THE LAUGHING BONE‎ > ‎WORD‎ > ‎PROSE‎ > ‎

The History of X

Source: The Victorian Web


How time passes by with ever increasing speed. I wish someone had told me about his. This asymptotic increasing arc, moving from a gentle uphill to a steep upward ascent so quickly. Quickly... the word takes too long to even conceive There is no other element of my days more persistent and haunting.

I often wake up and think: today I'm going to get around to X. Then the day is gone. A week goes by. And I think about X. In my thoughts, I work a little on this unrealized idea. Ok, tomorrow, fresh start, plenty of time to get to X. Then, time happens, as it always does, and X is pushed to the back of the room. Gotta clear out this area for the dance, roll up the rug, put the animals out back, place X up on the shelf so it won't be messed with. Weeks. Months. Always with X in mind. Adding a little there. Making a clever addition here. That's nice. Can't wait to get to X. Months. Years. The interruptions of life.

X is as familiar to me as an old dog. Curled up next to me on the sofa. My hand casually shaping over the ribs and spine of sweet old X. You know, someday boy, everyone is going to know about you and see what a beautiful creature you are.

Years and years pass by like hours now. I've thought about X for so long, cared for and nurtured X past death. Watched the fur and flesh rot away. Placed X's bones in a shrine.

Decades now like days. X's bones covered in dust. It's been some time since I have been tended to this memorial. Under the dust of long dead roses, in a starlight corner, the bones of X still shine. I reach in a remove a particularly beautiful bone. The archetype of all bones. As I contemplate it and watch my memories flutter around it like moths to a fire, one after another immolating in its being, I think: this is what I have been waiting for. And I comfort myself with a relief that I never let X out into the world in a form that would only taken away from the glory of this immaculate bone now before me; this singular totem of being stripped away of all pretense and folly, immune to fiction. I clear everything off the table and set the bone down before me.

Now, finally, with everything before me, with such clear vision and in complete control of all of my talent, I know with no doubt that the most essential thing within me that I must somehow express before I die - as I am hurting down like a meteor towards this finality - the most essential expression is absolutely unsayable. There is only this bone of pure starlike being before me. And while there was, at one time, so much language to spin up and weave around the story of X, there is no language now that can contain this bone that remains. And as for me, I know now I am merely a sign pointing to it.

A flashing instant of laughter, a gasp of surprise and a rattling sigh whose duration is, for all intents and purposes, already ended. Time passes by so fast that I cannot even perceive it. Somewhere back there, five or so decades past, I heard a distant explosion and the echo cracking the world like thunder and the bullet fired was already through my brain before any of this ever happened.


February 23, 2016