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Another piece from the novel... - CHRISTIAN KIEFER


I tell you now: there are no epiphanies.

Another piece from the novel…

Call it what you will.  The sky a field of black that covers us all, not as a dome but as what it is: an infinity of dark matter that stretches in all directions and in which you are suspended like an insect caught up in some viscous fluid, twitching and scrabbling for a surface that does not exist and in fact has never existed.

Go ahead.  Cast your mind back and back and back before all your various disappointments stacked themselves like cordwood at your feet.  Your eye still pressed to the eyepiece.  A cruel monocle indeed.  The black emptiness of space with its uncountable stars.  What might you learn from that emptiness?  Humility?  A lesson you learned long ago and need no reminder here.

A lane of dust, although Messier likely could not have seen it and yet there it is: a swath of darkness akin to a bruise again the thick swirl of stars not like a bruised eye but like a smear on a napkin, the diner having already belched out his final gaseous surprise upon eating—yes—a galaxy.  Indeed.  So the universe works just like the local diner: the lights even flickering on and off now and again.  Power outages as the grid browns out once or twice and then ducks the neighborhood into frantic candlelight.  The diners sit with their forks suspended between plate and maw.  Where’s my coffee cup now?  The final bite in the black and then setting the fork down next to the plate with a metallic clink.  Quizzical.  Quixotic.  That too.

Which galaxy are you in now?  The one devouring or the one being devoured?  Could you know?  Would you care if you did?

So it is everywhere.

There is no jewel and so there will be no lighting up your dark heart.  Ah god.

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  1. Makes me think of heart of darkness/apocalypse now tone wise, which is awesome. I love the descriptions, especially the belching diner. The image it gives is very blue caterpillar+hooka, at least for me.

    • & weirdly I think this whole piece got cut from the final draft. It happens sometimes. Thanks for the Apocalypse Now reference. I do indeed find that to be a fine, fine film.

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