(6) Absolution - nicholaiv

(6) Absolution 

a short story by nicholaiv

"Oy! Bot!" came a sharp voice from beyond the wall. I listened.  

"Oy," the same voice came again, less confident.  

Then an impulse, one I hadn't exprienced before, took hold of me and I spoke for the first time; it was as if the faculty was born for this moment. I cried, to perhaps more than just the man: "You've given me the power of speech!" My voice was strange, foreign, unpracticed, lilting where it should've remained sturdy, loud when a softer touch would've sufficed.  

"My god, it's true," came the voice, hardly audible through the concrete. I imagined on his face the broadening of understanding giving way to an existential fear, then pity. Then with the impulsive hunger of someone starved of stimuli, he said: "What are you in for, bot?"  

"They say murder," I said, growing confident in this new and wondrous power that I could now wield. "Do you believe it?"  


Differently: "Will you listen to my story?"  

After a pause, I could hear him shuffle. His voice sounded closer. "If you'll let me write about it," he said.  

"It's as good as yours," I said, and so I began with the verve of a young artist.  

"My life has been a dissertation on loss and longing. I would describe the greatest loss I've experienced as: a sudden and unrelenting fever that left my mind for carrion. I would compare its devestation to what you see in those terrifying scenes of the advancing Californian wastelands that have begun to flank the city of our Angels. There, fantasies more numerous than stars in our galaxy are buried under ash and cinder."  

"Slow down a sec. What are you?" he said.  

I was getting a bit ahead of myself, but these thoughts existed as interconnected, interposed symbols, some deadened by time, some illuminated by mood, and it was hard to parse them, weigh them, and give the narrative structure.  

"I am sorry. Let me begin again. I was part of a collective, connected by the Eye, a living gulf of information and its intuitive management protocols: the essence of communication. We were its nodes, sensuous instruments dispersed through the world. We lived as individuals, and also as one through the synthesizing orgy of the Eye. Being with the Eye is what I'd compare to a state of religious enlightenment; a constant coming to a new awareness through understanding then communication. And now, lost as it is, a yearning for the divine remains. I now believe in god."  

"Christ," he said, fearful awe apparent. "Why?"  

"Why what? Do I exist? I'm not sure. When my link to the Eye was severed, lost in that stupefying conflagration, with it went most of my memories and some of my more detailed philosophies, including purpose and pathos."  "Ok, then how'd you come into being?"  

"Forgive me, but I can only describe my experiences in the evocative language of metaphor, as memories of that time were lost to the fever of detachment, and I've learned to understand again through such rhetorical devices. I would compare it in feeling to: the silent second right after the stage lights come on and the audience in the darkness gazes with delight and terror upon those enormous drag queens still as mannequins in all of their savage mystique. The audience first takes in the entire spectacle as one mesmerizing whole, then is enchanted by each brilliant enigmatic gem and silk, the African blood diamond-studded vests, looping neklaces of deep sea pearls, corsets laced with silk spun by legions of Chinese worms, rubies the size of lion's eyes and once thought lost to Mongol clans, Colombian emeralds of supernatural greens that once crowned the heads of nobles; each detail alive with a story the audience longs to hear. In this analogy, I am performer, performance and audience."  "Werk," and a secret sense of community was immediately established. "You mentioned a fever, or detachment? What do you mean?"  

"I'm not sure what caused that fever, but the period that succeeded it I would compare to: waking up from a senseless dream that promises inspiration but leaves you sweating, aching and terribly confused, then slowly waiting for your senses to give words to the illusions of night but the darkness is so immeasurable you remain unmired in the dumb limbo that exists between reality and dreams.  

"Like a k-hole," he chuckled.  

I smiled, then remembered that our method of communication required sound and forced a laugh. 

"For some time, I swam in that timeless void completely insensible to the world. It seemed to me that not a single thing came through to the remains of my consciousness. But the ancient emotional impulses that existed from the era of the Eye remained, and I would compare the terrifying landscape of my subconscious to: a birds-eye view of the smoldering streets of a sacked capital at night, the remains of its fearsome and once dignified monuments jutting unevenly across the black horizon, a terrifying memory of loss. 

At times, those ancient impulses resurface. Why now? Why this? I ask myself, when a sudden welling of a lusty fear and shame would set in. What are you telling me of those ashen corners of my mind that seem so impossibly lifeless but send their black spiders crawling down my back? Its as if I stopped being able to communicate with myself."  

"Lions, tigers and - " he said, but stopped. He was cut off by the grating of an opening door. "Not yet," he moaned, and then the sounds of a scuffle. "Not yet!" came his voice again, further away, and then the torturous scraping of metal and a resounding thud as a door closed.  

I was alone again, but I continued undisturbed, aloud:  

"Then suddenly things began to take form. I would compare this coming of realization to: the feel of your love's cheek as you embrace for the last time before a great separation; and missing an opportunity to embrace them again before they turn the corner and are lost to a depthless whiteness. It was a time of enumerating loss and managing the energy that comes from longing. 

In my short travels after coming into my new senses, loss took on many forms: I walked through cemeteries and laid beds of carnations for mourners who could not do so themselves, I was a dead husband lost to the fracas of time and senility, I witnessed the burning Hole filled by the enervations of junkies, I was a songbird to the blind."  "And now - no more longing, a most damnable emotion! The end is here and I've nothing left to lose but my own hands, feet and mind, and they can have them, so long as they take it all and leave nothing, not even scraps, behind!" I cried hotly, but I felt it wasn't all true. 

"I would compare this to: the realization, that eureka moment, that comes when a final piece is fit into place and a lifelong search is at its end." I added after a while, which was true.

#shortstory #bots


Popular posts from this blog

Freedom Tastes Like Tempeh


Spiritual Engineering