a philosopher’s embrace

I lay in the dark slumbers of night, eyes peeled open, staring unyieldingly at some blind spot in the corner. The perpendicular lines of the walls gently meet with the wooden floorboards; their geometric shapes clashing with the soft fabric of the transparent ivory gauze. The fabric of twilight.

It is pure, smooth coal; I gulp air, and it travels seamlessly down my throat, hesitating slightly at the uvula before brushing past as it tumbles along my spine.

The harsh glare of my phone contrasts with this satiny atmosphere. Its blue light dilates and contracts my pupils in a hypnotic rhythm. Just as I’m about to shut it off, a video catches my eye.

It is a documentary about a philosopher, just turned ninety-seven and facing his encroaching death. I click it. 

… 

As the video ends, I look up at the ceiling of my room. It seems that during the clip, my surroundings had been gradually transforming, culminating into one pinnacle of shock as I strain my eyes into the abyss of cool shadows. There is a pulpating form, undulating in its slimy black grease. I am surrounded by this form, drowning in its movements. Death is grazing me with its fingertips, I think. 

I will be gone one day. Everyone will be gone. What a cliche, depressingly basic thought. Still, I am submerged in fear. My breath is gone, as if a chilling wind has swept it away— yet, the room is still. 

It is no longer a room, but a swamp of murky ink. 

… 

Death is the only certainty of life. The only facet we can be sure will occur. So why am I gasping for air at the very thought of it?

Never had my fresh, young mind considered the thought of being gone. This inexperienced brain of hardly sixteen years can scarcely fathom it. 

But this night, I come under the mossy fingernails of Thanatos; the piercing claws of Poe’s raven; the hollowed sockets of a bleached skull. 

Why can’t I embrace you, as a friend, as a lover? I think silently— for words have disintegrated, proven unnecessary in this dusk of mystery and feelings. They have no purpose when confronted with inexplicable emotions of timeless pursuits. 

I will never be fully accepted, nor embraced, Death replies. You may believe you have come to terms with me, but I will forever slither back into your ears, your lungs, your veins; solidifying your blood, coagulating your thoughts. My movements are not once anticipated. 

… 

Laying in my bed, drenched in sweat and tears, I sigh an exhalation of esse. My eyes droop downwards, struggling to peel and say farewell to the suffocating presence of certainty. But there is no need; eternity is an omniscient being, as close to God as one can ever get. 

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