Psychopomp Magazine Fall 2014 - Page 45

Adam McAlpine Clark | 45

glasses of water, I can hear from the television the voice of a woman describing how a lottery winner's grandchild has just been found dead. And also, I can hear him stirring in alto-rumblings.

I sit down next to her against the light of the television as a commercial floods over the screen. There is no sense of what the product is, only this strange self-deprecatory reference that's supposed to indicate something reliable. She takes the extra glass from my hand, smells of whiskey. She asks me how I am holding up with all of this, where was I the whole time tonight.

I tell her I was with my brother and her face screams quietly; she looks away from me.

She is telling me how much he spoke of me, how much the same we were and how he felt himself a dragged imitation, how she should catch me at a piano sometime. In this opposition she is describing, I recognize a shared quality, how I'd always felt it there—the confused imitation, which has existed since our childhood; later, despite the separation by both space and time, despite our inability to apprehend difference, to conceive of it, to evaluate each other and ourselves, there was still an underlying faith in a common form which we shared. A romantic belief in an eternal return.

Mason is trying to warn me of something, but the shaping of words seems to have become unfamiliar in his deep slumber spread across the filaments of my mind. He is trying to say a name to me, whispering from within. His or mine, I don't know, but there is a heart beating skittish and fast.

We have been talking for some length of time, she has been talking, and I have been unable to register but small fragments. "He always claimed there was this thing that he was chasing after, trying to catch and something hanging behind him in its own chase. He told me once, he was lost on something or other so he talked a little, more to get the fear out of his system. He said he wasn't sure sometimes if maybe one was just the reflection of the other. He said there was a name. He tried to say it was just some kind of a jazz phantom, but that's shit. He would have nights where he couldn't be alone. Not about sex or anything . . . his eyes would water in mid-sentence." And her eyes are watering and I can tell that Mason is cowering