With Breasts Like My Verbiage No. 2: Die Brücke
With Breasts Like My Verbiage No. 2: Die Brücke14 mins 11.1K 14 mins 11.1K
It was a warm night in late July. I sat awake in bed, tormented by the roaring fan and my dismal thoughts. The air hung like a damp sheet strung across a clothing line. I felt like a fly trapped within its confines — a mere, insignificant speck suffocating and dying within a hole I could not begin to comprehend. “Is there meaning to my condition?” I buzzed. I knew the answer as well as I understood the question.
“Hurry up, please; it’s time.”
What was the question? I’ve never been able to articulate it. How is one suppose to convey the persistent dismay within his soul while maintaining that it is somehow unique? To see an old friend walking your way and letting Her pass without so much as a nod — what do you call that? The serendipitous decays to an ethereal? “Why bother?” Oh, to be a fly on the wall! The longing to be anything… to be Virginia Woolf, for at least she found in life reason enough to drown Herself.
I could not sleep. Given all the layers of sweat and layers of faux emotional complexity, I'm surprised my heart found the courage to keep beating. I was thinking of Her again. I was cocooned in literal darkness and fatigued from a long weekend at work, but the piercing light of Her image on my mind demanded my attention and forced me awake. I had to be up early in the morning. The light did not care. Curious it is this light was so menacing. Is my symbolism askew, or am I a coward? What am I missing? What is so terrifying? A man born blind suddenly gifted with sight cannot be expected to see the forest for the trees.
“Hurry up, please; it’s time.”
The light — that song — “Doesn’t she shine brighter than the moon?” Ten thousand songs swam around my head. Many were about lost love. Some were simply about a girl. Others yet were but an evocative melody to me. “Doesn’t she shine brighter than the moon?” As far as comparisons go, it is like a stagnant dog shit left to rot in the neighbor's yard by some lazy pet owner with diabetes. How magnificent it must be to have one’s light cast upon Her by a bigger, brighter entity! The source of Her light is within Her — She is like… a light bulb.
“Hurry up, please; it’s time.”
The fan would not stop pestering me. It’s time for what? Time to sleep? I CAN’T SLEEP WITH YOU PESTERING ME. I was angry there alone in the darkness. In my youth, I’d strike the wall or howl at the moon. Even in that moment, I cannot deny feeling a slight urge to tear up. Her letters and pictures, I set them aflame. I just don’t see the point anymore. I cannot destroy impressions. I cannot forget. Her red hair flowed like the Nile, meandering careless and free like a bird or Tchaikovsky’s pet dragon engulfed in a sea of red poppy...
“Hurry up, please…”
Christ, fine. I sat up. I jumped to my feet and tore off the sheets like one would a band-aid. I knew Hypnos would not be visiting me this night, so I decided to stop waiting. How strange it was to stand. My legs felt weak and trembled. Atlas glared at me from the corner, a sole eyebrow raised. As I shuffled through my bedroom door into the hallway, I saw Her picture on the floor — or perhaps it was in my head. “Great,” I thought, “Something to stare blankly at.” For nineteen minutes, I stared at that picture, yet I saw nothing. There is nothing.
It was 2:00 AM by the time I finally made it outdoors. The city was distant, yet welcoming. Inside my head was a prisoner, wrongfully convicted, pounding on the pia and pleading for release. There is no real solace in this world, but in my naivety, I went looking for a key.
There’s something serene about the silent city streets— something inspiring. I thought about the bridge a bit over six miles away. My desire to run vanished after dropping out of Boston all those months ago, but I suddenly felt myself moving. My sandals flipped and flopped beneath me, occasionally muted when caught in my oversized pajama pants. The pace — probably no faster than seven-minute miles —felt great. It was refreshing to be doing something, even though it meant nothing. Oh, those classical rivals — The S&N Corp—fighting for centuries as if one could actually exist less than the other.
For five miles, the world seemed to pass me by. It did not move coldly, but hastily and indifferently. It was a beautiful indifference, with a strange, elegant essence. I was a free agent within it—a commensal bacterium within an oblivious host. Skyscrapers and slums, brilliant lights and dark alleys, food kitchens and Starbucks, marvelous macrophages and alliterative adenomas—all passed by as if in a kaleidoscope. Time itself seemed indifferent toward me; it felt like I had been running for five minutes at the end of those five miles when I came to a dead stop and was awakened from my renaissance. As I was gliding through the park on 38th, I began to focus on the stillness of the trees towering above me. Once the kings of all ecosystems—now dwarfed by man’s creations. I could not help but think they were plotting some sort of vengeance. My neck twisted as I turned my head to keep one dethroned royal in view. As soon as I turned back around, I saw in front of me Her favorite bar.
I stopped immediately. My legs grew weak again and I almost collapsed. It was a shock to stop running like that. I would had much preferred to run directly into a brick wall. It was probably nearing 3:00 AM—a Tuesday morning. Why was this shit hole so lit up and how did it manage to surprise me? It was directly under a street lamp—the only one on the whole block—and “Plymouth Tavern” flashed bright and red despite the “Closed” sign on the door. I knew this place was about a mile from the bridge and on 38th—I suppose I was unwilling to think about it.
Standing at the corner of the bar was a dark figure, cast in the shadow of a vengeful-looking tree. I was fifty or so meters away, but I could faintly make out a man beckoning me towards him. I stood, shocked in disbelief, thinking about Her again.
She was probably Here last weekend. She was probably Here many weekends before that. She may even have been Here earlier today. Strange to think this is the closest I’ve been to Her in months. I know what she’s been doing. Such a happy drunk; she has no trouble moving on. Despite Her insecurities, I’m sure she’s found someone new by now —someone better. It wouldn’t surprise me if she found several someones, all new and better than me in the three areas that count: getting drunk, texting back, and being 21.
I was more enraged in that moment than I had ever been. How helpless, how small… Suddenly, the city wasn’t so welcoming. The atmosphere changed. The air hung like a damp sheet strung across a clothing line. I felt like a fly trapped within its confines — a mere, insignificant speck suffocating and dying within a whole I could not begin to comprehend. “Is there meaning to my condition?” I buzzed. I knew the answer as well as I understood the question.
“Hurry it up! I haven’t got time for your bullshit introspection!”
Where am I? Ah, yes; I was telling my story. I stared at the figure, motionless. All his facial features were obscured, but I could feel him returning my gaze. He seemed familiar despite his anonymity. I was sure he could not move and was compelled to approach him. I took a semitone toward him and then…
“HOW DARE YOU ABANDON A LOYAL SERVANT AFTER SO MANY YEARS!”
The figure didn’t move a hair—just barked his line and then immediately began to sustain a steady hum. I stopped.
How do I get myself in situations like this? I was all alone, but now I have this man. That’s not true — he has always been Here. She wasn’t. She was never there for me. But can you blame Her? What a jewel! She’s an emerald, and I’ve never had much regard for geology or aesthetics. The moon and the stars shine above me, but I am fixated on how much she’s had to drink. The source of Her light is within Her. Atlas, is that you in the shadows?
“Can’t you see he wants to rest? BASKET!”
I feel nauseous. I’m not sure I can continue to write. I’m sitting on the same bed where all this began…
“What do you want?” I whispered. The figure continued to hum. I moved my foot forward an inch. The noise continued steadily. I took a full step, then another — no change. Timid step after timid step, I drew near the figure. About twenty feet away, I noticed his dark clothing, hood, and red clown shoes. He was looking down at this point, his arms straight at his sides. I could tell he was holding something. In his right hand, he grasped an object the size and shape of a textbook. Ten feet away, I realized it was a framed photograph of Sarah Jessica Parker.
“What the fuck?” I exclaimed.
The humming stopped. The man calmly and quietly cleared his throat as if to speak. His demeanor was commanding and powerful. I hadn’t made eye contact with him and yet I was anxious to hear him speak. I thought perhaps he was the key I came searching for—the answer to all my problems. All fear and hesitation vanished from within me. It was as if I were standing in the very presence of God.
“I cannot go a long time without the society of my likes. Even when the likes is an imperfect one.”
He spoke with such reservation as if he were carefully sifting through infinite knowledge and selecting pieces which were enlightening, but not too overwhelming.
“This is becoming really insignificant.”
What could that mean? I think I know. I am wasting my time wallowing in misery when I could be doing anything but! I can say “hello”. I can open my eyes. I can get up. I can move on. I cannot forget, but I can move on. I’ve been playing master and slave, beating myself into the submission of my own insecurities. She has nothing to do with this—just an easy scapegoat! I have the will to power. What could be easier to shape than amorphous nothingness? I can make a beautiful world. All this complaining—there is nothing, nothing, nothing— when I could have been building a something with a meaning unique to me.
“Please, tell me more.”
“Please! I get it now. I just need some reassurance.”
There was a long, silent pause. The man cleared his throat as he had before and began his speech.
“Given the existence as uttered forth in the public works of Puncher and Wattmann of a personal God quaquaquaqua with white beard quaquaquaqua outside time without extension who from the heights of divine apathia divine athambia divine aphasia loves us dearly with some exceptions for reasons unknown but time will tell and suffers like the divine Miranda with those who for reasons unknown but time will tell are plunged in torment plunged in fire whose fire flames if that continues and who can doubt it will fire the firmament that is to say blast heaven to hell so blue still and calm so calm with a calm which even though intermittent is better than nothing but not so fast and considering what is more that as a result of the labours left unfinished crowned by the Acacacacademy of Anthropopopometry of Essy-in-Possy of Testew and Cunard it is established beyond all doubt all other doubt than that which clings to the labours of men that as a result of the labours unfinished...”
“That’s Godot… All of this… You’ve been quoting Godot?!
“Yeah; do you have any money?”
I walked home slowly after that encounter. Words and cliches cannot express how defeated I felt in that moment. I got home at 6AM, drink a bottle of Nyquil, and fall asleep. I haven’t thought about the bridge since.
I'm tired of talking to myself. I have nothing to say.
I woke up in the center of a dark room, illuminated only by the words “She will come” written in flashing Christmas lights on one wall. There were no windows, no doors, and no visible ceiling. The four walls seemed to extend upward towards infinity. I’m sure there is some symbolism in that.
I’m tired of talking to myself. I have nothing to say.
This isn’t even about verbiage anymore.
I looked around for anything. Lights, concrete floor, concrete wall, concrete wall… Wait. I heard a roaring. In the corner of the room was a fan, plugged into the only apparent electrical outlet. Strange though — I felt as if electricity flowed freely and abundantly all around me. “Where am I?” I thought. I looked back at the lights. They were hung delicately. “She will come” almost looked like a personal, handwritten message.
So what am I to do? Sit waiting—waiting for Godot? I suppose that’s what I’ve been doing all my life. I’m still in that goddamn room. I’ve looked for hidden exits. I’ve pounded on the walls. I’ve tried to reason with them. I’ve tried to melt them away with drugs. I’ve tried to tear them down with rage. I’ve tried everything, and I’ve failed to rationalize it to myself. I’m alone in Here. The only thing to do is think about Her.
She didn’t always bring out the worst in me. We use to be happy. I remember when I first saw Her. For the first few days of fifth grade, my friends told me “all about” the new girl—how much more developed she was than even the eighth graders. We were in different homerooms, so I thought my only chance to see Her was at recess. For the first week of the school year, she eluded me. She was the type to spend Her recess indoors reading, writing, or drawing. I spent my time on the playground, hurting myself and other boys. One day, during class, I asked to use the restroom. I walked through the empty halls and just as I was about to turn the corner to enter the boy’s room, she exited the girl’s room to the left of me. Her head was hung low; Her solemn, green eyes glued to the floor. She must have felt my gaze. She lifted Her head ever so softly and gifted me the faintest of smiles. That’s when she became “her”. In Her face, I saw the pain of a girl regarded only for the curve of Her hips. I also saw a girl destined to do great things— to soar through the sky without prejudice delivering love to those who do and do not deserve it. I returned Her smile, and Her’s grew a little larger. Then, like a flower sprouting through the sidewalk on a bustling city street, I let Her be.
Years passed before we really became friends. Freshman year of high school, we got to know each other by nature of being the two slowest runners on the Cross Country team. We talked on our training runs — we talked about everything and nothing. Heaven knows no beauty like that of chatting with a pretty girl under the trees or along a stream. My feelings for Her blossomed at this time, but a fence obstructed Her view of my garden. That fence was Her boyfriend.
Many years carried on. Her ambition inspired me—I followed Her from Cross Country to the classroom. She followed me from AP Calculus to Track and Field. Our hard work paid off— soon we had the same full-tuition scholarship to the same university. We learned about this shortly before our senior prom. Unfortunately, Her euphoria was tainted by the discovery that Her long-term boyfriend had been cheating on Her for years.
“Everyone wants a rose,” I told Her. “What else is a scumbag suppose to wipe his ass with?”
She laughed through Her tears. I could see the devastation like microbes on Her face—the same face that intrigued me as a kid. She needed a date to prom now, and I found it increasingly difficult to contain my feelings for Her. They had laid at bay for years—energetic, yet contained. Now, like a boulder tumbling to the depths of the Atlantic.
What? Where am I?
Oh, yes. I’m in this fucking room. My back was turned to the light, hunched in defeat. I was staring at the opposing wall, sitting on the surprisingly warm floor, legs crossed. As the lights changed color, I noticed my shadow staring back at me. I sat wondering what I would look like to someone outside the cave. Is there anyone outside the cave? Is there an outside to the cave? Is there a cave?
Suddenly, I heard a creaking—like a door! I jumped to my feet and scanned the room for a source. Nothing. There is nothing. I could not so much as tell which direction the noise was coming from. The creaking stopped. Then it began again. Then stopped. For nineteen minutes, this pattern continued. Like a deer mysteriously awakening in a strange room then seeing some strange shit, I acted predictably. I stared. I scanned the room. I crossed my fingers. I hoped.
Alas, she entered, with breasts like my verbiage and an ass like my affectation.