#01. Now half ashes Burn

Satori jumped and sat next to the sink. Punching the tap. His drink spilling over his numb fingers as he talked to the crowded emptiness that surrounded him.

— The logs crumbled under their own ashes. Burning. I remember a big chunk that looked like it had been a bed before. Now half ashes. The rusty metal pit shivered on the half inch legs; the grass under its belly, hot and dying. You could see it wither if you stared long enough.

He spoke to someone. A faceless visage.

— I was staring, so I know. I was staring at the fire, because she sat next to me. Her eyes. I had to escape them. I was so in love with her ever since I saw her face in the morning. When out of nowhere she brought me back from my reverie. The most unexpected concern! It took my already drunk and foggy mind a few seconds to even register her words.

…The two singers sat opposite us, humming Himachali tunes. A general noise filled the cold. There was discussion about the future on one side.

…All evening I had been trying to avert her gaze, and then suddenly out of nowhere the love of my life, the source of my happiness, said to me.

…No, wait a second.

Satori jumped off abruptly, swaying. His drink to his lips and back. Scratching at his memories for that one picture that would complete the puzzle. But his mind, even though was not calm, was definitely vacant.

— I don’t think she said it. She could never have said it. I remember she had just nodded to her friend!

Now it comes. He smiles.

— Her friend had said it. ’You dont know how to breathe.’ Or something like that.

He pauses. Gulp, gulp.

— Hot air in and the cold air out? No, it’s cold air in and hot air out.

Another pause. And after some impatient mouth breathing.

— It cut like a knife. That mother-forker was just being condescending. And dude, it hurt. It still hurts when I think about it, actually. The truth is.

Lost his train.

— No wait, what is the truth? I think I had always known it, always felt it. Her friend had been like that all day. She did not like me. That was the truth. And then, you tell me, what is the point of breathing? What good did it do her? Isn’t the point of breathing to become gentler? More compassionate? More considerate?
He threw these questions at the faceless bystander who never replied.

— You know, like Dylan said, when you have nothing, you have nothing to lose. No, I think I wanted to say something else. Why do I forget so easily? Maybe because I don’t even breathe.

He got angry. His muscles clenched under his armpits, his back stiffened; pelvis protruding in the wrong direction. He burst out.

— When the truth is found to be lies, and all the joy within you dies, don’t you want somebody to love?

…Yes, this song fits.

Now singing he poured in more whiskey.

The END.

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