Two-Face

He sat in the velvety seat. And stood back up. The sun, fading to a distant point. He closed the shades over his painted window. Yes. A painted window alongside another, truer window, through which the sun streamed by day and the darkness violated by night.

On the shelf, amidst the others, sat the book he had written. One copy, filed by print date. Before his hair had been salted and his eyes had drooped he had taken a pen to his thoughts. There they were. How easy they had been.

He stood now in his middle-age, still yet with his pen. With it he had unlocked chambers no man should know, hailed madness to descend upon him like lightning to a pole. The skin on his knuckles had bled in the dry cold of his basement room as each day folded into another.

He floured his hands in baby powder.

Beneath his feet, a floor. He took notice of it in a way that he shouldn’t. But he did. He was inside a floor. Was the very floor himself to those footsteps he heard nightly above. He absorbed everything around him. The physical, the unsaid. Heard the ringing of bells overseas. He knew to a fault. Had consumed the earth, the sky, and all in between voraciously when he was young. His mind expanded at a rate he was sure to catch up to with age. But he did not.

He aged, he aged. And his mind grew. At thirty, he had thought: Is there a point at which the mind can expand no more, a wizened brain that absorbs too rapidly for the youthful body it was dragging around?

And he strove to answer that question, and when he did his mind grew.

At forty he tried to close his eyes. It was enough, what he’d seen. Lights, ever too bright. Tears behind more eyes than spilled. But he saw.

His head made of lead pressed down on his bones. But his shoulders grew strong, and he trudged on, knowing and knowing.

At fifty, it stopped. The pull of his mind, a black hole growing more forceful as he devoured the layers of the world around, had evaporated.

It did so with such force, he thought he had gone mad. For that second, swimming in chaos, he had felt the grip of death explore his soul, and release him from the weight that crushed his bones.

And he knew, one last time, how to create a weightless lead.

Night after night he sat in the velvety seat. The wooden horse rocking him to sleep.