Books, Don and Wen, Stuart France

Ol’ Bill…


…”When it comes to the end of life you have to have something to call your own,” Bill slipped his arm through mine.

The soft twill of his well pressed jacket warmed my bare flesh.

“Something you’ve come up with yourself,” Bill’s mate did likewise and we started to pace the white-tiled floor of my room in step.

“Something you’d like to keep but would like even more to give to the world, while at the same time denying that it has anything to do with you,” said Bill.

“When Death settles upon your shoulders, folds her wings around your body and rests her fore paws on the crown of your head,” put in Bill’s mate.

“It’s as well to have something to say for yourself,” continued Bill.

“A grand idea to engage her thoughts,” said Bill’s mate.

“A sublime notion to temper her plans for you,” said Bill.

“A beautiful lie to charm her soul,” said Bill’s mate.

“A ridiculous gesture…” I ventured tentatively, “to tickle her fancy?”

Bill shook his head.

Bill’s mate smiled, “Death and Soul are in league with each other.”

“They’re twinned,” said Bill.

“They’re practically indistinguishable,” said Bill’s mate.

“They even sound similar when they speak,” they said together and then they started laughing.

“They’re both after memories, that’s all,” said Bill, “Death wants to satisfy Life with them,”
“…Soul, Love…” finished Bill’s mate,” it’s as simple and… ”
“…as straightforward as that,” finished Bill.

“There’s no mystery to it,” said Bill’s mate.

“It’s just a passion they hold for each other,” said Bill…

We started moving towards the door…


…”Memory,” continued Bill, “possesses the key to Divinity… “

“She cultivates creative capabilities which are all of her own making,” continued Bill’s mate.

“It’s with a mind’s eye on Divinity that Death and Soul have taken such a shine to her offspring,” finished Bill.

“Memory likes to play games backwards,” said Bill’s mate…

“She envelops and unfolds Life in cycles of ever decreasing magnitude and complexity. Smile at her brightly and honestly enough and she’ll gladly clasp your hand in hers,” said Bill.

“She’s really only too willing to take the lead,” finished Bill’s mate.

“Memory hordes treasures from one lifetime to the next, “added Bill, “In the midst of a blackness sparked by stars…” he paused, “she buries your true self …” and looked at me expectantly…

“What… like a bear in winter?” Bill smiled, and withdrew his arm.

“Death has a mouth in her forehead and eyes in her chin,” said Bill’s mate,”she charms your Soul with an upside down smile and then sucks the memories from your body in a kiss.”

“Your death rattle is the flutter of an eyelid as your memories flit by,” put in Bill.

“These memories had better be good,” Bill’s mate continued, “It’s no use spewing forth a reel of standard procedures, set patterns and formulated truths.”

“You have to have cared for your memories over the years. You have to know what they’re about. What they point to. You have to nurture them and marry them up,” said Bill.

“Your memory is a repository for emotional landscapes which reflect universal truth, so you had better have treasured the right experiences,” warned Bill’s mate, “those gems and shards of quartz-crystal shining in the night are defining characteristics forged from old loves,” he said and then he smiled.

Bill smiled too, “attend to her whims diligently enough and Memory will serve each of them up for you,” he paused, “just like sea-food,” and looked at me expectantly…

“… On a platter! “

The door of my room clanged shut.

Kith ‘n’ Kin

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