Monday, 18 February 2013

Random writings: Gothic Life

 I've been sick the last day and a bit. As such all I've done, is sleep. I've had about 20 hours of sleep in the last 27 hours and now (as long as it took me to write the following) I will post this and go back to sleep. This evolved out of a dream I had earlier today and I thought it turned out pretty well. I like it enough to share - lets put it that way. I hope you enjoy it too.

One Last Glimpse,


I hear the clicking and clacking of my shoes on the hard marble floor. My steps hasten, I’m already late and I want to get this over with. I’m uncomfortable being here in these surroundings. I feel like a fraud, and I suppose in essence I am. Something, which I’m not accustomed to doing, is putting on false airs and faking my way through things. Even though, that is what my life has become but for whatever reason I prefer a direct honest approach, and so, as a result I am twitchy and uncomfortable – which is funny considering, but this is different. I try to shake off the feeling and pull myself together.

The sunlight streaming in the windows warms my face in hues of green, blue, amber and fuchsia from the stained glass. A Gregorian chant echoes and emanates off the high stonewalls and reaches my ears. It’s in Latin and while it sounds like gibberish to many, I understand it completely. It is a plea, a plea to an unforeseen force and omnipresence for understanding and mercy. A personal request of forgiveness, for divine intervention and of solace in its song, forgiveness for trespasses and sins, both seen and unseen.

I can see the ornate shiny dark wood carved box at the end of the aisle, I don’t make my way towards it – instead I make my way to my seat. I’ve seen all I need to see, and I’ve seen it all before many times over. The satin that lines the casket is almost impossible to see with the amount of flowers that are situated around it. The floral smell fills my nostrils in its bright pungent brilliant smell. It’s almost overwhelming to the senses. A large photograph sits at the end of the coffin; his smirking smile and green eyes mock me as only he can, I can see myself in the face of my brother - a familiarity. I feel a moment of amusement wash over me as a wail rises up from the congregation in the middle of all this pomp and circumstance. If they only knew the truth. I overt my eyes from the photo as not to laugh at the mockery being made with this escapade, pageantry and staged event – this isn’t the first time we’ve had to do this and it won’t be the last.

For me it is as much of a ritualistic event as for everyone else, but to a different end. To some, it is a time for mourning and remembering, for others it is a time of forgiveness and receiving solace in the arms of family and friends. For me, it is a play, a performance, and another falsehood to add to the many that have gone before and that I will continue to add to the list.

I focus and sigh and bring myself back to the task at hand. I feel the cool, smooth wood under my fingertips as I glide my hand along the back of the pew, as I slide into my seat. And then, as if out of ritual – I lower my head out of respect and cross myself, but to what end I question? There is no purpose or point to it. In the end it will do me no good, no divine intervention can save me now – and I am fully aware of my humanity and mortality.

He coughs, clearing his throat, announcing his presence and slips into the pew from the opposite end and sits down beside me. His long woolen coat wet from the freshly fallen snow that is now melting into the fibers. Out of the corner of my eye I can see his long hair falling to his broad shoulders. He sits upright, tall and proud facing forward, never once turning to look at me. We are both there for the same reason, the same purpose, and while neither of us wants to be there – it is our duty. It’s expected and an unwritten understanding that both of us be there.

He flips his hand upward, exposing his palm to me saying nothing as I slip my hand into his. We close fingers and stare forward, still saying nothing. But as it was before, it is again, as it forever shall be. We are one.

My eyes glance around the large Gothic structure, trying to focus over the din. The din of the now overwhelming pipe organ music, which seems to have reached its crescendo in its hymnal along with the choir whose voices too are reaching their peak. Its moody and melodramatic climax drawing close, something, which is to bring comfort, is boasting a mood of foul dread and despair. 

“I’ve never understood this archaic ritual you know.” His voice suddenly whispers in my mind. Why he’s whispering I’ll never understand – perhaps it’s the surroundings.

“What archaic ritual? A funeral?” I reply without uttering a sound

“Yes. What’s the point?” he answers

“The point…” her voice interrupts “Is to make one think that we have moved on. We can’t exactly live forever.”

“But we have lived forever.” His voice replies, almost whining.

“We can make your death permanent any time you’d like dear brother.” She says with a hint of sarcastic wit

“I’ll take a pass on that, I thank you. Where are you seated anyway?” he replies smirking slightly

“Up front, as only a doting wife would who has lost her husband would do.”

“I think he quite enjoys these rituals.” I smile “I can’t say as I blame him, beautiful flowers, people dressed up – shame he misses out on the party afterward, people saying nice things about you. All that.”

“Dressed up – please!” he finally speaks up “I about sat up and gave Madame Voulnieu a right dressing down for her choice of attire for my funeral. How dare she wear such a gaudy outfit! Honestly!”

I choke back a laugh, drawing my hand up to my face to compose myself. The music stops, and the priest donned in ornate robes appears in the sanctuary, we rise as one collective and makes his way to the pulpit to call to order the gathering and to begin the ceremony.

“Shhh… I quite like this part.” His silent voice from the ornate casket whispers to us, my hand is given a slight squeeze, I smile looking up towards the coffin – and for just a hint of a moment, I think I see a smile creeping across my ‘deceased’ brother’s face.

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