Daub of hope for your morning, sir? Spot of optimism? Here, let me rest this feathered lightness on your cheek. The storm is coming, and you must remember. Underneath the skin, wires run. Slick, refractive reverie. You are inches from oblivion, and you have no metrics – your head is a bloviated side-prank. Your ornaments hang off you like cheap linens. Bit of paint will fix everything, and everything has a place, everything in it. Don’t look too close at the body language; this illusion is not made for inspection. Sit down and follow directions.
Rub this lemon juice into your eyes, your abraded skin. Let the sear speak. You are callow and weak. You are drowning and no one wants to save you. Remember that optimism? That smear of hope? You need to hold onto that. Never let go. It should be enough for you. You’re an American, right? So, dream!
Adam was dying. He knew he was dying, and it bothered him, but not as much as it would bother most folks. Adam wasn’t at peace with death, but he was not surprised by it either. The dogs had died, and he would die. The death of his dogs had severed the connection that Adam felt to life; to the goodness of what life had to offer. With each death, he had moved closer towards it himself, and he was ready.
The pain was there, but it was outside him. For days, it had been inside his body like a storm, a chaotic fever, but now it was hovering on the periphery of his vision and he could take an accurate appraisal. He laughed at it, a desperate, fearful laugh that clutched at strength and missed.
As the dawn teased the day, Adam’s life ebbed away. The forest sighed and shook its shoulders. The animals were curious, then hungry, then sated. The night and day continued marching and the life spirit drifted into other clearings as the life force intended.
And there was beauty.