The gauze, constricting, shrouds his hands. He would that they would meet, moving beyond the lifeless clasp which whitens the knuckles. No amount of false tears can melt his yearnings to his words, which fall in a litany of useless entreaties. He repeats phrases, runs down lists, enumerates names to eat time away, but the clock ticks baroquely on the inert invocations, as his eyebrow twitches to its every movement. Time progresses, with God but slowly. He sweats with anxiety and steels himself for death whilst his life is robbed. His precious moments simper on, but he is girt only for abasement.
Every day he comes calling. Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you will find. But nothing poured its deluge and smothered the coals of his expectation. Hear my cry, he would call. Are you there? he would ask. He looked on silence as the face of things, and his brow was not crowned with humility and patience. Once he would lose himself in supplication, but now his staticity made devotions of the clock’s ticking. Because he could not move his heart beyond the seemly, its exertions became fixations. His prayers became fuel to enervate the minutes and hours, his anticipation and his hope, wrapped up in numerical values, ceased to function on the human. He was paralytic in his computing, subdividing chunks of time to make faster its passage; varying his perception of the movement and interpretation of segments to augment the impotence of the already unengaging hours.
Something changes, though; the second hand clicks and vibrates as it tries to move forward. He watches as it ticks off second by second without progression. He frowns at the dirty trick but cannot leave; his hour is not at end. With the counting frustrated, he scrabbles for words and praise to lay out in offering. With every hollow crust of a word, the clock fails to record a second. With every extra moment, his indifference turns to ire. The more he babbles in his mind, the faster time does not pass. He contemplates abandoning the whole failed myth of it all, but he knows if he does that now, he will not be able to go back on it later. What can he do? There is no negotiating with a malignant deity demanding devotion.
It is apparent, he reflects, that only an imposition on his will could bind him in such a way. The convergence of events, the intersection of moods and precedents, these show the artfulness that goes beyond natural life. There is an intervention at work on him. He can but tremble, for he knows not the why or the wherefore. Cut off from man, cut out from time, cut away from the world, he imagines this isolated eternity imposed on every second that he has ever lived. Every humiliation, every shameful act, every guilty moment, every wasted evening, every barren, sorrowful ounce of pain he has inflicted or suffered, each one stretching out, echoing through the canyons of reality, unchanging, deepening the scars in his trapped soul, and he, unable to escape, let go or be free, is shaded with regret, becoming its doppelganger and kin. He begs freedom from recurrence.
Earnestly, he cries. Don’t let my days blow through open windows, he says. Don’t let my crooked ways haunt me. Don’t let my unfruitful hours prey at my mind. Don’t let my goodness be squandered and stifled by evil. Don’t let me be a limb lopped off. Don’t burn my fat and consume me for glory. But above all, don’t let my slow heart impede you. I desire mercy, not sacrifice. Forgive me. Forgive me.
The second hand ticks once more and moves forward.
Erik Knutsen has grown weary of bio writing. Maybe if he would get paid for it that would take the edge off, but as it stands, instead of reading his bio you should read his work at http://erikknutsen.blogspot.com.