painting George Grosz, 1943 Glad I Came Back thanks Lyne
Optional: music by Schubert, "Death and the Maiden in D minor"
She parts the curtain, shedding light sweet and true upon her frame. Having already died so much inside, she can't say she is surprised to find herself an animated corpse. The delicious decay is her secret, in a world where she watches others, helplessly dying themselves, as was the way of things.
Her view out the window reveals many who had yet to be honest about their appointment with death, busy on their way: dealers carrying their drugs, mothers carrying their babies, business men carrying their suitcases, an insurance salesman with his drink, a woman, dressed in shorts as a postal worker, carrying a box,teenagers carrying their iPhones, elderly people carrying on their conversations. Perhaps without talking, they can avoid discussing their inevitable transformations. Perhaps their talks incorporate some scheme for day to day survival; perhaps their talks could ring with some energy left over from their births, their accelerations towards what she has already become.
And yet, the contentedness of living beckons...a steady beat.
She takes off her robe, to lie turned golden in the approaching sun. She faces the bed where she dreams or dies, one, depending. Now, a choice: answer the knock at the door, and let herself be discovered in her true form, or return to the business of being dead.
"Let them deal with me, as I am," she decides. But perhaps, if she reveals her state, they will take her away from this room?
She feels the presence on the other side of the door. Is this Eternity? Is this where she finds herself becoming part of that sunshine forever? Do she now leave the luxury of her bed for the silence beneath feet of Earth?
She takes the door handle, lit by the ripped open self of the outside world.
She finds a young man, and inside his skeleton lies peace, an acceptance of the grave, before the grave accepts him. He embraces her, as if to reconcile their chests, as if to make the specters that they are, whole, by some connection at the belly. He takes her in his arms, puts her head to his shoulder, pats her back, holds them together as he sighs deeply.
His cheek brushes her's, revealing flesh upon the bone; she sees, in a way only seen with eyes. Scent reveals the ocean, dirty with life, honest, a hint of sweat and musk, and she finds her lungs expand with air. Her filling abdomen touches his, as he holds her at arm's length. He quite unintentionally steps on her foot, now covered with flesh, with little painted toe nails...he apologizes with an modestly embarrassed chuckle, and she parts lips, found again, to laugh as well...
She discovers her hair, lilting above her brow, blown by a light puff from his lips, and then moved to life by the opened window...
"I'm glad I came back."