The rain tapped counterpoint to deep-throated drums last night, and the steady thunder is still pounding in my temples and behind my eyes. Looking out the dark window of my room, I thought for a moment I saw the outline of a skeletally thin man dancing in a ring of trees, shaking a fetish and casting graveyard dirt toward the house. His shadowed face seemed not to move, but I could hear, just below the current of my blood, chanted prayers I could almost understand. The moment passed, and there were just trees, and the pain building in my head.
This morning I rose without waking, and moved with shuffling gait through the house. I acted out the rituals of the day without feeling, spoke without thought, ate and drank without affect. There was no periphery in my sight, nor in my thoughts; what I looked at was all there was to existence, that, and the pain that underlay everything. I made and drunk potions that seemed necessary at the time I did so, found them without savor, and I am unchanged. People speak to me and I answer, and do not know what has been said. I act, and do not think to wonder what I am doing, nor why.
The darkness is still all about me, pervasive but not menacing, and the echo of chanting is still resounding within it in rhythm to my underwater movements. Somewhere, I know, living things bleed out their lives and shadowed men shuffle and stomp in dance. I lift my cup, and smell only graveyard dirt.
Somewhere, there is unquiet within me, but it is far, far from where anyone will ever hear it again.
Papa Cemetiere croons from over my shoulder, “No more decaf.”
Unfeeling, I nod to my skull’s beating rhythm.
Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry