Malboro

What could I say? I really had nothing to say…

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Quiet nights prompt quiet thoughts.

Thoughts that seep deeper than soot.

Soot like agony pours heavily down.

Down right into the core of hidden pasts –

and fears unnoticed…

 

The park was quiet as usual. Just the way I liked it. It’s not like I hated the livelihood of the mornings, but the nights just add a little more mystery and ambiguity to it. The perfect atmosphere for a depressed guy having a depressing day. As the dusk caresses my gloomy features and blends into it, my heart sinks slowly into the abyss like the setting sun on judgment day. Here I am again, having these deep thoughts, like the unwilling oracle getting overwhelmed by Delphi. Unwanted thoughts arose, bubbling up like the breath of the awakening Triton, the revival of the beast subdued. When the minor thoughts subside, one thought lingered; one dream.

Dreams were regarded to be omens. The gods stripped Gilgamesh away from his lover via a dream. Aeneas left Dido just so that she could kill herself because of a dream. Odysseus chose to pass through the gate of dreams after realizing his mother’s death. Dreams; omens; thoughts.

The dream starts with a funeral. The style changes every time. Once it was a Daoist funeral, the other time it was a Christian funeral. My lack of experience in funerals is evident, yet I am glad of it. One picture sits in the middle of the altar. My old man. Can’t tell if he’s smiling or not. A mist in my memory fades these details out. But it was undeniable him. His semi-brownish-black, semi-white hair. His quirky face. His beat features. It’s him alright. I was standing on a podium as if I was giving a commencement speech honoring a fallen scholar. Share silences mixed with condolences. On the side was the kneeling family members; including a large variety of my clones. There was also a woman and a child that I don’t recognize. Maybe he would introduce me to them someday. Always wanted someone else to kneel next to me, given that my mother is now out of the question. Back to the podium. Someone drifted towards me and softly requested in a chime-like voice.

“Would you like to say something about the deceased?”

I looked over to his alter. Under his picture rests a delicately placed pack of cigarettes. The red and white packaging suggests Marlboro. I know it all too well.

 

Quiet thoughts echo quiet nights.

Nights where deserved rest is due.

Due like the desperately waiting resides.

Resides like unnoticed fears –

and pasts hidden…

 

The epilogue of a story starts in media res, for nobody could decide on a solid point where it all started. My epilogue started with Marlboro. Someone is lighting a cigarette. One sip on the filtered tip triggered the spark that mirrors the fading life. Fading marriage. Faded happiness. Swift motions push the plot towards the playwright’s intended direction. Altercation. Accordance. Amendment. No. Annulment. As the unattended lit cigarette on the ashtray burns away its life, so did their marriage; giving off nothing but a cloud of toxicity. Marlboro continues to appear long after the epilogue. Like a recurring cast member on SNL. Puffing away.

And here I stop. Nothing left to say. Since I do not know anything else about this Marlboro. I’ve always seen it. Yet never really looked at it. Never really touched it. Because I was disgusted by it. Repulsed. Marlboro did nothing but caused trouble for me, yet it was the entirety of my epilogue.

“I couldn’t. I don’t know him.”

I left it there. And walked away from the podium. Gazing eyes pierced me with shame and guilt. I picked up the pack of Marlboro off the altar and placed it into the empty coffin, closed the lid and sent it to be cremated.

What could I say? I really had nothing to say…

 

Quiet nights prompt quiet thoughts.

Thoughts that seep

seep deeper than soot.

Soot like agony

agony pours heavily down.

Down right into the core

the core of hidden pasts –

 

and fears unnoticed…

 

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