Imagine dead man walking.
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13 Apr 2009 Cập nhật:
13 Apr 2009
Author: Mike Kobayashi|
Beta-readers: Cat & Nicole
Summary: Imagine a dead man walking.
Author's Note: Cat and Nia - you guys are fly like Snoop Dogg on crack. All my love to Cat and her creepy syntax thingy. This piece is nothing but my nonsense rant to get something off my chest, so bear with me. Any grammatical error left is my fault for not listening to my supertasticBETAREADAz.
Rorschach's quote from Watchmen - Alan Moore. Lyrics from Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem) - Jay-Z (Annie sample)
It's the hard knock life for us
It's the hard knock life for us
It's the hard knock life, for us!
Steada treated,we get tricked
Steada kisses, we get kicked
It's the hard knock life!
Imagine being at your very own funeral and watching your beloved folks mourn over you. She’s on all fours crying her heart out, wailing again and again, “Why did you have to go.” He’s discreetly placing a black rose on top of your cold tombstone, and he waits until everyone leaves just to give you a very last kiss. Only your good old mother does not shed tears. It looks like time has etched more lines into her face. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
You light a smoke and look up at the tiring grey sky. Wondering. On which shore would your little soul wash upon tomorrow?
Move on, if I die don’t cry over me, you say.
Time is ticking away.
Every minute forty thousand skin cells die and forty thousand skin cells came to life within your body – no one could say to your face that you were the same ole red-blooded man one minute ago.
Looking at a guy walk down the street, you think, how can someone not realize that each of their steps is being taken by a totally different person? What people can see is the rapid display of snapshots of life, yet they think it’s some destined fluid movement. Moment stolen after moment, life is leaking out from its tank.
Move on, you say, don’t waste those precious Polaroid’s of your life on me, I’m a dead man walking already.
Yet you couldn’t let go of that bitter taste at the back of your throat.
Some day, she will not put on the dress - which was black as the night sky anymore. Some day, he will not keep the tear-tainted picture of you - against his chest - in his pocket right against his thump-thump thing anymore. And they would book a table at your favorite French restaurant and get to know each other. Only your good old mother would still be picking a small white lily from her small pretty garden and putting it on top of your childhood safe pillow.
Imagine sitting at your favorite French restaurant, with your wife by one side and your not so secret boyfriend on the other. She’s wearing Channel no. 5, with the bloody red Pretty Woman dress that you bought for her 30th birthday on show, and a big shiny diamond ring on her ring finger that screams ‘Yes I came here to show that I’m the rightful owner of these things’. He’s pulling off that fashionably sorrowful facial expression; with his lively, colorful tattoos on full display down his arms, the newest one looks a little pink and swollen with yours and his initials tangling into each other artistically and boastfully. They are screaming at each other, totally oblivious to the mortified looks from other customers.
“He is my husband, before God and before law,”, she shrieks, scratching her nails on the table.
“Don’t come to me crying because your husband didn’t fuck you in his last days, for God’s sake, we all know too damn well the guy loved me,” he growls, little balls in his eye sockets poking out.
You pretend to take a sip from the expensive champagne, steal a bite from the lukewarm filet mignon, and you don’t hear their bickering. Taste this wine, live this life, pretend that you’re doing everything just fine.
“Two millions,” he says, “I want two million dollars, Kain promised me.”
“In your dream,” she sneers, “I will not let a single cent of my husband’s money roll into your pocket.” They roar, and you fall.
Move on, you say. Because you know life isn’t fair, but you have to embrace it lovingly anyway.
Here they are talking about your money now that you are six feet under, and you say, yes, move the fuck on, yet you can’t let go of that haunting voice chanting in the back of your head. They are betraying you, they are betraying you. If they do not have enough heart to talk about how much they love you – good ole Kain,- you wish they could at least talk about how great you were in bed. It appears that you must have not been that good or no good at all, because he is chalking down some kind of chart on the napkin paper and she is flicking her cigarette off. No lovey-dovey chit chat. He is pointing at his own handwriting with his eyes sparkling like those of a jaguar on hunt at night, and she is putting her cigarette out in her crystal glass, her deep blue eyes glued to the paper. The remains of what has been a long, slim and elegant stick of a cigarette sizzles in the wine at the bottom of the expensive wineglass. They both lean over on the table, screams turn hushed voices, their foreheads nearly touch.
“You can not get all the money just by yourself,” he whispers.
“Fuck you,” she bites on her beautifully manicured nails.
“We need each other to stand this case,” he opens his palms toward her, like he always does when he tries to explain something. You stare at her, pray to God please let her have some dignity left. But seeing her tilting her head aside and brushing her fingers through her hair, and seeing a smile twitching on his lips, you know the answer. How ironic, why didn’t you learn when you were still alive? How much you loved them when you were still breathing! But screw love, it’s money that makes the world go round.
Sometimes at night, you give your good old mother a rare visit. You can’t remember how much of your costly property that you have left her, not that she needs your money. She is sleeping, her wrinkles looking deeper as moonlight fall shadows over her facial features. Your dad left, you left, and now she is all by herself. The good ole woman plants flowers in her small garden her entire life. She stood by you with kind and loving eyes when you fell off your very first bike. She bakes ginger cake every Sunday - like she used to when her son was still home - just to give it to her neighbor. The good ole woman gave you a sincere smile when you made your first Million. She spent most of her Polaroid’s of life on you, and treasured them to no end like you are the last thing alive on this earth. And now that you’re gone, who else is alive in her world?
You press a cold kiss to her forehead and walk through the house - made from puzzles of your childhood. This is where love used to live, you think, watching the dawn fading away as the sun rising up in all of its glory. This is where love used to make the world go round.
Imagine lying on the huge oval table in the used-to-be-yours office. No one can see you nor the sunlight pouring down through the bay window. You designed this office by yourself, expressionism at its best, Antonio Gaudí style, with pieces of bizarre yet lovely furniture that look like candy to your eyes. But no one gives a flying damn, no one can waste a single Polaroid of their lives dwelling on the vestiges of your life.
This used to be your playground, this used to be the place where you sketched the downfall of your life. Art is self-destruction, art is death giving birth to life itself. You used to be an artist. A multi-million dollar artist. You used to have a beautiful wife. You used to have a secret boyfriend, and till today can you taste the lascivious saltiness of his skin on the tip of your tongue.
You used to think that this hiding place is yours and no one would dare come and destroy it. You used to be so blind by the lust pumping in your veins that you never realized every single minute that passed by, a part of you had died. Every single painting that came to life under your hands was another testament written down on your fate. But now no one gives a flying damn, no matter who you are, how important you used to be.
Imagine lying on the huge oval table in the used-to-be-yours office. No one can see you nor the sunlight pouring down through the bay window. They are battling over the inheritance they deserve to take over from your property. From their mouths, it’s no longer about how serene your brown eyes were when you are gazing at the ocean, nor how talented you were when you are deep in thought, concentrating on finishing a piece of painting. It’s just about 2 or 3 million dollars, how they should treat your real estate, your Salvador Dali collection, how they can eliminate other inherits and all that jazz. Beauty, love and memories are forgotten, money is not. They yell, they whisper, they point their fingers at each other. She smokes. He smokes. The lawyers flip through the legal papers. Sign this and that, shake hands and leave.
“Hopefully we will never cross paths again,” she looks at him straight in the eyes.
“Be thankful, without me you wouldn’t be able to get that much share of the inheritance,” he shrugs.
“Without me, you would not either,” she squeezes his hand tight, a little too tight for his comfort.
“Goodbye,” her ruby red lips brush quickly over his cheek as their hug, or farewell.
"Whatever", he pulls himself out, fixes his coat and walks through the door with his lawyer. She looks at her lawyer, well, your used-to-be lawyer, and smirks, “Want some champagne, handsome?” And this is how the story ends.
Move on, you say, mostly to yourself. Because no matter how much you want to pretend, life won’t sway your way. And you tell others to move on just to deceive yourself that you have the strength to endure this. This vanity of life, this aching feeling - or something that resembles feelings, since dead people are not supposed to have feelings at all - of being forgotten, this hurtful truth that someday you would be dead for real. The only thing worse than being betrayed is turning into dust within people’s memories.
He sticks the ‘for sale’ sign on the front door – you painted it white and pretty yourself, just for him, like how you chose and bought the house, just for him. Pull down the curtain, turn off the light, the show is over. He stood by the window where you used to sit - to draw, he blows a little on the glass to create a thin layer of steam. Goodbye K, he writes with his bare finger on ice cold glass. He is not a bad person. She is not a bad person. No one is. Life just goes on the way it’s supposed to be. February, it’s snowing, and he’s on his first steps of erasing you from his heart.
Imagine standing by your own tombstone. Alone. Only God knows when you will be able to move on from this mundane heartache. You pray for that release, and yet at the same time, you await someone to leave just a rose on the dirt you are lying under. But you know well, like when Rorschach pulled off the query of life and death. Is that what happens to us? A life of conflict with no time for friends so that when it’s done, only our enemies leave roses. And you must be the saddest case in town, because no one hates you enough to send some very last flowers to your death bed. Your only guest is Time, powerful and ruthless Time itself, and he forces his roses to your chest in the shape of a seal on your life card.
Imagine when your good old Mom leaves this world, and they all have moved on. Someone would walk by these rows of tombstones one day and wonder to whom this grave belongs. Even the traces of your name, your birth and death date would be eaten up by the licks of cold wind. Today, still here. Tomorrow, already gone.
As you wish, she does come by and gives you a bunch of lilies. She says she has just given your mother a visit. She cries and says she was angry finding out you cheated on her with a man, but it’s all over now and she misses you so much. Your graceful, ladylike woman of a wife. She says she still loves you, no matter what. Strangely, she doesn’t mention the money and all that mess. Sunset paints it deep purple on the sky, and she leaves with tears in her eyes.
It saddens your heart knowing that someday, everything would be gone. Inheritance taken, painting collection sold, memories erased and love forgotten. And him, her, and your mother, every single one of them would be gone, too. Love and hatred, deepest regrets and toughest unsolved problems. Gone.
You light a smoke and look up at the tiring grey sky, hating yourself for being nonexistent yet so damn human.
Imagine a dead man walking, with a taste of bitterness on the tip of his tongue.
Mùa đông Paris
Paris. Một kẻ xa nhà. Người bản xứ. Hai cô gái.* Lời nói đầu: Câu chuyện sau đây diễn ra trong bối cảnh một Paris lập đông rất lãng mạn. Sau một hồi lâu suy nghĩ, mặc cho những cuộc tranh luận và biết rằng trình độ của mình là vô cùng kém cỏi, tôi vẫn chủ ý giữ lại những lời thoại bằng tiếng Pháp của các nhân vật như một hình ảnh đẹp đẽ về câu chuyện buồn. Chính vì vậy, các bạn biết tiếng Pháp đừng giật mình khi kênh tiếng Việt có vẻ không phản ánh những gì kênh chữ Pháp thể hiện. Tôi không cố ý xài tiếng Pháp, bởi nếu biết nhiều tiếng Anh, tôi sẽ đặt tên truyện là: Mùa Đông London rồi. Vì thế, tôi sẽ không tranh luận bất cứ điều gì và không màng đến mọi bình luận về tiếng Pháp của tôi khi ngôn ngữ ấy được dùng trong fic hoàn toàn mang ý nghĩa hình ảnh. Chân thành cám ơn - JEB.