Bright and Dreary (good morning)
Last night i met a girl at a concert. A pretty good concert, and a really pretty girl. She was maybe a little too thin, but long, straight, black, hair that framed exactly the type of face i like surrounded by raven hair. her eyes were maybe a little too vacant for comfort, but they really seemed to fit in that face, with that hair, with those spindly arms and legs and that gorgeous white dress. And she didn’t talk much, and surprisingly i didn’t talk much, and the weirdest thing was that she wasn’t wearing any shoes. I don’t know what she was doing at the troubadour without any shoes. We spoke a little, but mostly we just enjoyed frivolous pleasures brought by frivolous music. Then we left together, merging with the line that seemed too long and thin, why weren’t the people crowding together to get out those doors? It didn’t matter, i was filled with the kind of melancholy joy that i only experience when in the presence of someone in obviously great pain. My usual torpor was lifted in the presence of this graceful girl in the white dress with the black hair and almond eyes.
I hadn’t noticed, but we had left the troubadour and were walking down a street filled with white buildings and black lamp-posts that shed no light. The general atmosphere was that of ruined buildings raging with fire. But their facades were intact and flawless white and there was not even a hint of orange in the grey light. Another girl was walking with us now, but forgive me if i don’t remember what she was wearing, all i can remember about her is that she was dead silent and dressed exactly the same as my beautiful girl, but with red hair and a face so forgettable as to not even really be there. I felt like i needed to protect my girl from this new creature, that there was some horrible danger in her silent presence. I followed my girl into a two-storied building and saw that the walls were drywall and iron, that the drywall was paintless and rusted, that the iron was buckling under the weight of the mildew that had consumed its strength. My girl was scared. The glide with which she had been moving was now stilted and hesitant, and her dress was sticking to her, weighed down with hundreds of tiny drops of sweat. The naked creature with red hair and no face and almond eyes was closer to us now but my girl still did not notice that she was there. We clambered up the steps in the back as they splintered and tore her feet and pierced her calves and there was bone showing and she left a trail of blood, but other than the slight hesitation and her increasingly stilted gait she was not affected. Even the tears in my eyes did not affect her, despite our gaze being locked since we first met at the bar in the troubadour. At the top of the stairs it became apparent that we were on the second level of the building, after how many hours of climbing and pain i don’t know. On a balcony, and we could see everything. The whole block. There was the troubadour behind us, a lonely spot of brown in a monochrome landscape. But we were above everything as well as being in its midst, we could see into all of the buildings, could see the fire eating them from within. Could see the mildew pulsing with a hungry life, cringing away from the fire even as it spewed black water and made the fire dance. Could see the rust spreading with the quiet confidence of entropy. I took all this in while my girl was pushing through the iron railing, jumping onto what must once have been the base of a giant statue, and leaping ten feet to the next balcony. And i noticed the fountain at the end of the block, knew that was our final destination, and knew that the blue thing with red hair would never let us reach it, that the closer we got to the fountain the closer it would get to us, that the two distances were linked, and that just as our only hope was to reach the fountain, our only goal must be to avoid the girl with red hair at all costs. So i followed my girl, bringing our bane closer with every step i took. The fires were growing and the insides of the buildings were crumbling but their facades were untouched. If i had had the courage to go to the street i would not have known the destruction occurring in these crumbling rooms and corridors. But I was fighting for every step, and though my lungs were full of ash and my eyes were not even open i knew that this was the only path i could take. I walked towards my girl’s eyes, always trying to stay between her and the other one, my thoughts grew weak and aimless and all that was left was the feeling that there was warmth in those burdened eyes and i had to protect it from the frost that was creeping closer with every step i took.
And then there were no more walls in front of me, there was no ash and no fire and no mildew trying to breed in my lungs, there were just the steps leading down to the fountain. A ring hundreds of feet wide, with another, slightly smaller and lower one inside of it, and another, steps leading downwards into a pit with crystal blue water in the center. I was behind my girl, nearly touching her, and the frost had pealed the skin off my back, and my muscles were not listening to me any more, just following the call of her eyes, and i could feel my exposed ribs being stroked by the cold air. I was too scared to turn around so i just followed my girl on her bloody stumps, with her halting grace that had never slowed, not when every fiber was torn from her naked feet, not when her bones were crushed by breathing mildew, not when her face and arms were torn by rust, not when her skin and blood was blackened by fire. All that i could do was try and protect her from the cold as we approached the fountain at the bottom of the world. I got closer as the cold burnt away the last of the skin on my face and froze my eyes and started to make her shiver. And she glided and i hugged her and my world was her black eyes as the steps started to crack from the cold, and my hug cracked her poor skin but at least it was warm, my heart was still beating and its fire was enough to keep her going as her eyes were enough for me. And then we were at the fountain, and we stained it red with our blood when we fell into it laughing, while the world exploded in the most painful sunrise.