Imagine His Thoughts
by Jonah Kruvant
Table of Contents|
parts: 1, 2, 3
As I descend, memories of the movement flood my mind: the belting of a jazz saxophone transporting me to a different place; the faces, all colors from brown to yellow to black; the accents, distinct and strange; the giant canvas and the artists splashing paint; the ceramic mugs, their handles unfinished, left by my father; the shouting in the political discussion room, when questions formed in my mind and ideas planted their seeds. These memories flash all around me and then vanish, the emotions along with them, as we reach the bottom and Thomas kicks down the door.
Light floods into my eyes as the familiar scents of paint, incense, and sweaty bodies enter my nose. I step into the long hallway with its limestone walls, and screams reach my ears. The officers open fire on the Creators. I look all the way down the hallway at the closed door that leads into the writer’s workshop.
Thomas and Luther peer into the religion room and then go inside. I run. Bullets whiz past me, and Creators dart into rooms. Past the free-sex room where my son was conceived. Past the reading room, with its musty scent of books getting old, and where I read our history, how the Nazis tried to make us one race and destroy our art, then ISIS, and now the TPF.
Digital creations crawl and fly around me: a neon ant the size of a fox, an indigo goldfinch, a butterfly. I stare ahead, my eyes fixated on that door with the white paint peeling off and the old-fashioned doorknob that turns. I will tell the writers the truth. I will clutch Sara in my arms and she will understand. I know she will understand.
I open the door. Sylvester stands at the head of the table. Victor is against a wall, looking down at the pages of his manuscript scattered around the room. Others have guns, pointed at me. And there’s Sara, her face crumbling at the sight of me, and she lets out a scream.
I want to pull off my mask, show that it’s me, and explain that I’m on their side, but seeing Sara’s face, that look of disgust at who I am, I can’t help but reach out, move toward her. Then I hear the shot, feel the pain, and fall, my goggles cracking against the floor. And that’s when she sees my face.
* * *
I can’t go on. It’s too painful. But I have no other way of dealing with the loss. By writing as if I am he, he’s still alive to me. To imagine his thoughts, enter his mind, feel from the heart of the man you love... I’ll never know what went through his head and can only piece together stories he told me of his past. I can’t imagine the pain he must have felt. But I know he loved me.
Our boy is well. He plays in the snow beneath the glaciers. He’s the only one who feels at home in this place, where the only people are the Creators who escaped with us. I couldn’t look them in the eye at first. Not after what they did to you. There isn’t anything to do here but remember, sit in our shelters by the fire, and read the books we saved, Victor’s manuscript among them. They’re all we have left.
I just wish you were here. Since we’ve escaped the Nation, survival has been all there is. I’m used to it; it’s no different than living in the Slums. I don’t know what destroyed humanity. I just know that we didn’t make enough of an effort until it was too late. We were so wrapped up in ourselves that we stopped caring about improving the world.
Yesterday, I took a walk out of our camp to a nearby fjord, mist slowly dissipating above the water, and caught my reflection. I saw a different girl, shoulders slumped and head bent, that easy smile wiped away and replaced with a slight movement of the lips.
The thought hit me hard then that I only had a part of him. And then I burst into tears. I watched myself cry. When it ended, I stared into my eyes, studying my face, taking in the sadness, my reflection gazing back at me. I had written pages and pages of our times together. But I wanted to know his other life. I needed to know that he loved me then too.
Simon, I love you, forgive you, and will never forget you.
Copyright © 2017 by Jonah Kruvant