I sense rupture.
His mother came to him in the morning, dressed in black and sat on the edge of his bed. She put her hand on his shoulder and shook his sweating body. The touch of his sweat enticed her and her grey eyes widened with a look of ravishing lust.
“What did you dream about?”
It was morning, but the sun glared with noon-might. The air scorched through the glass door, burning whatever portion of my eye it hit. And then I saw you and you were telling me that there’s no water anymore; that the tanks were as dry as our skin. Then you smiled. And I woke up.
She stood up and licked her sweat-clad finger. She shivered from the saline taste as she gave her son her back. He looked at her with a disgust usually directed towards beggars. Her few strands of hair failingly hanged from her decaying, pealing scalp; the veins on her head appearing like electrical wires mechanically networked with a Terry Gilliam-like obtrusiveness.
“Tala died today.”
The news came as no shock.
“There was no water left.”
There is no water left. We are dried up. Did she say anything?
“She said nothing. She died in her wake. Daniel was watching her. She didn’t even close her eyes.”
It had to happen. And it will happen again.
There was a silence, but not for mourning. There was stillness, but not for lack of action.
I can see her when I think about her. Her ridiculous big eyeglasses which she found while we were coming here. Is there no water left?
Everything is dry as our skin.
“Tell me more about your dream.”
“Consider it a favour for absent friends.”
He stretched his arms and looked around him, as if trying to recollect traces of the dream that burst out of his cognition when he woke up.
We were on a plateau and nothingness extended all around us. And we were like insects. It was dry and bleak. It was this, all around us. It was this.
He pointed to the sepia environment.
You told me that there’s no water anymore. And I didn’t feel dismayed. All my friends have gone and there was no dismay in that either. And you liked it. You smiled at me. Your thin-black teeth made me feel comfortable. But your hair was different. It was bright orange and thin yet strong, like nicely cooked curry noodles. They looked greasy and yummy. They looked like the way the letter V sounds. Spaghetti hair. And then you asked me right before I woke up, if I remembered Eve. But I do not. Who is Eve?
“She was with us, long ago. You were little companions, as kids, you always stuck together, inseparable and synchronised like the movement of two healthy eyes.”
Yes. Eve. I remember her now. Faintly. She had beautiful skin.
“She had beautiful skin.”
What happened to her?
“She absented herself when you attacked her. We never knew why you did that. But she fled. She never came back again.”
I remember Eve.
“What happened next?”
Nothing. I woke up. I found you here. Nothing is happening.
“And that’s that?”
And this is this. If I can only see Eve again.
“Hours of wealth, my son, they’re not for us.”
Hours of wealth, mother, are rarely noticeable. Eve promised us this.
And they could do nothing. They were trapped and alone. Mother and son. When there was a background they sunk into it and waited. But background and foreground merge, depth is eliminated and they will soon be absented.
I sensed wrong. I believe in an upcoming plateau of nothingness. There is no rupture, there is only an apocalyptic levelling.