Shorts

The Eye, an Instrument

He closed his eyes. The engine idled. The actors inflected their lines again. He raised his palms to his face, seemingly without purpose. The pictures were picturesque. The lines were love. As he reached for it, it retreated. He was a clumsy hunter. He knew that.

The romances meant to inspire propelled him toward contrary climes. Every cinematic kiss was one he remembered knowing he would not know again. Alone, he began the journey home.

Our connections are tragic, measurable intervals. Ever, we are pried apart by competing distractions of pomp and bombast like suicide bomb blasts; around every corner, behind every eye. His eyes were open, guiding him toward his destination, unconscious contributors to his one drama.

Then, it began. Something unfamiliar. An unnamed emotion. A furrowed brow supported by a clenched jaw. The lines began to blur. The lights streaked and wavered when they should have been concise pinpoints in the night, stars, signals, brakes. They very nearly closed, mashing the entire world into a kaleidoscope of color and ambient forgotten feeling. Then came the wheeze, an intermittent wordless whisper that could have been a quiet laugh, but was not.

Forward still, he was propelled, gliding through the darkness, unsafe. The lights bombarded him, unrelenting. Or perhaps his eyes attacked all creation with their vision. Lenses for a fiery heart so fierce if he were to peel back his flesh for one incendiary instant the entire countryside would swim in fire.

He recognized the road; habit had seen to that. He smothered the unwelcome invaders upon his cheek. There was no number of days since he had last called them familiar. After so strangled and so brief a reunion he wondered if he might never know them again.

Such despairing desolation was not meant to be felt by men. Successes bereft of celebration. Cold nights where one wandering worries the atmosphere may abandon him and the dry lifeless void might suck the life from his lungs. These mighty blows upon the soul are meant for the moments before existence, when the spirit is white hot within the forge that was the birthplace of the world; not the brittle metal that welcomes mortal touch. Man is meant to break himself under the hammering.

But this one did not break. He would but lie scarred upon the anvil, sparking.

Why could she not have a name? But she did have a name.