Why must they be so cryptic? There was too much room for interpretation. Nothing fell into place. Or rather the places that it fell were too fantastic to be seriously entertained.
Maybe he should read after all.
But what would he read?
More cryptic hints at the illimitable…
Towards what end?
He watched the drops gather and slide. Such a natural symbiosis with gravity. Yes, it was such a simple thing. And Jim wished very much, o so very much, to be as simple.
But it was not possible.
So, he opened the envelope.
He read. Or rather he tried to read.
His eye was draw to a thin column a quarter way down the seventh page.
“They dance and play,
They with silver skin,
Sleek in the twilight,
Far from the day,
Children of the black sun,
Spirits so bright,
See how they run,
Though without wings,
Above all kings,
That sprang all this,
By a distant kiss,
Apollo, o Apollo, appeal, to the maze of Saturn’s weal,
And send them as a dance
From this morbid trance
Give a root,
For the runner,
For the runner,
But just so,
Be sure to do,
Only if you know,
The black sun,
O the black sun…”
“See,” Jim mused aloud. “That…that is not helpful at all.”
He tossed the stack onto the coffee table and poured another whiskey.
Staring into the fire he found that it offered no comfort.
He felt colder than he had ever felt before. The world was old.
Before, he felt himself separate from it.
Yet now he too felt old.
Hanging there in the abyss by a slowly dying star.
A fire whose fuel was as febrile and dwindling as that which crumpled so steady before his gaze.
“Where would we go?” He muttered.
How would he keep the warmth from sapping out his bones into the inky night? How would they? How would we?
He removed his shoes, then his socks.
He let the cold wood panel seep into the balls of his feet, up his ankles, femurs and find its rest in the base of his spine.
He began to dance. Frantic and drunk he hooped and he hollered in the isolation.
Placing the revolver by his head he pondered.
Faint suggestions flickered through his conscious.
Jim felt very small. He imagined that he was the proportion of the reflection in the brass of the poker. He felt himself to be his own homunculus.
He dropped the gun and ventured unshod into the black old night.
Standing in the middle of the meadow he beheld a heaven so close and bright that he could taste it. Again, he began to dance. He twirled among the rings. He danced in rings among rings within rings.
And with each step a strange awareness took hold. It was as if his feet were eyes and he were reading things writ long ago. So long ago that were he not in motion to counteract…the dizziness of age…of dimension he would surely fall.
It was narcosis. It was rapture. It was a deep read.
For he beheld the passage of odd teardrops towards a green-blue orb.
“We are locusts.” He said and began to eat the grass.
Yes, this sudden Nebuchadnezzar was profound aware of the vanity of kingship.
He was drunk on abandon. Absolutely floored by possibility, utterly drowned by eternity, he could do nothing but dance.
His feet bled. Yet he danced on heedless of the pain of prickling grasses and wild litter.
The fire, that very fire of mortal displeasure, sent him forward, launched him like an arrow towards the granite arcade.
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