By Matt Miller
Darkness. Damp coolness. I am barely conscious. I cannot move. My will is not my own. My body melts into the soil around me. It is the edge of the face of the Duchess, as her pink shame blends and smoothes itself into the pale green landscape beyond. There is little difference between my body and the soil while I sleep. Outside, the blinding, mocking light of that remembrance of the holy searches me out. It roams the earth as if a great eye wandering to and fro, seeking out which of us to destroy.
I do not need my flesh to rove. I can feel them, see them. The waves of turmoil cascade over my face, and I can sense the disturbances. They two are in the tower, planning and plotting. They are weak and mortal.
I think of the centuries I have seen. Most of the history of man is laced and marked with the landmark of war, of murder and blood and death on the ground. I have seen enough of death. There is no love. There is neither glory nor honor. There is no loyalty and no friendship. All is black, and I have learned that lesson well. All is hatred, and violence, and malice. Brother kills brother. Friend hates friend. Peace is a quaint illusion devised by those who would motivate others to wage their wars.
The bloodlust comes near dusk. I am empty and feeble. The blood is the life of the animal, and I must suck its substance and nourishment into my hollowed cavity. When the rosy fingers of the Sun begin to withdraw from the sanctity of the day, like he has withdrawn his mercy and care from me, then does my time come.
I remember, ages ago, millennia, the hot zephyr burning my cheeks as I walked upon the sands of Egypt. Nile waters splashed and frolicked on the shores, making their tinkling sound as I stood in the mud of the banks. The mud sucked at my feet, enveloping them in warm, wet comfort. I threw pebbles into the river.
I was a man in the esteem of my culture — twenty years of age. I was on an errand for my mother. She wanted me to walk to the river and draw two buckets of water to cook with. I could hardly refuse. Our culture respected parents, unlike this modern one.
I had strolled down to the Nile through the narrow, disorganized, dirt streets of my little town. I had walked through the tiny marketplace, listening to the sellers shout out their wares, and listening to the buyers shout about the prices. I had passed the slaves eating their lunch, pausing from their incessant labor at the pyramids.
The pyramids were eternal, are eternal. They have no beginning, no end, no middle. They are always being imagined, always being built, always being completed. They stand, monuments to mankindâ€™s progress and vanity, pointing upward accusingly at the gods. The pyramids are eternal like me.
I stood at the edge of the Nile and watched, like Buddha, its eternal flow. All of the individual droplets of water, pieces unto themselves, merged, blended, into larger droplets, and larger, and larger, into one, one flowing river. The river was one, yet it moved and disappeared. It was directly before me, yet miles from me. All of the water blended into one, and I was a part of that Nile.