Poor Old Doomed Thibaut
It is an unfortunate truth that I witnessed both the soul and physical form of a man stand at the edge of a cliff overlooking the chapters of his life: the myriad of successes, the voluminous miserable failures; and to be sure, his own promises of intent that were left as decomposing artifacts in his race to avoid change. Some may call me an objective observer as is my wont. But most of you shall label me as a madman – a sorry soul who perhaps endured both disappointment and tragedy – but did nothing about it save for the incessant ramblings of a depressed and tortured mind. To those of you who claim the former, I can only offer my sincere gramercy. The latter of you, I can only offer my concession of agreement. I may be a madman - but this harsh truth does not in its most axiomatically way negate nor adulterate what I have
observed – nay, what we have observed…
But our eyes refused to see.
Indeed, just like poor, old, doomed Thibaut.
He was in effect a fine man. A man who rose to levels in life that were shared by precious few. His cupboard of talent was more bare than most, so practicality and hard graft were the tools in his workman’s belt. These traits served him well. As the hellish specter of the forever ticking clock consumed those around him like a chthonic sinkhole, Thibaut stayed a course that if plotted on an axis would be seen as a straight line. He was an outlier within the chaotic distributions of the human race. Neatly tucked away, he was secure; only to raise his mouth above the water line every so often in order to taste the air he knew he would despise. Oh, the air did taste of agitation, diseased flesh filled with viscous lactic acid, indolence and the brininess of a dying crustacean slowly washing ashore during a new moon tide. Nevertheless, he maintained his maintenance if only because he knew only that. He was a learned man - but to a point where he wanted no more learning; he knew what he knew and that was more than enough to know. Nary a day went by where Thibaut strayed from his straight line. It was a satisfying place. He would not be condemned to happiness or melancholy: the peaks and valleys that define existence were loathsome to him. He worshiped at a different altar.
The altar was a strange one to be sure. I cannot do it justice through words, but alas, I must try, for it is paramount to understand the shallow depth that Thibault engaged life in. I do not mean this as a pejorative- plenty of souls have solipsistically floated among the wreckage of their own doing and ignored it; and most of them have lived a life of an acceptable vanilla custard after surviving a birth of boiled chicken.
He would kneel at said altar and praise the normalcy whilst cursing the different. A fine mist made of globulins, albumins and fibrinogens would ejaculate from the earth below and tent him as the altar floated above the ground and rotated. The altar was three steps high, covered in a coquelicot silk spun from worms that had once burrowed into the brain of a Bagot goat whose horizontal pupil had turned from black to marigold due to a scrapie condition. It would smoothly move in three-dimensional space as if the hand of an invisible entity was conducting it- almost as if it were presenting itself like a tired housewife whom had donned herself in a clingy negligee attempting to get her husband to look one last time before the ravages of time made him blind to her. It not only needed to be seen; it needed to be desired.
Thibaut never accepted the altar’s offer to climb it- he only wished to look. He watched. He watched others accept the altar’s invitation to stand upon the top step and lord over those who merely kneeled before it. He watched as the altar spun its supplicants at all angles while ignoring the laws of gravity. There the others stood: courageous and triumphant, but still at the mercy of the altar’s chaotic whims. Thibaut never wondered what it would be like. He was consumed only by what his place was in the universe; and his place was a fixed point in an ever-expanding cosmos that slowly forgets him. And each time he declined the altar’s invitation, he breathed a sigh of exhausted respite that he would be where he was for as long as he wanted.
Which was and which will be forever.
What many do not know and that I have so unfortunately learned, is that there are beings that arrive from parts of the sky that mirror the innards of the earth, and they embalm us with their cooing voices and temporary words. Their rotting feet are sniffed by those who smile when no smile is called for. Their science is our philosophy as empiricism becomes a parlor trick in which to codify and rock desire into obsequiousness.
I recall a brief conversation I had with Thibaut.
"What do you think demons talk about when they gather together?" I asked.
"I don’t know," he replied as he looked away into the void of a night sky that ostensibly offered no answers, "but they’re only wrong if they don’t."
I do not wish to cogitate any more on these creatures that have lured Thibaut into their purgatory-wallpapered world, but this is the only action I find myself capable of that can cope with the sameness I witness before me. I only wish Thibaut could see it too. I fear that the altar will disappear and this good man who revels in his drowning pool of adequacy will regret nothing because he has done nothing to regret.
I fear that this will be his forever.
Poor, old, doomed Thibaut.