The itching has become nearly unbearable. There isn’t a patch of the entire epidermis that isn’t raw and tingling. Three days ago I could not have guessed that it might be possible for even hair to feel prickly and irritated. I can almost imagine millions of microscopic fire ants crawling just under the skin. It burns. Can’t let it get to me, though; have to tough it out… have to get through this. Had to package my nails last night in ziplock baggies wrapped tight with rubberbands to keep from clawing off layers of flesh in my sleep.
Not that it mattered.
Sleep... what a joke.
Dawn slithers determined tendrils without malice into my room through an oppressive winter shroud, no less foreboding than it would on any other day. The sun understands. He is ready. He smiles as he greets me. The balance of creation remains ignorant. It is our secret, his and mine.
The dog groans and rolls over.
Swaying at my closet, I wonder, what is appropriate attire for this occasion? Flowing crimson chiffon gown… too formal… something less maudlin. Tailored ebony velvet suit… too goth… something less emo. Plain eggplant cable-knit sweater… ordinary, inconspicuous… perfect. Add a faded pair of jeans and it’s just another manic Monday.
I don't like Mondays.
The cat opens one eye and blinks, yawns, stretches. He has no agenda. He doesn’t care. He curls back up into a ball and shuts the world out.
Passing through the kitchen, my stomach has forgotten any knowledge of a need for breakfast. I fill both food and water dishes and return them to the dining room floor. The dog wakes from her slumber and trudges through the exterior flap for a moment of respite. She remains blissfully unaware of what is coming.
I follow outside.
The landlord is plowing the walk. I hope he was not disingenuous about loving the pasta dishes and casseroles I’ve been bringing next door over the last month. A single man living alone wouldn’t bother himself to cook his own food if a meal was prepared for him, right? I’m grateful he is good about pets… they will need him soon. I know selecting him nullifies the random factor of neutralization, but, the animals… they didn’t have any part of this…
Can’t think about that now…
…can’t let my plans become diverted.
It's finally all coming together.
A bicyclist rounding the corner, distracted by a yard sign, is nearly flattened by an oncoming street sweeper as I pull out of the neighborhood. The driver was on the phone.
Just keep moving.
A well-endowed jogger passes over the bridge as I merge onto the crossroad to downtown. Dressed minimally for the weather, she is sweating to the program penetrating her headphones. The left turn signal of the motorist veering into my lane on his right indicates she has caught his attention.
I evade collision and focus on finding the most efficient path through congested traffic. I taxi my evanescent agent through swarms of bustling commuters, pass crowded sidewalks teeming with scattered busybodies, every one with somewhere else on their minds.
The ziggurat looms ominous against the suffocating sky as I approach; the nebulous tower is eager to participate. I pull up to the empty yellow curb in front, holding my place with a sign that warns “No Parking,” to everyone but me. Throngs of scampering minions take no notice. The meter enforcement officer is engrossed in chat with a mounted patrolman. They are playing at making plans for the future, none of them involving me. I leave the door unlocked, keys inside. If I had a hat, I would tip it to them as I stroll casually up the steps to the aperture of the architectural giant.
The concierge ignores my nod of acknowledgement to continue texting as I cross over the threshold crest, absentmindedly turning a shoulder in my general direction without really watching me pass to the elevator.
As the floor guard's wireless tablet broadcasts a pivotal moment in the big game, his cheers drown out the alert of the lift's arrival at the top level.
I proceed undeterred.
At the door to the rooftop, the custodian is caterwauling loudly along with his working tunes, as the voice on his two-wave radio goes unheeded.
I slip past to the exit, and escape onto the heliport at the apex of the world.
Above me, herds of parturient clouds migrate in the same ignorant fashion they have maintained since the inception of time. I look up into the face of infinity as I advance; worship the great beyond. Dropping my coat, I open my arms, spreading my vessel of omnipotence; I am miasma, harbinger of the new age of man.
In front of me, the city stretches to the edge of every horizon, sprawling into suburbs, countrysides, boondocks and badlands. Not a creature among them has a thought for the awesome power I wield in the virulence that courses through me.
I roam to the edge of the overlook, climb the railing and catch myself on the top rung, leaning forward to peer down into the abyss of the unconscious dominion at the foot of my aerial dais.
Below me, the world's population scurries about their oblivious lives, caught up in the dissonance of their daily obsessions. I consider the survivors. They have no concept of just how strong they can be. Soon, though, they will know.
In the distance, subjugated woodlands sigh impatience and apathetic mountains yawn indifference. The heavens open up and weep. I lift my head to bathe in their tears. The oceans are crying for relief.
I wonder, will the remains of humanity hear them?
Will they listen?
I raise a toast to my celestial audience...
I am mortality. Judgment is now.
...To the restoration of the Earth.
I release my hold on the structure of man,
step out into the open air,
and on wings of the torrential sky, I fly.
For a fraction of moment, all of nature holds its breath,
...and the world is still.
LJ Idol | Season 8 • Week 15 - Topic: PREOCCUPIED
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