this is an excerpt from the would-be-novel: the naïve ramblings of shiloh rose
Walking a pitch black country road last night: no stars, no moon -- a death black. Trying with all my might not to trip - to keep moving and to find a safe place to rest my weary head. I, at long last, found myself unable to move, unsure of the ground, the road and the future. I had come to a complete stop which I had only noticed because my heavy breathing had subsided - along with the shuffling of my feet… an unearthly quiet fell. It was as if I had transcended my body in this, the darkest night of my life - the quietest stillness I could never have imagined. I became night. But for how long?
Aeon after aeon.
Swallowed by the black.
I is night.
Then a peculiar sound - from the darkness. A whimper?! From my own breath? I had no idea where this blackness began or where I stopped. All became one.
Time. Minutes, days, years!?
Then, I swallowed time - pulled from this reverie back to the moment… I felt something at my sides (?) Did I just move (?) A twitch (!) Yes, it was true. I realized this human body directly at the end of each arm. I held firm to the realization. My hands! I moved them away from (what I began to understand as) this idea of "me". Then revelation on top of revelation, I nestled curly locks with the tips of my fingers. I investigated further with nothing but my clumsy touch to guide me. A child (?) A child at a height of just above my waist - a girl child whimpering in this nothingness. I brought her tight against my body - in this tempest of black. This feeling of "me" growing as it began to understand this "other". She sighed at my touch. She did not speak. Nor did I. Her tense body relaxed up against mine. I felt her soft, infant skin.
Of a sudden, intense fear and loneliness welled up inside. and again, I lost this sense of self. From whence came these feelings? From this child? From this "me"?
Time meant nothing…
What should I do? How could I find my way, let alone, find the child's way? To help another's "me"? So strange. Could she exist as "me" yet also apart from "me"? My strength turned and scurried into the distance. I felt so human and frail. To think of this child and know my own paralysis only turned me more to stone…
Once again --- What should I do?
Can I learn to forget this "me"? And care for the infant? Can I carry her through this pitch of black? A black I could not navigate alone.
She turned away as if she knew the answer:
"Where is my strength!?" I screamed, but when it made it to my lips it was no more than a pitiful "umph."
The idea slowly came over me: if we both remained completely still we might just morph into this night… into each other -- fade out to white.
to this I reconciled myself. it was the way. that be that.
all was well. the process began. we were slipping away.
But then, gripped by an intense human 'human-ness' it slammed to a stop.
Damn it all!
First, slight anxiety. Then, hunger. And finally, I cursed the desire for a cigarette.
Low and behold, the rains came… and a foggy glow from an appearing horizon. Morning was coming. Shaky and cold - soaked to the bone I most definitely felt "me" holding a small, golden-haired child, at the beginning of a new day.
I have named the child Rosemary. We have not yet spoken. I watched her dry in the sun. She sways mysteriously like a flower.