I feel it pressing upon me, looming over my shoulder, hiding the world even from the corners of my eyes, where I see it best. It stalks me like a lion, mockingly, with little interest in the kill when it has such a fine chase to enjoy.
It is one of the many, many days during which I am conscious of the darkness, coming to press viciously against my shoulders. Once in a while this happens: I realize there are no signs, no codes, but at the same time I know that even if they aren't there, I see them. Knowing I can never escape but being aware of the darkness is so much more painful than simply being lost in that twisted world.
There is a bird's nest outside my window, in a tree. A limb of the tree extends past my window and on occasion I wonder if it could support my weight. Today, though, I see a white cat, fat and proud with a silky collar and beautiful fur, creeping to the nest. The mother bird has gone to look for food, so the cat is free to hunt for the joy of torment, just like my lion.
This, though, I know to be a sign. I will die if the birds are abandoned to the lion. I have to save them to keep myself alive. I open the window, hoping to save them before I am noticed, but strong hands pull me from the windowsill, keeping me from the birds, and now I know I will die.
How can he spend every day like this, seeing everything as a message? I pick up a piece of glass, the remnant of a broken window, and wonder what it would say to him. The postcard I sent him, of that old man - or was he a vulture? - what does that imply? Anyone would react as he did if, in addition to a thousand human voices, our trusty and silent things began to shout at them as well.
I wonder if it is merely that his eyes and ears are better than mine.
Perhaps he simply never learned when not to pay attention.