Posts Tagged ‘ Surreal ’

Nah und Fern.

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I found myself lost in Gas for what seemed like an eternity.

I spent months wandering around the forest, lost and confused. Often scared, always overwhelmed. It made me feel alive but brought me down to Earth like nothing else ever has. But it is never this Earth; it is always another, a strange alteration of this one. A hyper-real, infinitely intense world – A world that feels like it could tear itself asunder at any moment, that all it would take would be a single misplaced footstep or the slightest of knocks to throw the world out of balance. It is a distorted world, twisted in such a way that you wouldn’t know that it were at first glance. You would need time. How much time, I cannot say. You would need to look hard, harder than you ever have in this world, and study your surroundings. Only then do you notice the shifting in the fabric and the hightened intensity of your surroundings: the colour, the shape, the air against your skin.  I felt always off-kilter. My shoulders were burdened with the feelings and emotions of others, people whom I’d never met, people whom I wasn’t sure had ever existed. People whom I wasn’t sure would ever exist. I didn’t know if I wanted to escape. I didn’t know if I ever needed to escape.

Occasionally I dip my big toe back into the lukewarm, glass-like water and I see my reflection. But it is always distorted, always misshapen in ways I can never comprehend.

I now find myself perpetually scared by Gas. I am scared because I know just how easily I could get lost all over again.

Ernesto

I recently finished reading a publication of twenty-five short stories. While they were all excellent, this particular story by Juana Adcock struck me.

One day, like a little prince, I went on a very long trip.

I left Ernesto in charge of my favourite pet iguana, and my plants, and my sheets, and my pictures, and my fridge – a very old pistachio-green fridge that belonged to my grandfather and still smelled like rotting figs.

A childless man, I prided myself on keeping all these things alive. I gave food to Ernesto and the iguana, both of whom ate very little. I gave water to the plants and washed the sheets every week, dusted the pictures on the walls, defrosted the fridge. It was a good home, but the time had come to leave. Keep well, I will be back! And I kissed them all goodbye.

When I returned, Ernesto was paler, the plants were dusty and stiff, the pictures and sheets were gone and the fridge was disgorging its frost, and the glass tank was full of sand. I asked him why; I had trusted him.  He said he did not bother with nimeties and preferred the walls and mattress bare. As for the iguana, he said every day instead of food he poured a handful of sand in the tank. If I loved home enough, I would be back before it was buried.

For a long time we both sat in silence, smoking cigarettes and watching the iguana swim in the sand, emerging now and then for air, and diving back in, mermaid like, the striped tail following in slow circles that were smaller and smaller until the sand gulped up the tiny hole. I could not stand it any longer. I turned the heavy tank to its side; the contents spilled, the iguana rolled out to the foot of the mound, breathing terribly slow. Ancestral dragon, silent devil; its head had grown too large and it had lost most of its colour. I approached it with care, but it did not seem frightened.

When I ventured to pick it up, it broke in my hand. It was nothing more than a hollow shell, fragile, wafer-thin. I burst into tears. Ernesto put his hand on my shoulder, a human gesture reserved for only the worst moments of despair. I reached for him but my fingers sank through his hand, pieces crumbling onto my jumper. Ernesto! How long was I away, my sweet, for you to vanish like this?

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