A Black Comedy

Amidst their turbluent lives, Tyler met a girl named Stephanie.


1. Prologue


I miss her.

           Everything I had, everything I held, was lost... when she was lost.

           Listless and aimless, I’ve been mending my life, tailoring it to last without her. I’ve been waiting alone, lacing weathered patches with broken fingers. All the while, vile thoughts seep through me—sappy thoughts of her, vengeful thoughts of me.

           I didn’t deserve her, and in a merciless act, I got all I deserved.

           I’ve been living through life as my slow execution. It ties you down, ties you back, ties you up; you’re hung on fears, hung on what could have been; it cripples your throat, cripples your lungs; you’re heaving; you’re hanged.

           Time mends wounds if you’re willing to forget; if you’re a masochistic, you will try to remember. You will try mending with your own hand, lacing a linear truth on callused fingers. If you’re a masochistic like me, you are willing to remember.

           I sit here trying to mend, sorting through patches, trying to find the truth about what happened and its purpose. I’m halfway to death, trying to sort dreams from memories. I hold each patch up to a candle, trying to test their validity in the brightness; but the wax drips, scalding my fingers, blistering them. These moments, these patches: they are everything I have, everything I barely held.


           I could feel her. When I laid beside her in the meadow, I felt her. When I laid her down in the prickling brush, I held her. My skin and clothes were pulled to the ground, held by sharp adhesive grass. The dust flew amongst the air, graced with smell and taste. There must have been a reason, a reason we were there, battered by the sun and clipped by the looming frost. The warm air and cold wind calmed me. Lacing our frozen fingers, I prayed for sense.

           I could feel it in my body. I could feel some sort of damned connection, wrenching my chest, crawling towards her. Her skin felt like silk, warmly pouring down her, heated by touch. In my dry, dusty, muttered breath, I prayed that she would never leave. They were desperate words, invested words. The bugs around us sang; they begged with me, in soft sputtered sounds, they begged.

           I could feel something. When I drew my fingers through her sun beaten hair, I swear I felt something. My sleepy eyes smiled; her milky lips smirked. I gripped her body, blanketed by clothes, and pulled us closer. She gazed up at me in such comfort. My heart felt like hell; her eyes felt like heaven. I could have sworn there was something: something in the vast meadow, stretching for miles; something in this blue earth, stretching for years. I laced my trembling fingers, and prayed.

           This was a dream.


           I could see her. When she took strides, leaping down the sidewalk, I saw her. She seemed to dance throughout the city, passing like the wind. Everything was so large, we were so small—everything was so raw, so human. With my hands dug into my pockets, I walked alongside her, wrapped in several layers. Chilled and shaken, I quivered under my coat. There must have been a reason I was so afraid, rattled by nerves, dying to hold her—there must have been a reason. Lacing her coat with gentle fingers, she sung in her head.

           I could see the city. I could see the buildings watching us, looking down while we looked up, from the bottom of an urban canyon. The towers stared with glowing eyes—their presence made known. They looked like gods; she caught me looking.

           I bet you, she began to say, that over a thousand people live in that one building. That’s a lot of people, I answered. There’s a lot of people, she replied, a couple billion. We continued walking along the street, further down—she smirked. And right now, she said, there’s only two.

           I could see her spirit, wrapped in a coat and scarf, walking beside me, slipping through the dark. I could see lights, glowing from the cars on the street, reflecting off the windows and puddles. Streaks of yellow, white, blue and green cut through the sky like scissors through a piece of black fabric. We were walking through stars—she led me through. I was drunk off her spirit; high off the smoke in her eyes. I could see her beauty, carrying me through alleyways and side streets, leading me.

           This was a memory.


           Mending, searching, begging; I sit here alone, fabricating comfort, sorting through patches. Some are vibrant, some are pastel; all are beautiful, all are colorful—even the darker ones.

           She stays with me, long and hard, through weather and time. What I wouldn’t give to hold her, to stroke her hair with these battered fingers. But there is nothing more to give.

           I am afraid: afraid of emancipation, afraid of forgiveness. This shell, this sloppy excuse of a man is me, leaving my thoughts on infinite repeat. I torture myself, carving the entrails of my mind, stitching with broken needles and dull knives. I’ve grown old here. It’s time to leave this place. It’s time to free myself—for her.

           I will piece this together: patching together everything I have. The truth will be here, somewhere in here. This tapestry will be laid out, free to scorn, free to judge. Only then will I be able to hold my work up to a candle, testing the strength of this flame one last time—being burned by the wax one last time. It will be laid out, free to hate, free to see, free from me.

           And at the end; it’ll end.

           It’ll be over; I’ll be free.

           Everything I have, everything I hold is here. Every memory, every dream, fact or fiction—it’s all here.

           It all needs to be: I see her memories, but I feel her in dreams.

           I was in love.

           I fell in love.

           But she was lost...

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