The days without the internet were peaceful and blessed. I caught up on my reading. I had no work, no play, no friends, nothing but the books before me.
I admit, first it was A Dance With Dragons in two sleepless night-day cycles. Then the Bible. Then the Qur'an. Then Supergods. Then Crisis On Infinite Earths. Then I prayed until my knees were cramped and sore.
I prayed to Jesus and Allah and Odin and Superman.
I prayed to my mother, God rest her soul.
Then, tonight. My dad comes home with a new laptop he bought in the city. I recorded a video on it, sent it to Alex. I think he knows how to edit things. Making the videos is easy, but beyond that I don't really get it. That's more his thing.
I recorded the video by the edge of the woods at twilight, around eight thirty.
By nine o'clock it was full dark and I sat on the stone wall. I heard rustling behind me, saw the glow of a cigarette in the woods. I was going to call out, but then my phone went off. I thought it was on silent, but instead my ringtone blared: "I SET A FIRE JUST TO SEE WHAT IT KILLS". Whoever was out there heard it. There was a sound of leaves rustling, and the ember was gone. I couldn't see anything, so I answered the phone and starting walking back.
It was Rachel. She's been calling recently, to talk about everything. She's as upset as I am. I asked her to come over. She drove out and we met by the ruins of the airport. We sat on the wing off an airplane that had become entangled with a fence to make a weird bench.
She brought a bottle of vodka. We traded swigs as we lay in the road and talked. She told me how she missed David, how she wished he would come home okay. I listened for sounds in the bushes.
Around three thirty I fell down. It took her awhile to rouse me. I lay in the dirt and saw beyond. I saw spheres and stars and heard voices both guttural and ethereal and felt feelings indescribable. It was like gazing on the face of God only to find it a maze of scars and pits with great, bulging mad eyes.
I stayed that way for a few minutes. Rachel didn't seem very concerned. After I recovered I drank more, and heartily.
She fell asleep in her backseat. I'm sitting beside her, laptop on knee. I'm listening. I swear I heard the flick of a lighter.