't be sure I can't quite hear well especially faint voices from few feet away. They look into each other's eyes, watching the blackness of the retina swallow the soul alive. Eventually they will die, their clothes were drenched in blood when I decided to call 911. I never left a name for myself, how else would I explain passively watching two kids attempt to kill themselves together, why I was an adult and silently observed the act. I would struggle to convey what an interesting and once-in-a-life time moment to bare witness to, plus they never even saw me, I was a ghost living invisibly outside of their world, their little sphere of an infinite moment, I could neither interact as just as they could not interact with me, I could only watch them, and eventually call 911. When the ambulance arranged I hid inside the walls, I wasn't done watching all of this unfold, a pair of paramedics came in, gloves already on, lifted the girl first on to the gurney then the boy, and wheeled them off into the ambulance waiting outside. I listened to the siren cry out down the street, echoing on forever until it disappeared. I left the comforts of the wall and stood over the pools of blood left behind. I knew they'd live, but surprisingly there was a lot of blood there, perfectly sitting there. Alone sitting in the floor of an abandoned house, it looked beautiful in this moment, like some surreal painting that gives no sign of time and place, just this moment that has escape the reality of the universe, existing right then and there for a moment just long enough to be captured in the human imagination. And like that the blood disappeared. Perhaps it found its way back to its owners, bringing them back to life. I didn't know what to expect anymore, all I know is that after they left I knew they'll never be returning here again.
The house grew silent, I grew lonely, and wondered the hallways by myself, again. I had grown used to having visitors come and go, never staying for too long, but some stayed for long enough for me to grow comfort for them, as they became a part of me, and then they left. I'd become alone again, and this was normal. When I first started doing this I felt something be shivered, something forcibly pulled out of me like someone had given me teeth, let me use them without any indication of how long I can continue to use them, and after many days, weeks, and even years of being used to having and using these teeth, out of the blue they pay me a visit like the mob collecting mob tax and they pull tooth one by one until there is nothing left, sometimes mistaking what I had already had for their own. After it happens, I was going to feel empty and alone either way, I become used to it, and so when everything was taken away, I grew a profound sense of oneness. All I had was one. One being the lonely number you ever knew.
I watched the birds fly outside, I watched the seasons change, and sometimes I'd be reminded of the times before this house was abandoned. In all vagueness I remember moments of laughter, of good times, of a family or even families living here, having moments together, as they grew, the kids growing up and the parents becoming old and older before they realized they were fairly older then and that their kids were leaving them. They moved out, with plans to move somewhere warm, this house does get quite cold in the winter, I'm surprised I manage to survive each and every year, and to spite my constant survival, in the coldness of it all I still think I'm going to die, be frozen to death, and that this is the most depressing way to go.
Somebody eventually comes, two men dressed like painters wearing masks come to clean the dry blood, they complete the job within an hour, leaving the room with brown stain, a mark of history (I have many of those), and vanish never to return and perhaps they'll soon forget the incidence altogether (I can only imagine they do this quite often by the way the present themselves and how they handle their business).
Time goes on endlessly in this house, where the Monday seamlessly bends into Tuesday, and so forth into eternity. During times like that I blend into the walls, hide when there's nothing to hide from, and become part of the house because I can no longer stand this monochromatic display of everyday. Occasional a beam of light shoots across the floor and on to the wall, glowing gold with sunlight. I can't help but feel something good, see a face or two, and be taken away from this overly-ordinary tomb. Where I go is somewhere far but near, bright and dark, full of light and shadow, and the feelings are all mixed, disjointed from their original host as a vision is presented before me. I was once alive, living in the reality those two young adults were living in, just as foolish, just as fearless. I walked with style, barked like the howl, smoked the air around me. I was cool back then, and I had this thing, yes, thing, this girl, she was wild, I swear we robbed banks at some point if my memory hasn't receded so far back over the generations I have lived in this house. This damn house. In the vision I saw her bathed in that golden beam of light, in fact, she was that light, that warmth, she danced around in it, naked, soft flesh kissed and blessed by the light, it existed for her and her alone, she danced in such a way for me, and for me alone as I looked back briefly to see if there was anyone watching, no, it was just us, right then and there, alone, wild as can be, naked, yes, I was too, and dancing alongside her.
A flash when off in my mind, I was still in the vision, but then the present came into being, I remembered the couple that had attempted to kill themselves, I saw us in there, the sunbathed gold girl and me, I forgotten but now reminded that we once had the same pact, to die, in that same house. For some reason I knew she was alive, so that assured me we hadn't killed ourselves. I remember pledging to end it all to spend one last moment together, that death would seal us forever, as we dug ourselves into a well and gave the thumbs up to the construction men above, ok to pour the concrete down, just be fast with it I don't like the fact of drowning in concrete anymore than you do. But our fates were not sealed then, in this vision, this moment that did happen but had happened in another life, well beyond this one, no, we decided not to. I remember the words, "never, let us do this", the look on her face she gave me, I had never seen her more serious before. And after that moment everything, for years to come had this feeling, this atmosphere, hovering over it all and giving even the most mundane moments something worth fighting for, it was that each moment came so close to never happening, that all of this just may as well be a fantasy, a dream, but it wasn't, it was happening, that was the point after all. The closer you are to death the closer you are to life as some wise person once said. We lived each moment one by one, with new eyes, and new hearts to appreciate it.
The vision ended, the room grew dark again, pale and simple sat around looking bored. I sat beside them and sighed.
"About time I disappear", I said to the walls.
I took one step towards the wall, checked myself, took a breath and entered into the physically solid wall now melting away to the force of my body. Air rushed by, my ears were whipped by my uncut hair swirling around, and my clothes rustled against the wind. Another step taken, this one for not mankind but for me, me alone. My lips blew open and my mouth hallowed out with the rush of air, I struggled with each step but I kept moving, going forward. Step by step, my clothes being ripped off. I could hear the noise of different items in the house be thrown against the walls, somethings more fragile smashing, somethings more bulky producing loud dry slams. By the time I reached the other side my flesh was tore up, my clothes all gone, and my hair with it. I hadn't felt this fresh since the day I was born (not that I could remember it). When I got where I was going I remember a vague thought, something worth enough attention to commit to memory if I hadn't just woken up and replaced a dream reality with a reality reality.
The house was empty when I woke up, I was naked, but still had hair and my skin wasn't torn up. There was light everywhere like beams of light jetting out of a giant diamond. I sat listening to the tunes playing from my radio alarm clock, by the time I realized I was awake I was already running down the hallways. In my mouth was yelling at the top of my lungs. Naked, alone, yelling, running, happy, and never going to let this morning determine if today was going to be good or bad before it ever started it. No, I will not let that happen, not while I am alive.
Or is it?