Author: Guede Mazaka
I am the crumbler:
--ďUnder,Ē Carl Sandburg
* * *
Paul goes home directly after. He claims shock, a headache, he lets all the cracks and snarl drag down his wrinkling face till itís haggard and hanging as an old whoreís stretched-out tits. And he feels sick as fuck at copping a sympathy plea, but when direction is a relative thing, it is impossible to tell whether one is sinking or rising.
Either way, he needed to go home and sit down with a glass of whiskey. But after getting to that point, he just stares into the amber promise of oblivion and tells himself heís a fucking idiot and an idiot thatís losing his grip, too. So heís a lost idiot, and doesnít that make him feel better because now he knows where to slot himself. Little lamb, little lamb, dost thou know who made thee?
Well, if it really was that high-and-mighty bastard, Heíd better set down the remote and spare a moment to swipe Paul off the board. Because somethingís breaking, something been twisted so far that itís stopped registering as a twist, and now all the tensionís starting to cut loose so Paul has to straighten up. Sit up, look at his reflection in the gleaming TV screen across the room, and almost throw his glass at it.
He doesnít have to push the Ďoní button to know what itíll be tonight: mob boss meeting mob mentality, justice versus vigilantism versus crime, and all the Latin is descriptive instead of explanatory because where the fuck are the lines? Where the hell are the definitions, the classes, the calm organized laws? Lady of the court has her blindfold and her scales, but now Paulís beginning to suspect that those scales havenít worked in ages, that there actually arenít any eyes beneath that fucking blindfold. Blind leading the gullible, who might as well not have eyes, either, for all the good that those do them. And in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man still sees the world flat and perspectiveless, a simple matter of geometry and symmetry and not a welter of screams and blood.
A handful of dustóPaul could do that example one better. He had orchestrated the showing of terror in the touch of a hand to a trembling chin, in an old man lifting a young girl to her feet.
Mea culpa, please forgive, but forgive what, my son? Hell if Paul knows. Heís still not sure whether heís just having the wrong reaction.
But he is sure. Heís lying again. Heís seen the truth through the crack in the door and it is horrifying and now the whiskey is spilled on the floor, his fingers are pressed to his temple. They press down, down, down and they probe at the corners of his eyes, and he thinks it would be so easy without sight. He thinks he doesnít know if the worth of two eyes would be enough.
In all his years, heís had his hands slicked in the turgid blood of corpses, in the fresh red of a cut across his palm. In the desperate dreadful outflow of life from a person rattling and choking in his arms while the essence of them faded away before his eyes. But that was having his hands in bloodónow he has blood on his hands.
His thumbs push against his eyelids, roll his eyes back into his skull till it hurts, and his palms reek of the stench. And he tries.
He tries and fails, tries and fails. Because, goddamn him and goddamn them and goddamn all Greek myths, but thereís one last item tucked away in the closed-in box that heís snapping around himself. Thereís the uncertainty of whether the truth seen is the right truth, the good and shining one, or if itís the wrong truth, the twisted ugly bastard of humanity. And that uncertainty presses back and back until his hands drop and he sobs with his eyes open and seeing.
No, he canít give up the ability to know. He cannot close his sight. Heís got to be sure, and that need eats up Paul where he sits, devours him into nothing but a foolish pair of eyes, doing nothing but watching while the bullets burn and the bodies fail.