Saturday, August 8, 2009


Mathis had apparently been sleeping for awhile when he woke up with a start, on the floor of his apartment, in the dark, surrounded by mess. The glasses were still on his face. He made no attempt to remove them. It didn't even cross his mind.

His head ached, his eyes burned, and all he could do was to let out a pained groan. This, while memories of his father, recently obtained memories, his father's own memories, horrible memories, came flooding back to him.

He had seen his father's end, the way in which his life was cut short in a dockside knife fight with a two-bit thug. And he had seen something else. His heart began to race just thinking about. He had seen something he couldn't even hope to understand.

Mathis, lying on the floor, lolled his head this way and that, trying to clear his mind of the images his father had seen. Then he stopped. He blinked. He thought back to the old man, and wondered what he had seen in the lenses that was so horrible. The old man had called him the devil, and forbade Mathis from ever doing business with him again. It had to be something pretty bad.

Abruptly blinded by an intense white light, Mathis' entire body again convulsed, his fingers wildly clawing at the carpet once more. Strange images coming into focus. Another's memories. A holiday dinner, surrounded by little kids and laughing adults. Flash. Shady business conducted by the dark light of old storm lanterns from behind iron bars. Flash. Mathis, himself, setting the glasses down on a stone counter. Flash. The old man trying on the glasses, witnessing the bloody hatchet murder of his wife. Flash. Blood, so much blood. Flash. Arms, legs, head being removed with a circular saw. Flash. Flash. Flash.

Friday, February 27, 2009


There is a little bit of comforting myth surrounding endings. We tell ourselves that endings are merely beginnings. We tell ourselves that for a new chapter to start, one must finish. We tell ourselves that a new word begins after the full stop. Period. Two spaces (one, if you're feeling particularly naughty). Capitalise, and begin again. We tell ourselves this because no-one likes to think of something as just being over. No-one likes to feel like there's no going back. We tell ourselves this because it feels good. Truth is, sometimes an ending really is an ending. Sometimes there really is nothing more.

I kissed you goodbye in the sterile airport during a bungled embrace – an embrace halting and clumsy. An embrace made awkward by the bulky books in the pockets of my coat, by the impending end, by the lack of any true emotion left in either of us. Your nose was cold and made me shiver as it made contact with my cheek. We both new that there was no more. You would get on the plane, and take off into the air, while I would not even stick around to watch the plane taxi down the runway. In fact, before your luggage was even loaded into the cargo hold, I was in the backseat of a cab telling the driver to take me downtown. And right around the time the wheels of your plane were leaving concrete, I was hoisting a fresh pint of lager to my lips. We both smiled then. We both let loose a sigh of relief. We never saw each other again. Now, that's an ending.

Monday, January 12, 2009


The night was a corpse. So still, one may have been inclined to check its pulse, panicky fingers fumbling at its wrist in search of a heart beat. Or to check for even the shallowest breath from its lifeless, cold lips. Or to, at the very least, kick its foot and wait for a response. But none would come. No, the night could not have been more still – for nothing is as still as death.

But, it's only inevitable that tranquillity eventually turns to commotion. Even in death, calm ultimately moves over for disturbance. And when this disturbance begins, it builds so easily. Easier than school of piranha swimming downstream, easier than a vulture flying with the wind – it comes easily.

After death, nothing can stop the rot, the decomposition. One dies, and in that instant, there is a coming apart, a breaking down into simpler forms of matter. Things begin to move. Autolysis: one's internal enzymes and chemicals begin to break down one's own tissues. Putrefaction: bacteria consume. Then the scavengers come. There's an unbuilding, a dispersal, and a scattering amongst the still living, reborn.

Daylight does come.