Better days…

Better days…

October 21, 2021 0 By Anton

‘J, go get your grandfather to see the world outside. To watch the future for which he fought in the World War. Bring him here, please, and sit him next to the window.’

J looked at his mother with his ten year old brown eyes. She was standing next to a bright window, looking through it at the outside world, taking long drags from a white cigarette when she wasn’t sobbing. Her left arm was crossed, resting on the right bicep. His mother’s blonde hair was freshly washed but was now smelling of tobacco and regret.

Without asking any questions J left to get his grandfather. His mother’s blue eyes were teary and tired. Outside, the sun was shining above the city of New York. Madness and progress were colliding to produce the birth of a new civilisation. Slowly, nothing of substance was happening and yet, everything was changing: the steel and mortar covered the flesh and bones of the many people that were running in agony after something nobody could articulate.

The mother watched how the world became hollow with dreams of a distant future in which there was only one prerogative: war. At war with everyone, at war with the mountains and the oceans, at war with the moon, and even the sun. The future was bound to be brighter than the star and its dimming light was an obstacle to the new Enlightenment.

J crossed a long and busy street, arriving at the graveyard in which his grandfather was buried underneath a heavy marble cross. Engraved were the words: “Hey moon, you are my only friend. Hey moon, I know it has been a while since we saw each other. Hey moon, I promise I won’t fall so deep.”

With his bare hands, J began digging.

Above the cemetery, a plane full of busy and bored people was arriving in New York. More flesh to feed the liberal order of empty promises and false currency.

Ten hours or ten years later, J returned home with his grandfather’s bones in a black plastic bag. His mother was waiting for him in the same place. Around her, a small mound of cigarette butts piled up.

‘Put him over there, on that chair.’ She pointed towards a wooden chair with a green seat.

J arranged the bones of his grandfather on the chair. As he was reassembling the skeleton he realised that although man can be broken into pieces by bullets and tanks, man cannot be put back together. What strange creatures, J thought of the human species.

As his grandfather was now almost assembled, J saw that his left shoulder was missing, and part of his rib cage was shattered.

‘That is what war does,’ his mother said. ‘The war he fought so we can have a better future. But look at it…’. She took a long drag and released a heavy grey smoke. ‘Put him here, next to me.’

J carried the chair with the skeleton rattling on it, placing it next to the window. His grandfather’s skull had its jaw open, and it was slightly tilted downwards, in disappointment.

‘That’s how I feel too,’ J’s mother said. ‘You died protecting this land. You died for the values they told you they were upholding and respecting. Freedom. Equal opportunities. Human dignity. Look at it now, daddy. Look at the progress with which they mutilated your final sacrifice.’

J looked outside and saw nothing but the usual rhythm of human society: dull and colourful, empty of any direction, sickening to anyone with an eye searching for the Absolute.

‘You told me that it was going to get better, but these better days never came…I have been smoking for twenty years, waiting for that improvement. I am tired now and cancer is eating my lungs. I thought you should know that you died in vain on that cold and muddy battlefield in Europe.’

Back in the cemetery, hundreds of New Yorkers were taking their dead back home.

……………………………….

It’s 10:30 AM and J’s mother woke up in an office located in a glass tower somewhere in Manhattan. Around her, people with red paint on their faces were typing furiously on keyboards while staring with serious expressions at slick computer screens. Across the ocean, some people were walking their dogs on green pastures poisoned by plastic and banners demanding equity for the dead.