Their Days Are Numbered is a new year-long project authored by the collective Entropy community. It is a collaborative online novel written by the Entropy community on a weekly basis. A different author will write the next “chapter” each week, to be posted every Tuesday, following the previous post from the previous week, and following a very limited set of guidelines (that each author has one week to write the next piece after the previous week’s installment goes up, that installments should range between 150-1500 words, and that pieces should somehow incorporate a real-life occurrence, current event, news item, or other happening from that week).
Follow the entire “novel” here: Their Days Are Numbered.
The forty-sixth installment is presented this week by Linda Michel-Cassidy.
Other things are impossible to conjure. Not in a waking dream, nor under the cover of darkness—you cannot even hallucinate your way clear of this one.
You cannot remember the human touch.
You move north, hoping to discover something the opposite of a desert. Perhaps you’ll find the edge of a cold-pressed civilization. Your future corpse is a magnet. And yet.
You have already given up the color green, the idea of a breeze, the chance to ever again refer to a landscape as lush. Green, breeze, lush—words that become ridiculous upon repetition. Just empty sounds.
You cannot recall the weight of an embrace, a touch to the hip by some creeper on the subway, the brush of the lips of another against the back of your neck.
You find it possible to caress a tiny tin toy as if it were the plump belly of a newborn. Even with those creepy eyes. That metal is no more soothing than that of the chamber of the gun you drag along, as if there were something at which to shoot.
But that trickle of liquid. The glint of its skin—surface tension—now there’s some science for you! Written in its spinning is this fact: If the world is elastic, then it contains more than this moment. But if it is cruel?
You’d heard, back in the days of people saying things to you, that death by drowning brings a type of euphoria. Nope, it was death by freezing—hypothermia, that’s it—the one where you suspect you’re about to burst into joyful flames. Whatever that is, this is the opposite.
Death by aloneness.
All those opportunities you neverminded away, instances you brushed off like dandruff or a used bandaid:
A faux-synesthete who claimed to scream color names while in the throes, Chartreuse! C’mon babe! Vermillion! Vermillion!
That hippie who said, “I was born to save the world.”
The yogi, all sinew and glow, who told you that tumbled obsidians carried in one’s pocket guaranteed safety and power.
Where were they now, now that you wrap your lizard arms around yourself, head tilted towards heaven (as if), pretending there is someone left to long for you?