At the End of the Day
A hand without lines brushes the light from the young girl’s vision; this darkness ensues like a widening door to an open crypt and she begs and she screams, unmindful of the words whispered in her ears. There is only the wind. Cold and dank and speaking in a language known only to the past. Known only to those silent, barren places where her dreams were beached and grew brittle and pale under starless skies.
Hitori desu. . . so alone . . . I am so . . . .
“Iie--” No. The word wanders lost behind her teeth, having risen from each and every cell in her body; a collective agreement bound by one simple need. Survival. The need to save herself from that gnawing devouring darkness. The need to be. Watakushi. This I. This Me. Kokoro. This heart that bleeds to whiteness in a house of drowning seas. It is coaxed and begged but in vain. The hand without lines, it plucks the word, holds it gently in its palm, and then allows it to be blown into the night like dust.
“You have never been alone.” But she resents these words. Refutes them with the heart of an anguished fire.
The hand curls away. A face looms into view like cream poured into black coffee. The eyes tell the tale of journeys made and yet to be made, of endless meetings and endless partings. There is a gentleness in the eyes that surprises the girl. Is this her? She wonders. Has she returned with the maddening tide?
“Hai,” the face says and smiles like a weary lover. “Yes, I’m here now . . . .”
The eyes flow in brightness, tears crawl; raindrops on glass panes, streaking, seeking each other . . .
“I have been so lost, so empty--”
“Gomenasai.” I am sorry.
“It was so unfair,” the young girl whispers. “So many gone. So many children….”
“Wakarimasu.” I understand.
The hand reappears and slowly eclipses the flowing eyes, the saddening smile, the understanding face. She feels arms sliding around her body. “A little moment,” the voice whispers. “A little song to ease the night.”
The arms embrace her and the girl feels a breath of spirit pass into her, she feels the slowing of her own heart, the slowing of her fear, the slowing of her thoughts. The young girl is in moonlight, cradled in coolness, spun out into sudden flight, among unblinking stars and endless melodies.
She holds the girl gently and faces the distant restless sea; a sailor come home to the strangeness of land, at last, at last . . . .
Though the gods have become but leaves and shadows, gathering in moonlit corners, speaking to an audience of memory and dust, she gazes down at the girl’s sleeping face and feels the world stop its trembling.
“A little song to ease the night….”