Sequence #13: The Sound of Distant Drums [Limerence]

CW: Self-harm, Suicide

After an age, the return of Animus B in a dream. He’d taken up snowboarding. I saw him first from way up high as though in an aerial photograph taken through a frozen lens. Cracking but beautiful. Lips. He was alone, maybe for hundreds of miles. He preferred it like that, it seemed, but when he noticed my arrival he came without force or complaint. Striking [stroking] inevitability.

He sulked on our long journey away from the ice, looking out of the window forlorn. Tears in eyes and fist to chin. A plane, then a train. I sat beside him uncertain how to break into his silence.

A motherly voice ordered me to pick up all the pieces of him I’d created and littered over the floor – tiny representations of men, torn from coloured paper by hand. There were so very many, but I gathered them up as best I could. He allowed me, then, to kiss him over and over. It felt tender and sincere, though I worried he was but a prisoner in my mind once again.

‘A Thousand Years’ by Christina Perri plays, though I’ve never heard it before.

There are chasms inside people we can only glimpse through cracks on the outside.

Imagine a subconscious language only you can speak until you discover another native.

There was never a choice in this synergy system. Never any blame, never any resentment.

Reverse acoustics lead to clarity. I play the piano. I say the words.

I wanted so badly to heal him. I felt what he felt; I truly understood. But I couldn’t find those words, the ones I sing now, quickly enough to reach out. If only my arms were longer. I wanted to pull him close, make a space to protect him. But I couldn’t stop his pain. Couldn’t suture those gaping, bleeding cuts.

Is this where I go in? Is this where I turn myself inside out with grief all over again?

His broken body in my too short arms. There is no life there.

If imagination holds strong enough, does it become a sort of reality? If we can no longer distinguish it from memory, and the mind acts as though it were true, what is the difference?

The weight of it. The distribution all changed. The sudden angularity of his bones, the whiteness of his skin. The red on my hands that will never wash off.

A flutter. One form to another. A butterfly at a boarded-up window. Scattered dust and a wool coat pulled tightly around the chest. Broken boots kicking through rotten leaves.

Four years, always counting. Always the same, like no time has passed. Like there was no fall.

Wounds. Unfurl. Impersonal rose petals on the wind.

And then we are singing our hearts out again, you and I. The grin on your face seems so real. How can it not have been real? The stars look on through the darkness. Dance to the sound of distant drums.


Suddenly my journal sequences, my dream sequences, my automatic fiction pieces are all merging into one. I should’ve always expected it in an exploration of boundaries.


Header Image Source: Pixabay

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