Watched himself recede, as through a telescope wrong-ended. Reduced to a point in distance, a horizonspeck. Disappeared. And even then, birds still sang. And sing still.
Caged, and descending. Darkness creeps around corners. Kept awake in a flickering globe of artificial light, listening to sounds of routine motion, metal biting stone. Occasionally, the canary still sings, unaware of what it’s for.
Winds do howl through bird-hollow bones; winterclaws will find purchase. Children play, in the same snows that in adulthood bury them.
Our eventual architecture was artless: concrete cubes, identical. We needed only basic shelter, to store our hardware. Living in headspace, dreaming through wires. Limited by our bandwidth.
The would’s couldn’t; the could’s shouldn’t; the should’s didn’t. Nothing reached an agreement.
Photographs failed to capture him; he was a sasquatch blur. Even in direct sunlight, shadows would discover him, and traced across him chiaroscuro abstractions. Solitude-shrouded, he was but a collection of shapes- tiger-striped, and hidden from the world.
He believed that if he only ate clear foods, his body would be built of them; one day to become transparent. Water, broth, the whites of eggs. The last time I saw him he was chewing handfuls of crushed glass, grasping for the purity of the invisible; becoming a ghost.
“Video and audio recording is prohibited,” intoned the judge. Members of the courtroom dutifully covered their eyes and ears.
In front of the funhouse mirror he posed and preened, watching his features distort, a maze of twisted limbs. Cheekbones dangled like Dali clocks. The smile fixed on his face, frozen: a growing fear, a dawning certainty – the mirror was perfectly ordinary.
In the distance, a scream cut short. Then: crickets.