Friday, 18 April 2008

Thresholds (1)

... Nonetheless, silence is the worst. The absolute rock bottom of the chasm of nothingness. Of extinction. Naught enters it and even less emerges. Except a plethora of your own ideas and notions bombarding you. Flashes, images, spurs and figments. All contending to light up the old grey matter. Bumping and boring for your migrainous attention. Assaulted and concussed, your ears ringing like a steam kettle with the pressure of the brainstorms. The mind under siege from its own outpourings running riot. Until the membranous dam can’t tamp the synaptic flood any longer. The threshold engulfed. Crystallised. Fulgurant. Stabbing me behind the eyes. Lining up all the rods and cones to form a prodding arrow “You are here”. Where you’ve always been. Back in this bedroom. This tortuous chamber of horrors. No matter which trajectory you fumble toward in trying to flee. Rods and cones flaying and funnelling my puling consciousness. Spare the rod and spoil the child. A single stab wound. That’s all it was. That’s all it took to take him away. Only felt like a punch. No great spike of agony. No jag of presentiment. But a slow puncture of blood from the belly. Apparently he thought a signet ring might have scalloped the skin. But he’d been breached minutely, invisibly. A self-occluding violation, but sadly not self-sealing. Pressure differentials. Scrabbling fingers among his own blood glaze, trying to verify the source of welling pigmentation. Merely served to separate the fresh weep from the encrusted patina. Daubing his own dissipation in his nonplussed anxiety. Still no polestar of pain. No neural sensation. Weltered under his panic override. And down he falls. To his knees or on to his side, witnesses fail to render. Liminal lacuna from all and sundry. Slumped on the stony concrete, as the stone cold slayer skedaddles scot free. Further psychic preterition.

Yet there is someone who steps into the physical breach. A woman scoops up his torso and cleaves him to her. Tears off her glove between her teeth as she scrambles to compress the wound, even while screaming at someone to dial 999. Multitasking, women are superior at that you see. But his essence rivulets through the delta of her fingers, no matter how she clamps them. A surrogate mother, an end-wife to deliver him lovingly into death. What a slap in the face for us, the true parents. The blood relatives sat unpierced at home and at work, blithely unaware of their closing moments of intactness. She’s busy extemporising on the hoof. What to do, though I suppose all mothers know instinctively. I say that, but how many are called upon to conduct a juvenile soul across Lethe ? Just well, what would we have done ? We were deprived of the opportunity to ever know. Our distant love able to staunch nothing. While her impromptu love wept onto him, as he cosanguined on to her. Anointed to one another in the final exchange, disinheriting us. Extreme unction. So extreme. The knife wielder expunged him, but she swiped him from us. Just how are we meant to be grateful for her on the spot tenderness ?

It’s perhaps aberrant that we resort to her for our bilious repository. Our human spittoon. Why excoriate her for a display of compassion ? Simply because we are acquainted with her face. We know so much about her, including what she got up to and did next in her life, when our son was no longer in a position to get up and do anything. She stands in the foreground, a coconut shy on the emotional rollercoaster amid our unfairground. But we have more than mere impression of her, we have her account. Without her we’d possess no possibility of a final narrative. Of the unfolding of events that wrapped up a life. For all our resentment, still we grilled her remorselessly for information upon more information. Caulked ourselves to her to a far greater degree, than to the police family liaison officer assigned us. We didn’t care for that lady’s fresh faced platitudes and third-rate textbook psychoburble. We wanted facts. We wanted the whole thing spelled out to us. In words of one more syllable than our son could ever muster.

What remains shadowy, the tenebrous absence within the tableau, billows around the murderer. The true expropriator. The silhouetted hooded skull. Done up like the Grim Reaper, with scaled down scythe. Sneeringly aping the unavailability of our own cowled and cowed son. We are forced to sketch him backwards. For he has no features. We can console ourselves that it wasn’t personal. That the light of our life, seemingly hadn’t a dark side disgorging fatal enemies. Since this was no onslaught of multiple stab wounds. No targeted thrusts of hate. The blade was not frenziedly sunk up to its hilt, mocking our son by wafting at each dying heave of breath. Clearly there was a dispute of some kind. A steel-lined disagreement. A metallic gainsaying. When push came to shove, the assailant could back up his argument to the hilt. Marshal his cold, hard proofs. Dialectic fleetingly entered, then a flashing antithesis. Discontinuation rather than adjournment. A cessation. Termination. A full stop, gruffly punctuated. Clangorous whisper. How kids express themselves today. Asperous aspersers. Knives carried for protection, reflexively whipped out to make a point. To underscore a position. To affirm a negation. To recapitulate. (Just his luck that the single chink, cut something direly critical). This was neither rancorous, nor a rupture. It was just elision of question and answer, call and lethal response. Variance and confutation. Disparity and pronouncement. There was no conviction behind the pitch. In fact it was the very opposite, stemming from being backed into a corner and bereft of ideas as how to disengage. On the verbal ropes. The knife demonstrating a lugubrious bouncebackability. Rope a dope. More of a lunging non-sequitur. Retracting a retraction. “Don’t bother me. Move, get out my way. Get out my face. Don’t look at me. I wasn’t talking to you was I ? You what ? You and who’s army ?” Any and all the categorical imperatives designed to seal off intercourse. Those practised countless times here at home in your daily dumb shows towards us. No, you were too smart and more significantly, too inuringly reticent, to have bad mouthed him. Of course it could cut the other way too. If he called out to you and you failed to respond. That habitual lack of respect at home, magnified tenfold to disrespecting out on the street. Instantaneously switchblade redeemable.

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