When Meaning shifts, Meaninglessness Follows

Combusting rage and sexual tension as a power source, blind to everything but conquering inefficiency, filled with steam, purpose. Equal parts fuel and intoxication.

 

‘Do you even cry?’ He asked at the bar later.

 

Feet pounding on pavement, my feet. Screaming at the muscular man that just got out of his graffiti covered box truck. Not one of ours. Blocking my trucks. In my way.

 

‘He doesn’t like a single thing about you.’ He told me. I grinned my Cheshire grin, remained as still as possible and disappeared from the bar as soon as I could. Descend into the subway station, radiating the kind of stillness that signals a building storm. Silence on the train.

 

Handsome work partner, all silver hair and tanned skin sprawled out next to me on the forklift, melting under my hands as I pressed my fingertips into the sinew of his back, chasing the emotional tightness down his spine. Stories hang from his lip like his cigarette, wry, sometimes silly memories from being locked up mixed with ashes picked up by the wind. They swirl around us like snow, like lost time, remains of the fire as it dies down. Silver hair catching the afternoon light.

 

Some of them love me, and some of them hate me, but I can’t bring myself to care, feet too busy pounding the pavement, barking at the truck drivers, using my body as a physical barrier to modulate traffic. My presence spills down the street like sunshine bursting from behind a cloud, as big as the buildings, it smells like fumes and tastes like ashes.

 

A cold rage takes over me towards the end. It followed me offsite, startling me and my work partner while grabbing coffee. ‘It must be from the barbeque I had for lunch…’ I tell him, thoughtful. This isn’t my normal foghorn power, it’s cold and nasty and reeks of low energy.

 

‘Dumbass.’ I said to someone I love dearly when they missed the corner of a box with the forklift. Shut myself down immediately in secret horror. No one else saw my mother come out of me in that moment, but the awareness filled me with the stone cold weight of shame. That was always her word. Not mine.

 

‘See you never.’ I told him as I left, since I never know when I will see him. He wrapped me in the deepest, sweetest embrace, and I was barely aware of my arms struggling to pull him into me.

 

Not mine.

 

Sitting at the bar letting the beer kill the burn in my belly, the one that could eat a man alive, no one would know since I radiate stillness, seem sturdy and dependable as a stone, but I’m starting to wonder if, instead of wielding it, it will eventually wield me.

 

“They are mantic creatures like the Sphinx with whom they have much in common, knowing both the past and the future. Their song takes effect at midday, in a windless calm. The end of that song is death.”

–Abby Walsh

Abby build things, primarily with steel or metaphor.  Find more of her here: http://abbywalsh.blogspot.com/

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