Saturday, November 02, 2013

Signposts are useless to the man who doesn’t know where he is going.

Episode Thirteen

Photo by P.I.

Atom swerves through a gap in a hedge and brakes hard with the realisation of a cemetery.
After all is said and done, (and perhaps all has been said and done) every story needs a cemetery.
After pedalling through a maze of grave-lined paths Atom finds himself direction-lost and imagines that he’s in a cemetery that is sentient, he fears he will follow the exit signs around and around while being drawn deeper and deeper into the cemetery. Perhaps this is his exit.

He passes an area where children have been buried; headstones in the shape of teddy-bears, and on one plain grave a real teddy-bear along with a plastic toy, both of which, he imagines were left there by a mother who could no longer stand the sight of these once loved objects in her home.

Some graves have been claimed in their entirety. Atom asks himself what makes a man gift the world he has left with a grave that extends from headstone to foot, encompassing the length of his coffin in stone or shingle?
Even in death it seems there are those who would prohibit the footsteps of others on their property.
Perhaps they are afraid that the living may walk upon their grave and causing spinal shivers in both parties?

He passes a headstone that reads:

Here lies G.W.F.Hegel
Died aged 34
Beloved husband of Nancy

Atom imagines the woman’s grief, briefly, before his mind is invaded by the unbidden idea that Nancy did her beloved husband in; cleverly, perhaps with poison, thereby providing herself with a tidy insurance claim and, him being her beloved husband, leaving herself above suspicion.

Dizzy now he imagines that he might understand the lives of every one of these corpses; lives lived way back when, way back before they were corpses – his mind finds that it doesn’t have room for everyone.

Atom concludes that the proximity death tends a few toward the philosophical while the rest of us sink into superstition -
It’s enough, he thinks, to nurture a belief in ghosts.
It’s enough, he thinks, to nurture a belief in God.

For a man without moral code, there is no anchor in these moments of conflict.
Why would a dead man care about the footsteps of the living?
Why would God or ghost care to haunt the location of an event so feared by the living; an event no longer relevant?
The worms of greed eat at the foundations of the world while the weeds that grow at gravesides untended are merely flowers in a future uninhabited by creatures capable of aesthetic judgement.
Atom leaves the cemetery’s autumn leaves to the memories of spring as the living leave the dead to haunt their dreams.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Impressive last line.
Atom certainly keeps himself entertained.
Lobe were here.