Author : Carter Lee
My world is motionless.
I remember making cuts in my forearm, back near the beginning. The skin would separate, but blood wouldn’t flow. As soon as I looked away from the almost invisible incision, it would disappear.
I remember cutting off a finger, once.
It isn’t cold here, or warm. The sun always shines overhead, and floats as motionless as the air.
Sometimes, I notice that I forget to breathe.
This could be Hell. If I could find my body, I could believe I died long ago. But I appear to be whole, and healthy.
It would be easier if I were alone. But the house I live in is surrounded by the city I live in, and the city I live in is filled with people. I think the city is filled with people. The city is filled with an endless variety of statuary, that I seem to remember once being mobile, being alive. Being something other than motionless, impervious, unresponsive.
I don’t know if time is passing now. I don’t know if time passes when, unable to remain in one place, I wander out into the city I live in. Does time pass as I study the tableaux created, here in my city of stillness?
Close to the house I live in, there is a woman, her arm outstretched, touching the cheek of the man in front of her. Just barely touching his cheek. She could be reaching out to caress, to remove something unclean from him, to make contact with this man through the primal sensation of touch. Her face, however, is twisted, with frozen tears on her pale cheeks, and the man bends away from her hand. He is captured, one arm slightly raised, his hand holding a hat, in a belated effort to protect himself from her hand. Her hand, which is barely, only slightly, touching his cheek.
There is a man who has a bullet exiting his chest; there is a young girl who has, without noticing, dropped her ice-cream; there is a woman suspended in mid-air, the first shock of the car’s impact crossing her features. There are more.
There are perfectly captured scenes of love and hate, in the city I live in. Pictures of acts of kindness, and malice, of good, and of evil. Each rendered in heart-capturing detail. It might be that, in the infinite variety of these displays, in the incredibly diverse palette in which they are tinted, I have found some proof of god. How else could such things exist?
The beauty that surrounds me is at least as much proof for a devil, though. Who else could devise a torture as exquisite, as horrible, as this? What more perfectly created torment could there be, than to be imprisoned, alone, amongst such a multitude? To be with and separated from, surrounded by but invisible to, everything and everyone?
I remember throwing myself off of a building. Several times. Hundreds. Maybe thousands.
I sit. I listen.
There is nothing to hear.