Bone Carver 10: Skull Full of Seeds

Bone Carver X
Skull Full of Seeds

To become the spectator of one’s own life is to escape the suffering of life. – O. Wilde

The Bone Carver took the smooth bone from my hands. He held it up close to his face, sliding his fingers over the surface.

- Yeah. You sure enough remembered some of these things. And I must say that I’m mighty proud of you for doin all this. Yessiree, I sure am. You made a good coming back around.

He set the bone next to the ten he had carved earlier. 

- What now?

The Bone Carver struck a match. Relit his pipe. Watched me through the flame.

- I mean, where do we go from here?

- Whatta you mean, son?

- After this, after remembering all of this that I once knew long ago, coming to know who I am, who you are, what more? Everything seems new again. I mean, I don’t remember this part.

- Yet.

He laughed a little more then. A private laughter that brought terror between us.

- Don’t you know? Haven’t you figured this out yet? 

Nothing. We waited.

- Here’s ten bones and here’s this one. Now you’ve gone and started it for yourself again here at the end. After this, we go back around again. And then, again.

- So how many times have a come around? How many times have I already gone through all of this?

- Can’t say.

- Do you know?

- Can’t say.

- Why not?

He was quiet for a moment. Watching. Then burst into laughter. Calmed down.

- Can’t say.

I cleared all the bones off the table, slamming them against the walls onto the floor of the Bone Shack. Lightning. Ozone. Metallic taste.

He watched still. Collecting. Until I turned away. 

I looked at the bone I had carved. Wondered if I could take it back, slip it back into the flesh again. Or maybe break it. Shattered it into a thousand fragments.

I reached out.

The Bone Carver grabbed hold of my wrist. 

- Don’t dare do that, son. You breaks one of them bones, you gonna have to go around for every little bit. One bone here now. That’s good. That’s all you have to work through. Don’t mess with what you have already carved.. 

And that laughter. I saw the marks upon the table, being cut, filling with blood, forming into sign and symbol. And I saw the wounds upon his face, spreading open his skin, cutting to the skull, revealing.

Time stretched out between us. And the skin fell away again. The skull dropped down into the collar of the rags that once were his clothes. Smiling the dull white smile.

[ seeds / godskull / shack ]

The bones all fell into place. With beauty. In perfect simplicity. Elegant.

I understood the sacrifice. The death of language of the hard symbol at its core. What is the form that burns in the bone’s center? 

I moved to the other side of the table. Lifted the skull from the pile of rag and bone beneath it. Tiny black seeds spilled out from the interior. Turning the skull over, I saw that it was full of seeds. I put one in my mouth.

And I then I laughed hard enough to rattle every bone in the Shack.

I collected all of the bones. Stacked them neatly on the table. Wrapped up the skull in a shirt and tied it to the end of a pole. 

I put on the coat and the hat. 

On the threshold, I turned back and imagined myself crossing over for the first time.

I walked along the silent streets, leaving the deserted town, heading out into the Desert.

Plaudite, amici, comoedia finita est. – Beethoven on his deathbed.


This work is licensed by S. Casey, Bonesy Jones & L.B.D.L. under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 License.