As I glanced back at her body sprawled in the death grip from what must have been some type of yoga position; I wonder about her family and how her obituary might read. What is this? A book, no – a journal! Fantastic discovery, Dawn says. Snapping me out of wherever it is I have just been. It is surprisingly blood free, so I pick it up and begin to flip through the pages. The last entry is an exact account of all that has occurred thus far in our investigation. It is titled: “A Dream 07/01/1995”. Today is July 25, 1995. She is a poet. For some reason I am not startled by this information. It only serves to make me curious enough to read the rest of the book. I find another entry marked 07/21/1995 – “Obituaries”. I am beginning to feel a little distressed, but I keep my calm and read on. She wishes in the event of her death at her obituary read as follows:
“The last true dreamer died today. Survived by the rest of her family. She was a self-proclaimed child of the night, saver of small fortunes, does of kind and noble deeds, a loving sister, daughter and niece. She was a poetess who now resides in the land of the muses. She loved passionately and lived fully. When she was awake. She once was lost, but now she is found. May the lord have mercy on her soul.”
Not a bad idea any more to write your own obituary. The papers print such a dismal account of all the day’s news. It has to be a difficult job. The last rights of so and so. Funeral services to be held at blank and keeping track of all those names. She says tragedy takes precedence over happiness. Where on earth is that sweet voice coming from? I feel like I am going mad with all this new prose acting up in my head. Dawn doesn’t even notice as I fall back against the stone wall that once held her shadow and slide spastically if not slowly to the cool, damp earth.
My conscience plays tricks on me. The aquarium light is off, yet the fish swim on. I will sleep. Allusion is pillow. The haunting pages of a young woman’s journal my security blanket. Dreams of youth, my night light. She seeks shelter in a hollow house, in a frameless bed. My health is failing. She is beginning to die a solitary death in a white dress in a deep forest. The flowers of my childhood are tangled in her hair. I dread the feeling of her fingers—stiff and lifeless against the living world. My soul a silhouette. My dream of a perfect being shot down by the whims of society. Efforts gained and lost again. There was a time when I was truly happy and then I peered into the stained glass window and I witnessed reality. It impressed myself upon me stretching my skin until I thought, I am an old woman, mother of no child at 18 years old my body hates me. My brain wants to sleep forever and my hands want to speak of the pain of being. Of being an old young woman and living, and living and living.
Dawn taps me on the shoulder, ever mindful of our duties at the crime scene. She cheerfully reminds me that I am holding elutriated evidence with ungloved hands. I am in awe, completely and utterly shocked by what I am experiencing but I do not want to miss a minute of it. So, I put on some rubber gloves that make my hands reek for the rest of the day and continue with my private investigations.
So far, I have gathered that she is a seriously lonely girl, intensely sensitive to her environment, slightly paranoid and definitely intelligent. Her entire life is mapped out in this one book; seemingly for the singular purpose of entertaining friends and lovers or her younger sisters or herself. She writes of their future with uncertainty and reminds them of the lessons she has learned along the way. I am beginning to feel the guilt of an eavesdropped rating undue credit for a rumor I had not even heard until – Hey, have you heard? The lion swallowed the fly as the spider entered the stadium and the crowd roared.
My ears are hot with the echo of an eerie lullaby I overheard a mother singing to her child in the cemetery. I am alone in what seems to be an ancient Egyptian tomb. How did I get here? From the glyphs on the wall – Isis, Osiris, Horace the hawk I place myself in the Valley of the Kings. It is cool and dry and the sweat under my arms gives me a chill. There is a resonance to this place although I have a clue to its source. The room is carved in solid rock and I feel I am standing on the dust of the ages. This place has been preserved for over 5,000 years, yet it is far from deserted. A nubile energy permeates the air and fills my head with grand delusional possibilities.
I am queen of all I see, ruler indubitably. On my head a crown of dogwood carved in precious ruby, emerald and diamond gemstone. Oh! My virtuosity. My manhood! Gone in an instant. What is this? Some new illness? I can only hope. My head is filled with a strange apathy. I am drowning in a pool of blood that seeps up through the soles of my shoes into the hem of my pant legs.