Burn down my houseJacob is pacing in the darkness, feeling his knuckles with the pads of his fingers from his other hand. From it distance he appears to be wringing his hands, from close up you can see he's rubbing out the soreness from his fingers from where his hands have been clenched into fists. There is as much salt in his hair as sunshine now and I can't tear my eyes away from him even as my heart beats so hard it's making me blink involuntarily.
And make something happen
Stab me in the heart
And make something stop
Because I am so distracted
I am slightly shocked
By how things can keep going
Like a dead man's clock
He looks older, and stronger and more tangible than ever today. My tactile dream, my dead preacher, my love. He used to love lying in the dark at night as I told him stories from the show. He would laugh and say, but how did you feel? and I would answer so easily. Throw-up-excitement, dread, exhaustion, bursting happiness, contentment, endless hunger. He would frown or smile depending on my answer and work on his knuckles in the dark, rubbing them, cracking them. I wasn't sure if he was arthritic for he never complained, or nervous for he never admitted or maybe it was just one of those things, one of those endless unconscionable habits one picks up and then can't seem to put down anywhere later.
Jacob smiles when he sees me. You look good today, Princess, he tells me because he was used to this. All black from head to toe. Hundred-button boots, delicately cabled tights, black wrap dress in a pretty drape, tied so tightly and the whole thing covered with a long black sweater with buttons so small I'm the only one who can fasten them and the elbows are three-patches deep now.
Liar liar Preacher Boy. I say it softly, with a smile. It's an old inside joke, for he used to tell me I was beautiful when I was red-faced and in full ugly-cry, my eyes turned bright blue, lips quivering, nose running for the hills, fingers clenched til they drew blood. He would say that and I would laugh. I would laugh so hard. Incredulous and say he was a liar but the Preacher Boy disclaimer brought appreciation and affection for his efforts, just as my black clothing brings the night around with me, like a shadow. Like a shroud.
The more he talks the more I think he's real. Ghosts can't feel things. They can't be concerned or worried. They can't show emotion or be held to earth with negative energy so I'm not going to do this to him or to myself foremost. Today I must protect myself, standing behind the shadow of my presence, standing in the glint of silver and gold. Just standing here.
Because I don't know where to go next.