Ascension Day 2019
For a long time I convinced myself that I didn’t remember you at all, but not anymore. The time of self-delusion is over, and of course I remembered: The colour of your hair, the smile in your eyes, the way your skin felt under my fingers at night, everything that wasn’t here anymore.
But really, there is a limit to how long such imagined recollections of sensations can be drawn out, slowly and irrevocably they withered into unrecognisable ruins of whatever they once were. And this is what you have become, faint ghosts of recollections floating about as tiny electrical currents in some desolate attic of my mind. They no longer have the power to cause pain, stirring no actual memories of the pleasure you once gave me.
I’m sorry if that disappoints you, but it’s not like you left me a choice, is it? Not that you had any reason to, I’m not placing myself on a pedestal here, the two of us unwittingly concocted the messy ending long before it actually happened.
But I forget, you don’t really care one way or another anyway, do you? I mean, if you’d cared, you would have asked me at some time, right? And you never did.
Nobody lived south of the river because that was not really an inhabitable place. A dumping ground for anything that had seemed useless at some time, the bank and the flatlands immediately behind were shrouded in an impermeable stench of chemicals and decomposing waste. The ruins of what used to be luxurious dwellings for the economical and political elite now looked like rows of sore teeth from the other side, the blackened and jagged silhouettes reminders of the fierce air attacks in the early days of the war when it still seemed possible to identify two separate sides in the conflict.
Now, three years on, the fighting, when it took place, was more akin to gangs of armed robbers plundering randomly, or simply terrorising the inhabitants out of boredom, young men – yes, always men – drunk with power, using words stolen from ancient books to justify their apparently insatiable lust for rape, dismembering, and murder. Actual battles were rare, and consisted mostly of skirmishes to determine the borders of influence of differing armed fractions.
He had this on his mind as he entered the area with the carrousels of incoming luggage to pick up his orange, wheeled trunk, and that was why he didn’t notice her until she was beside him and addressed him by his name.
God and her sister on Judgment day. Yes, the rules have suddenly changed. A lot of men are in for a nasty surprise. You could have changed your ways, you had your chance, you really did. But you blew it, so don’t cry for mercy. It isn’t coming.