Part one – The death of an Artist.
The stage was set. The sun? Magnificent. A faint glimmer of a darkened, Dying-yellow. Fitting. The harmonious pallet of god, ever at work, ‘dying’ to match the reddened faces, of the late afternoon Park straddlers. There they sit, still adamant to sully my beautiful scenario; with their oh so unwanted presence. Like leaves freshly sprouted, stealing sunlight, they soak up the mine-r-al-is-tic essence of an otherwise perfect scene. It seems they’re contempt to stay until the cold light of the moon, ushers them home from their makeshift pigsty – where they lay in the filthy fruit of their dreamt about labors. What did it matter to me? To them I am nothing but another shade of shadows, cowering within the suns tiresome gaze. On the outside? Innocent. Silently scuttling as quiet as a field mouse. Within the darkest depths of a decaying soul however, I am more beast than man. Like a phantom Lurking within the rafters, or a puppeteer, pulling the strings of fate. Not mere humble pray, but a majestic prowling predator. A watcher, a waiter; Gazing from afar with the graceful yet precise eyes of a circling hawk.
These eyes of mine fail me not on this, oh so auspicious occasion. Soon I happen upon the main participant in my play of life and death. A devout follower of the arts himself, worn from the battle of time, yet somehow still clinging to the rocks as tides of a changing past beats and batter him into submission. His hat pulled low over his whimpering eyes desperate for further protection from the imposing glare of a now strenuous sunlight. To look upon him was a tiresome tragedy, A sorrow I have felt many times before. In his mind he was battle born. Locked in a blood-soaked but tiresome battle. A fight to the last soldier, A gun in every man, women, and child’s hand; A knife in the back for every sickening sinister smile. David vs. Goliath! or so his flaying mind would have you believe. But sadly the only thing holey about our dear friend, where the soles of his shoes.
His clothes where that of “a certain age“, torn, filthy and stained. A whisky bottle, void of all but a few bitter drops, hung loosely by his right side. Tilted as such that he had produced a small puddle of muck at his feet. “Food for the plants” I muttered beneath my breath as the last embers of a yet to be diminished cigarette, flickered in his left hand. I watched as the ash fell and the quaint and quivering tip whimpered; desperately trying to cling to life. His beaten and battered guitar rested untouched propped against the back of the bench. Sketchbooks piled on the edge next to his feet; the very pages curling away in fear and disgrace of what this once bound to be ‘God of the ages’ had succumbed to. There was a time when this man could have played to an audience that stretched across the globe, or written a sonnet that would have made shake spear rise up from the ground just to applaud in marvel. Now look. He sits among the Meer men; the vermin, and the trash. Scrounging for copper change. Tossed from the pockets of these oh so sniveling degenerates, As they bathe in a sea of ignorant waves, laughing as it lashes out salt and stings their eyes, blinding them to the pure genius they have sitting before them. But that time of greatness has long since past. Now this mans true time is soon to come. Perhaps I will be the one to deliver him to much deserved paradise, Perhaps not. Soon we shall see. With footsteps to match the shadows of death himself I maneuvered through the minefield of filth and debris to stand before him in hopes of wakening him once and for all from the battle within his mind, and war within his soul.
“When you look at the setting sun, Do you see a furry that scorches all life away, Or the warmth that helps it grow?” The man roused as his soft words touched the back of my mind briefly causing me to reminisce of a time now lost and a life I once knew. He looked at me with eyes so deep that it seemed they held an ocean of wisdom, and he had sailed all seven seas. This was the look of a man who knew his time had come. Yet unlike the others before him he did not beg for forgiveness, nor did he try to run. He spoke like an artistic man pondering life‘s mysteries one final time before the curtains closed and his act was finished. When I remained silent, he continued. “There was a time in my life when I saw furry, and a time I saw warmth. In my later years, I’ve come to a higher understanding of what both truly are. Now I see the same thing that I see in all things of passion my friend!” He held the mere bud of his cigarette up above his head, and gazed at it as if he could see all there was to come within the ominous glow of an emblazed ember. “I see the embers capable of burning down the forest, and the compassion of a higher power that bids them not to.” throwing the cigarette into the puddle of muck at his feet his eyes again met mine as the last whispers of smoke faded away. “I tell you this because your path, righteous though it may be, is unstable. Do not cut down the rain forest attempting to prune a rose bush.”
I smiled as I looked deeply into his soul, so few people wore theirs so openly in this day and age. Truly, it was an honour to witness something so pure. We had an unspoken moment of understanding. It was a rare thing indeed but it seemed not impossible. He had found inner peace through penance and now paradise awaited him in his next life. He tilted his cap over his eyes A sign that he had spoken his final words and was now ready. “May god see a value within you that we mere mortals could never comprehend” I whispered. “And may you find the exit from the labyrinth young man. Do not spend a life time chasing ghosts as I have. I beg you, learn from my mistakes. Inner peace is closer than you think, but accept your fate and you will forever be its slave.” With that he dropped to his knees and began to pray. “Do what you must. Deliver me to my salvation, I’ve waited a life time for this moment, my bones are cold and can wait no longer”
I bowed my head, and knelt before him, as we shared one last gaze of mutual respect. Producing a small silver blade from my within my overall, carefully I placed the flat of my palm upon his head, and lightly tilted back to reveal his neck. His eyes widened. But not in fear, or shock, in anticipation. “The wolf must die, so that the lamb may live in peace. Such is life.” These where the final words he ever spoke and my ears bore the honour of receiving them. Before my hand slowly slid across his throat, and the blade parted soft flesh; Allowing a cascade of freely flowing crimson to dun a dash of colour, upon a world encased in black and gray. Even through his death, this man brightened a dark world that betrayed him. And in the act he produced one final piece of beauty. A portrayal of life and death sprayed all over the wood work he called home, the minefield of filth that had become his studio, and the crowd of snobs that he had the displeasure to call an audience. with the ultimate sacrifice he showed the whole world what beauty really meant. And as he crumpled to the floor, and his soul departed, His eyes became void; as they where lost to the heavens. As I looked into a dessert waste , and tried to imagine the once great ocean that previously resided there I could not. I do not know weather the dead have a soul, but I am damn sure that after this act, I no longer do.