Talking to a dead guy

I’d see you, but I don’t know that I’d hear you. And I’d
only see you because your visage, somehow, was conjured through time and placed
in front of me as though innocent and unknowing of our ancient past. Your face
would be accidental, benevolent, almost genuine. I can’t help but assume that
somewhere, deep down, you’d know. You’d know how it went, how long it took, the
major events that transpired, and have forgotten what you deem minor
transgressions if transgressions at all.

           I’d look
into that visage, purportedly your face, and I wouldn’t feel anything but a
strange echo in the chamber of my mind sounding off in the arteries of my
heart. It’s where something used to be, but I’m terrifically unsure of what, or
in what capacity, or anything else at all, really.

           I’d pause a
moment – take a break from “paying attention” and look inwardly, at the walls
of this chamber and in the arteries of my heart. I’d excavate, or try to: I’d
ultimately find nothing but tunnels and passage ways through my guts and veins.
Those would all be empty, too. Or, perhaps more accurately, they’d be empty of

           And then my
pause would be over; my eyes would roll from the back of my head from looking
inward and to you, through you. Your translucence would alarm me, but in the
way a casual observer comments as they see someone’s child, rhetorically to
their partner, “Should they really be doing that?” And then as the person moves
on, as if nothing of significance came to be of that moment’s universe. The
alarm would carry no anxiety.

           At some
point I’d hear the far-off sound of what used to be your voice, before your
vocal chords were stripped down, rendering your words as white noise from an
outdated machine. Instead of picking you up and throwing you away, I’d act like
the casual observer: walk on, only without rhetorical comment, and forget you
as I walked through you.

           You’re not
there anymore. The visage is gone, and I look back just once and with slightly
furrowed brow. Suddenly I recall a hint of what used to fill the chamber, the
arteries, the veins. But a vision of sea foam on sand emerges in my mind’s eye
more than anything else. This moment is the briefest, and my head turns around,
my face wondering what’s there to be concerned about as my whole moves forward –
not about this newly-expired moment, but about all the ones to come that day.

           I have to
go get groceries.

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