The air’s dry as bones here, the sky thin as paper. Shrapnel of clouds streaks white across the plains like ghosts trying to claw through the fragile film that separates life from insanity. Two trails of long-forgotten airplanes intersect “somewhere” up there—distance has become irrelevant, as has time, and thought, and sex and books and travel—creating a giant cross of snow-white fumes. X marks the spot, but no one knows what to look for, or what they’d really find if they did. An ocean of grey sand and black rock stretches to all horizons, and everything has become horizon, a mad riddle without a clue, the most sophisticated labyrinth imaginable because this one has no exit.
A yardstick line of asphalt cheats him into hope by pretending as if life and the world still have beginnings and endings, and any promise of an ending implies the possibility of something better. He doesn’t fall for it. “Better” and “more” and “different” were among the first concepts he discarded like empty condom wrappers without any memory of ever having fucked, and he ignores the asphalt canal as if it were a mirage, which it actually very well might be, just like the shimmering lakes of water in the distance, the sulphur-coloured clouds of industry smoke stacks far away, the patches of green here and there, all those people milling in the streets in their hallucinatory ant dream lives, the fountain in the square near the building where he works, the entire world around him…
mirage mirage, shattered windows and broken neon arabesques,
descending through folly and civilisation…
…he is trapped in the open maze with only spectres and delusions to comfort or distract him. But he will not falter, he will not be enticed by this siren song of quotidian solidity, comfortable lives on invisible railroad tracks from womb to void. Don’t give in to the phantoms and the visions, that’s the road to madness.
Even when the thirst becomes too much and he keels over in front of that falafel stand that he always liked and even when the paramedics try to force him to drink something, he refuses to acknowledge them. The dark vultures of the mind will not conquer his sanity and he manages to resist the illusion of reality to the very end.
X marks the spot.