What do the dead know? Only the dead really know what happens in the grave. Of course, there are some who say that the dead don’t know anything; and then there are those who say the dead know everything.
What happens after we die is a question that most will ask at some point or another; do we dream our death when we die? Or are we: no more, forever?
The graveyard is a very noisy place at times, full of the moans of the dead and the babble of the ghosts that won’t stay silent; yes, the graveyard is a place you can hear the dead whispering for eternity.
One of the noisiest is miserable Mona who never stops complaining about her lot and says so every day that she deserves better and that after a lifetime of hard work: “this is where I’ve ended up, it just isn’t fair. I worked my fingers to the bone, and look where it got me.
But if we were to listen to everyone moan we’d be listening for a very long time, so mainly we’ll be listening in on two who seem to know their way around: Kafka and Dante; but first an introduction to ‘the girl.’
THE LONG ROAD
When is it? Well it’s today of course, not tomorrow, not yesterday; just today. And the time is midday because the sun’s directly overhead and shining hotly down on the girl walking along that long road to nowhere.
She’s pulling a cart loaded with water and all her things and has been pulling it for some time; behind her the road disappears back as far as the eye can see, and in front of her the road stretches to the horizon.
It’s a road that runs through the desert and once would have been black asphalt, steaming in the hot sun, but over time became grey and hard as stone so that walking on it felt like stepping on rock with no bounce, where your shadow keeps pace in the emptiness that surrounds as far as can be seen.
The road stretches ahead to nowhere, and back to where she’s been with nothing on one side of it but the desert scrub and haze so that if you got turned around you might walk right back to where you started from and not know it until you arrived there, and thinking all the time you’re still walking away, but really you got turned around somehow and now are walking back along the road you’ve already walked.
Way over to the south of the road was the wall that stretched away to forever, erected to keep the barbarians out and served as a reminder that what divides us separates us.
Maybe you went to sleep beside a little fire and in the morning you woke and forgot which way you were headed. You could be on that road for a long time pulling your life behind you for all it’s worth and never know where you are, except on that road, under the hot heat of the sun, and no one to talk to but your own thoughts that might tell you anything, if you were to listen, and even if you didn’t listen they might keep on saying things; like: “didn’t I go past that piece of dirt yesterday? I sure do wish someone would come along and offer me a ride to the end of this road. If the water runs out, that’s it, I’ll fall down and won’t get up, and one day all that will be left of me will be my bones bleaching in the sun.”
You can hear yourself thinking in the endlessness and nothing to detract you in the thinking of it all.
And maybe you don’t know which way is which anymore so that all you can do is put one foot in front of the other and keep moving; for what other option is there really, but to keep on going. If you give up and lie down then you’ll turn into dust, and that’s not something to do after coming so far; not yet.
But the road is too long, and you’re so tired; why not take a little nap? Yes, too weary to carry on, but, just one more step, and another.
So, is this what she is thinking?
No one knows she’s there. No one has for a long time; and perhaps it’s a choice, to just disappear and never be found again.
Who is she? She could be anyone; she could be called Rebecca Rose for all anyone knows as she walks along that long road nowhere.
IN HER MIND
The shadow was in her mind, like the echoes she was listening to of her life, that haunted her more than she could say, and so she asked: what is this that is so vexatious that it brings me down? Can the dark side of my being be learned so that the limitless part of me can be accepted? Am I so lost I cannot be found? Or am I just an experiment to be in the living of it that it is no more than an illusion?
The shadow laughed from its hiding place as a violin played a sad tune.
Maybe it would have gone like this for her: In a government department for the poor, the girl was increasing her salary by being a part of the government corruption machine, but it was making her stink so much she began to lose her friends to the extent that she had only sycophants and dark souls for company that were dragging her down to their level and influencing her to become like them in the cognitive indifference where obtuse is the colouring box and mumble-think is a way of life
One morning she woke up covered in slime and realized that if she carried on along this road she might have lots of money but it would be tainted and that all integrity and heart-worth feelings would also be tainted, and that eventually she would be alone to reap all her efforts in support of corruption.
Because she was so far sucked in, leaving would lose her everything, they would see to that. And maybe she would never be allowed to work again at what she was good at, they would see to that as well, but something was very wrong and she knew that if she didn’t leave it now she would be lost.
As she drafted a letter of resignation her heart began to feel lighter and although she had fear of the outcome she knew it was the right thing to do.
When you leave the machine, sometimes what you want doesn’t go the way you expect it to; life can be like that and take you in directions you never expected.
The estimated thought of this can sometimes be another cry in the dark to pull and lead you away from where you want to be, and can lead down avenues that may not have much context from the start, or the beginning as some like to say, but, whatever; just don’t go looking for clues from the national debt party or you’ll find yourself broke and owing so much you’ll never be able to pay it off in this life or any other.
Now, when you run this past the black dog moon you can be forgiven for many things if that’s your cup of tea, just don’t go expecting a refund or you’ll be disappointed, and then where will you be in your moaning?
But sometimes it’s not like that and you find yourself grinning for no reason at all; be careful who you show this to, not everyone will know it’s you and you could find yourself relegated to the back of the queue where it’s hard to make up your mind if you’re coming or going or not.
But if you do decide to make a pitch and suddenly find yourself in the limelight then you’d better have something to show if you don’t want to go Zen about it.
And you know what they say about this and every other thing they get their hands on, because if you don’t you’ve not been watching enough TV lately, which is not a bad thing in the ever changing that goes up and down with it all and is right regular too unless it’s blocked, and that’s another problem to be overcome with some choice words and a compatible lifestyle; and for those who are sleepless in paradise it’s just war of attrition until the thread has led all the way back to the beginning to start again on the next great idea to come along and lead you all the way to somewhere else to find there’s only so far you can go before another door closes and you’re lost with the threads of all the time it took to get there.
And then one day you find all the threads have worn out and whatever picture you’ve painted, is it, and done; and you’ll leave that behind you to find it was but a stepping stone over your life.
But sometimes you wonder what would have happened if you’d swum for it instead and if the picture might have been perfect in some other way.
Perhaps though, there was no other way and that the path you’ve trod was the only one just for you.
Do the thoughts get in the way of a perfectly good dream to slow you down? And if you could change them, what would you have? Go look at the billionaires to see the outcome of that little chestnut in the world of all you could ever want where nothing is denied.
Well, there you go then, what more can be said, I don’t know, for although one thing leads to another, eventually it all leads back home again; and if I was going to say anything it would be to all our heroes who have gone on before us: Yes, many have gone before us and we miss them all now; we loved them for they touched us somewhere we wanted to be touched, and we let them for we were tired and needed touching.
They knew our hearts were broken where we could not be touched, but they came in anyway, and saved us somehow.
They came from the road where our bones had fallen in the dust; they came from the heaven we could never find, to say they were beside us; they came from all the places our hearts had died, and rising from there they told us we could go on.
So we carried on and found new heroes that rose up from the dust for us again; and in this way we survive.
Eventually some of us become heroes too, to inspire, to show we endure too through the hopeless, that despair would not have us, and that, no matter how bad the trip is, sooner or later it will be behind us and a new day will come along that will bring the hope of new.
Life grows even when we think all has perished; life repeats itself for that is the nature of life and in its repetition is the hope, and death is a natural part of the cycle too; and if there’s a clue then it is in this: that nothing stays the same forever; everything has its time and after moving on it never comes back in quite the same way again.
But mostly it’s just: oh kidnap me up and take me away and never land on Thursday; and if our desires leave us stranded in the lies of steel, in the boredom mines, of the death-based corruption politics, the pocket where the grass snake lives, or even in the long lives where they queue for bread up on the hill where the slaves go to eat one another, yes, the snoring of Kafka can be heard loud and clear: “down with the bankers, we want our country back.”
Anyway, further along the road there was a town with wooden houses ten-deep, built on each side of it. At the start of the town a sign said: ‘Moon Street.’
There was really no reason for a town to be there right in the middle of the desert, and at first sight it looked like a ghost town, eerily silent and deserted, but on closer inspection a clue might present itself to indicate that there might be someone around: such as the sound of a violin coming faintly on the wind; or the moans of the dead you can almost hear but can’t place where.
But for most people driving along that road they wouldn’t see the town and just drive right on through at 80 miles an hour with perhaps the subliminal flash: ‘Snowflakes Anonymous’ somewhere in their mind, quickly forgotten in all the other thoughts.
The snoring of Kafka was waiting to be buried and though now hard of hearing had a story to tell to all the ghosts hanging about with not a lot to do.
Up a tree nearby and overlooking the bushes where the empty sigh was hiding, was the drunken bones whisper for a rainy day and dressed as some kind of snazzy baggie in an experiential state and high as a kite, and though most of the marbles were long gone there was still a sweet spot for that great day when all would be revealed, and so with bated breath stared down really hard in hopes of picking up a clue in what was being said...
And so with an: ‘unleash the eyes of the mirror and let the madness begin as it will’ it began to speak inside the lines of the déjà vu daisy.
“When I was younger I lived on the edge, but time stops all that, and even though I was nowhere at least I could go somewhere. Now I can’t go anywhere at all, time takes care of all that. So hear this: if you listen to your critics you'll never be able to dance where your soul wants to take you...
There are times when nothing works, and there are times when it seems something could work...and that's the best it gets most of the time in all the rules that are made. It is said that rules are for the old guys to brag about with others when they are drunk; but I say rules are there to cage you.
A hungry burning comes to carry me away to forever and whatever more there is to be said about whatever can be said, will have to wait for another time.”
A round of applause came from all the accolades lost in their make-believe to cause a stir and some consternation but when things quieted down again all they could hear was the snoring of Kafka....
end of part one
Images from Pixabay