I remember the day I first looked in the mirror and saw your hollow eye sockets staring back at me, my own irises cast adrift and slightly crazed as yours had been the day you spoke your truth. The Dutch had come to interview a zombie, but in spite of spectral mien you were eloquent and coherent as you told of a lonely boy whose love refused to be constrained by the world so yearned to heaven because gods alone are free to joyous pleasure.
It’s easy to forget, staring across frigid aeons of emptiness, that each glittering, icy rhinestone set on that rich velvet blackness is in fact a vast ball of fire violently consuming itself on its way to extinction as it freely sheds its light and heat as the source of all life in the universe.
And he was there, too — hammered, beautiful, but already reduced to the dust of memory. Two boys caught together alone in desperation to have crossed the galaxies for the love that danced beyond twilight’s horizon yet remained unreachable just beneath their crushed fingers the whole time. Turns out gods are only as free as they can let themselves dream, and so turn back, craving to die shattered and romantic as men.
Can you believe it was already eight years then since my diagnosis? My god, we were both still children to be so old all the sudden. But I was still healthy and as beautiful as I’d ever be, and even though you looked like the ghost of my future, all I could see in you was a man courageous enough to be honest, and I hoped all the lost boys watching would find in you a beacon that they were not alone in the night.
How come I’m the only one who didn’t notice you were dying with the same breath? That somehow love and poison had become interchangeable for you? A few more years and it would be undeniable even for me, but by then Raul had disappeared himself, and I’d taken to compulsively throwing myself in Christian lion dens and calling it a living. By the time he returned and I woke up, my body had given up on me and there I was, staring into the haunting familiarity of my own wasted brokenness and remembering you. But by then you were well again and re-ascended, past finally buried, paradise reclaimed, healthy, strong. And in the light of your triumph against all odds, I rediscovered my own will to heal and to shine through the darkness.
So how come I open your page the other day to see you looking just as ghastly as I can’t help but be? How many more spins cross the dance floor do either of us have left, do you figure? We’re both too smart for this, and still just as beautiful and innocent as before they’d unilaterally declared us the fallen.
It’s up to us, my brother, to find the strength to disbelieve them.