And he was falling pretty quickly below expectations which weren’t mountainous to start with, and intensified the tightness in her throat that was disappointment blended with tears because maybe she had hoped her albatrosses would captivate him or burn everything to the ground. Perhaps she felt it was worth it once more, maybe for a last go, because the world was empty. But she felt mostly alone. And tired.And afraid. And overlooked.That was the thing that was worse than everything else, and it choked her with one of those griefs that figure something out at a single swoop, then escape to the mountains of the moon or some even further destination.
‘Here I am, in the midst of life, seeing living in my gaze, and each time disappearing afterwards, as have all our previous generations, which is a fate needing accounting for I’d say.’
Her thoughts squinted, as through smoke keeping pace with the wind, which was no better than a snake in a bush fire. It often seemed to her that any proof on offer was merely what came from words that asked the question. It was absurd.
It was then that she turned back to the room and glared over the heads in the crowded room to where Gower and Lena were standing in the outdoor space beyond the open French windows, both looking so capable and purposeful even though she felt they didn’t have the strength in themselves the situation required, because both seemed happy to rely on the strength of the strong and she wasn’t, because that strength gets cheated and cheats, is disfiguring and darkens mankind in a way that can’t give nor comprehend justice.
‘You’re both one with the great leaders and chiefs,’ she wanted to shout, and the room seemed to flounder and sink on one side, as if shipwrecked and soon they’d all be slowly tumbling down to the ocean bed, choking on sea anemones, chewed by clown loach and the candy striped plecostomus, ripped by lobster and crab under the baleful eyes of grey intelligent octopuses. She imagined going over and repeating herself, not sure if she’d been heard the first time, and then continued as their faces turned to look on her as a special thing of simplicity:
‘You think power is recruiting the biggest numbers, because you have an image of one enlarged voice getting in front of them all and imposing its claim to be genuine, as if thunder was speaking from God,’ she imagined. Gower and Lena didn’t exactly welcome her but neither were they off and Gower smiled and nodded even though perhaps he should have been more wary. She wanted a smoke but her fingers were trembling too much to fiddle with the required paper and overall she realised that maybe she was a little overwrought and after all this was neither the time not the place to lay out her summary. But personality is unsafe in these kind of events, and she kept on dream-talking.
‘It’s like the more people that listen, the bigger the invention. You assume that if you have a million recruits your version will be a million times truer. But when you just invent things like that then no matter what you say is real, I don’t believe you.’
She turned to the company crowding round who had been distracted and were now alive with the chosen, swift intensity of timid people. In her secret heart she yearned for a simplicity that wasn’t here, and couldn’t be, because these were all going somewhere together, or in subgroups of angels, why, they might as well paint their faces or carve out tattoos on their skins she thought and there was bitterness, even if it was not just bitterness.
‘There’s chaos out there, and in your hearts,’ she continued, ‘ and you’re looking for your courage in leaders and their versions and their recruits, no matter how guileful, suppressed, devious, greedy, contemptuous or saintly,’ her silence choked.
Gower put out a hand to touch her arm as if to give her consolation, being the father figure he dreamed himself to be, with a peculiar serious smile of compassion quivering and expanding as if it came from the universe, which she didn’t believe in and considered phony.
Read 47094 from the beginning here.
Read the complete novel 'The Ecstatic Silence' here.