Friday, September 14, 2012


“The roof of the kingdom
within has collapsed! When I say the
word you, I mean a hundred universes.”
from the poem The Death of Saladin by Rumi

Oddly, I actually don’t mind the coldness rushing in from my left, spilling in through my window as I drive away. Normally I have an aversion to the cold, but tonight it seems to make sense, almost as though this one small corner of the universe is conspiring to make me feel a very specific sensation or emotion as I drive towards nowhere. I’m not nowhere, of course; I’m somewhere, though it feels like I’m constantly at the edge of nowhere, like it’s always just a step away.

The moon is nowhere to be found, and through the darkness I almost can’t tell that it’s softly raining outside. It is only when I pass beneath a street light that I can see all the raindrops splayed across my windshield, lit up like a thousand sparks. And in those moments I am blinded by those droplets of water, those countless tiny mirrors reflecting light and only light. But instantly the moment passes and there is darkness again, on the other side of every window.

The inside of my car is bathed with a subtle neon glow from the face of my stereo which is, at the moment, playing Set the Fire to the Third Bar by Snow Patrol. This song, this mood, this lighting, these sparks are all leaving me breathing slowly and feeling vaguely haunted. But this is nothing new. I have heard these sounds and seen this light before. Perhaps it is the precision, this specific combination of elements, this atmosphere that surrounds me as I face off against the darkness that is haunting me now.
I don’t mind the coldness pouring in, but you are not in the breeze. I don’t mind the rain that is occasionally blinding me, but you are not in the water or in the mirrors. And I don’t mind the darkness…but surely—wherever you are—you are in the darkness too. Probably it is just another darkness that you are in, a darkness different than mine, a different edge of the circular nowhere that is at the heart of the universe. But of course that universe is only you and me and our ghosts.

The truth is that I’m running, but even I don’t know if it’s toward you or away from you. I can only hope you are just as magnanimous now as you were then, because there’s simply no way to explain how we are fading.


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