Back to the remixes
Title: Falling Up
Author: Cesare ( codenamecesare @ )
Original Story: "Before the Weight Can Leave the Air" by Azhriaz.
Pairing: Dom/Elijah, others
Rating: NC-17
Summary: A breakup, in reverse.
Notes: Concept respectfully ripped off from the Martin Amis novel Time's Arrow.

DISCLAIMER: The author makes no claims or inferences to reality or truthfulness. Moreover, this story is based upon the work of another author and recognises their creation.


Time gets written over
every day we say goodbye.
Do you hear me?
I miss you
from this side.

Heather Duby, "For Jeffrey"

Falling Up


Death goes as I'm lying in my bed, surrounded by friends, children and grandchildren; surrounded by love.

I say, or perhaps I only think: .ydaer m'I dna ,gnimoc s'tI

The room slowly brightens, and life unwinds before me.


I'm confused, but I have plenty of time to get my bearings. Things move slowly. I move slowly, my hand gnarled with veins, curled on the hook of a cane. I sleep, I rise in darkness, I sit near the squawking telly and drowse in my armchair. I wait for the sun to appear in the west. Then I go outside into the garden, and stay there on my bench in the tree-filtered daylight.

I have time to come to understand things, to learn speech from the words around me; from the chattering television and most of all from the white-haired woman who cares for me. Day after day, I see her, but I can never seem to muster anything but a vague smile for her, loving and distant, as though she's far from me.

Sometimes she reminds me that her name is Audra, but I never say it. I never speak, in these months. I only smile.

Audra comes and goes, and her husband Roger. Their children phone and video, and hold up children of their own to make faces into the screen. Audra's brother Matt videos, his leg in a cast. There are so many people, too many to keep track of, in these early days.

The garden is my chief concern. On days when I'm too weak to go out to it, Audra opens the window for me each evening and leaves it open until morning comes. Those days become less and less frequent, til I am able to make my vigil every day, with only a little help getting in and out of bed. In time, proud days, I need no help at all.

The plants first appear bent and brown and wilted, slowly greening. The plants grow fat, and Audra comes to attach beans and tomatoes to some of them. She attaches flowers to others with a pair of shears. How kind she is. Her gloves are green, with painted daisies.

Once given to the plants, the tomatoes and beans and fruits and flowers shrink away to buds. The plants thin to tendrils and disappear into the ground. Audra comes to the garden and collects the rich soil the plants have left behind.

Eventually she gets on her hands and knees and unearths their final product, the seeds. Into a paper packet they go. I suppose they will be sold to a shop, like the soil. It's a lot of trouble for not much money, but it's the beauty along the way that matters, not the accounting at the end.

"I think it would mean a lot to Dad," she tells Roger.

He notices the seeds on the counter, waiting to go to the shop, and says, "You don't have to keep that old vegetable garden up this year, Audra."


Audra, who has seemed resigned but happy, becomes more dispirited after the garden has gone to seed. Spring fades to winter; she sits by the fire with me and holds my hand.

It makes her sad that I never say her name. I don't understand myself why it has never yet crossed my lips. I know it as well as I know anything. All those hours in the garden with me, for me. I love her, a strong pure feeling that has been with me since the moment death went away.

I try to cheer her by saying her name, but it's not in my power. My body moves of its own accord, my moods change without my consent. I don't have enough will to force out the words, I love you, Audra.

One day she looks into my eyes and says, "It's okay, Dad. I know that deep inside your heart, you still remember me." She sees through the body that won't obey me, she sees me. She sees that I know her, even if my lips never shape her name. She's right; deep inside my heart, I still remember her.

So that is where I am. Deep inside my heart.


It's not so long, though, only a few more weeks and the words come, those words and others: "Where's my cane?" when it's leaning against the bench where I left it, and "I should phone Billy," once or twice, this often preceded by a long tender hug from Audra. I tell her often now that I love her, that I appreciate her, that she's good to me. She's happier now, and that's good to see.

I go to a different garden once each week, a stone garden. Here I sit to spend time with only one tree, a sapling. I trace the letters on the stone, I look at my own name carved on the other side. I watch the little tree withdraw its leaves and dwindle.

The great-grandchildren become babies, and then disappear from the visits and video screens. Matt videos with his vision of a car crash, and soon after, the accident leaves his leg unbroken. Later he comes to spend a few weeks with us. The grandchildren come as well. They walk with me to the stone garden and take away flowers from under the shrinking sapling. My heart is always happy to see them go with the flowers in their arms.

I sell my cane to a shop; goodbye, faithful companion.

Other people visit. I recognize some of them, faintly, from the haze of those first few days after death left me. Some are Audra's age, Will and Austin, Harry and Julia. Some younger, Joseph, Isaac, Grace, Anna and Lee. Some totter like I do, Richard, Ian, Ben, Eric, Ali and Elijah.

So many people. When I see them, my heart has visions of each of them in years to come: the older ones young, full of life, laughing; the younger ones as children, as babies, as nothing but hopes.

Of Elijah, I have visions that we never speak of, and yet in the clasp of our fingers, I feel their weight. We talk of other visions, we never mention these, and there's love in the silence as much as in things we say.

Ali comes often, and we spend long stretches together. Sometimes we share visions of Billy, the man I wanted to speak with sometimes, before I remembered he was still yet to come. More often, Ali and I are only silent, holding one another's hands.

I spend time with each and all when they visit. I grow stronger, and go to see them. We talk about our visions, which we evidently share. I'm realizing a strange thing about these visions, as we discuss them. We speak as though these things are certain to happen in time. It seems I have a lot to look forward to.


Winter warms into fall, summer cools into spring. I leave Audra and Roger's home for another house, this one with an even larger garden and an orchard beyond.

In the stone garden the sapling is smaller, the sapling is nothing but a twig, and my heart aches. The pain has been with me for two years, since I first began to speak, along with visions of a woman who appears only in photos and videos, a woman I've never yet seen.

Grass vanishes from the mound under the twig. We root up the twig and Audra takes it off to the shop. My heart hurts until I almost can't bear it, and then we go to the stone garden and there is no stone in that place. The earth is open with a casket nearby.

The lid of the casket is lifted to reveal the woman I've envisioned, ached and waited for. The pain is overwhelming. I lean on Audra and Matt, I clutch Ali and Elijah, I weep, the tears rolling up into my eyes.

We hold the wake here, outdoors. As a name for what is happening, "the wake" seems premature; she doesn't revive, she isn't ready. My heart is haunted by visions of the next few days. There is so long yet to go.

We leave the stone garden, we go home. Finally people arrive with a stretcher, wheeling her body back to us. I hold her hand, and we wait for death to leave her.

My heart is stunned, feeling as though this day would never come. Her hand warms in mine, her chest begins to rise and fall, her eyes open.

She squeezes my hand, and I say, "Evie."

Her convalescence is shorter than my slow months-long recovery from death. For her it's a matter of days; from our own bed she goes to the hospital, where doctors erase their signatures from the release papers and shake their heads. Evie is connected to machines that monitor her recovery.

My heart is terrified in these days, shaky and anxious; I stay with Evie constantly, til we're ushered to the emergency room and then into the ambulance. The EMTs drive us to the countryside, and drop us off in the orchard behind the house; I sit on the ground and they place Evie in my lap. They speed away and I phone them to let them know that their part in this is well and truly done.

I carefully move Evie from my arms to the ground, and I stand. She rises, bent over at first, pale and stricken. Then she straightens, her color comes back, she smiles and takes my hand. The stroke loses its last grip on her. She's well and whole. We walk together, our steps sure, no need to look over our shoulders. The landscape recedes. We go home.


Evie and I live together in our house, not far from Audra and Roger. It's a restful era. Matt phones, Audra visits. Evie and I phone and video and visit people often, a widening circle of people. Travel becomes more cumbersome every year; the transport is phased out and we spend hours on airplanes instead. But my heart enjoys the commotion just the same.

In time, our leisurely cuddling sessions take a new turn. Each encounter begins with a deep lassitude that draws me to bed to lie with Evie in my arms. My penis, which til now has been nothing but a hose for sucking up nourishing urine in the loo, now takes a milky fluid from within her body. It brings a sharp pleasure that shakes me to the core.

She shivers against me in sympathy, in pleasure of her own, and we gyrate together in the brief minutes til I detumesce. Then we spend a long time touching and rubbing while the ache of desire ebbs away to a lingering tenderness. We usually end with spates of kisses that lead us to the kitchen, the orchard, the lounge. My heart adores her.

Every year at Christmas we see Audra and Matt and most of their children... this year Joseph, Grace and Lee, the next year Isaac, Lee and Anna. The grandchildren are younger now, troubled; they undo strange things to their hair.

After the pain of awaiting Evie and then the happiness of her awakening, I can feel it again, another pain, just as deep. The pain grows, and my heart suffers-- but I rejoice, because this time I know what it means. Billy is going to arrive.

My heart breaks all over again as we walk through the same steps: a flight to another stone garden, a wake where we view Billy, lifeless. We cling to each other, Ali and Elijah and I, and Sean, Evie, Maggie. My heart cries while I chafe with anticipation.

Billy is taken away, and his body is prepared to come to life. We sit with him in his and Ali's home, and we take in tears as he wakes, his beautiful green eyes blinking open and unclouding. We go to spend time with him in the hospital as he swiftly recuperates.

For some reason, we leave early in his recovery, and in a great rush, although when we arrive back home there's nothing urgent going on. But soon we visit again, and now Billy is stood on his own two feet.

We crush each other in an embrace that fulfills every vision my heart has ever had of the years we will share.

I'm happy for a long, long time.


Evie and I keep busy with our garden and orchards, toiling away to restore the plants to wholeness in order to let them diminish to seeds again. We gather the fertilizer and seeds and sell them, and we have long conversations about ecology. We even go to events sometimes and give speeches.

Life is a long exercise in giving the planet back its minerals and resources, and the more quickly we return these things, the closer we bring ourselves to the birth of the planet, and our extinction. So we are careful to return as little to the earth as possible.

This is apparently quite a service, all this begrudging of the earth, all this seed-making. We receive checks from many organizations dedicated to the environment, their money filling our back accounts higher and higher.

As well, after years of getting large checks from theatre foundations, we become active theatregoers, and receive still more large checks from them, which we unsign and deposit into our own accounts. My heart has visions of the days ahead of me, when I will be the one paying the audience for their attention.

Evie is more beautiful day by day, her silver hair threading through with shining brown. I'm not doing so badly myself. We're both firming up like ice cream, like chocolate on a hot day. Our skins tighten, our bodies tone up.

Our lovemaking gradually becomes more energetic. We gain more time between fluid-drawing and my deflation, prolonging the slow decline of pleasure. We spend hours in bed now because we want to, not because it takes that long to calm the ardor back down to devotion. Desire fades faster and faster, but it also lasts longer and longer, a more than fair exchange.

We attend a few more wakes, though I am never again present at the moment death leaves someone. My brother Matthew returns, and my parents. With each new arrival, life grows more crowded, more full. But we also begin to lose the youngest ones.

Our grandchildren are adolescents, children, babies. We lavish adoration on them in the days leading up to their birth. I mourn them, I can scarcely imagine life without them, but my heart knows nothing but joy.

Evie and I move to a different house together, and we each take up the hobby of erasing film. The amount of fuss and playacting this process requires is staggering. Every detail must be exactly right in order to wipe the images from the reels.

Once the film is blank, I erase my notes from the scripts and hand them over to the filmmakers. It's incredible, the long hours, the many takes-- all to free up the film to be rendered back into silver, gelatin and polyester, and to surrender the stories to the writers and directors. I pay them handsomely for the privilege. It puzzles me, but I have plenty of money for it, and my heart is happy.

What I learn now, more than ever, is that my heart leads the way. My will is nothing compared to its stubborn strength; I'm helpless in the thrall of its impulses. At first I struggle, trying to alter my course, to tear myself away from this bizarre hobby of unmaking films. I was more content spending all my time with my family and friends. But I can only follow my heart.


Sometimes I travel to gatherings to talk about my visions. At these conventions I'm asked to erase my signature from things, usually photographs. At first I think these are pictures of my son Matt.

But no, these images are me-- renderings of visions, the visions so many of us seem to share. According to these pictures I can expect to have a canny pugnacious look as I grow younger. Unwrinkled, the tilted outer corners of my eyes will be more obvious, more impish, like something sly; like a fox.

The pictures come to me with scribbled messages, strings of XOXOXs or "big kisses" followed by a loopy scrawl: Dom Monaghan. I follow the lines with the spongy tip of a special pen and wipe the ink off the photographs. I hand the blank pictures to the smiling people, who seem pleased as they withdraw.

I reunite at these gatherings with Billy, Elijah, Sean, even a few times Viggo, Orlando, Daisy, Miranda, though only a few times. Reliably I see Billy and Elijah at these events. We spend time together in laddish glee, like brothers, close as that and closer, hugging and clouting each other affectionately. People fawn on us as we tell them our visions of what it will be like to erase the Lord of the Rings films.

Throughout it all, the convention organizers escort us everywhere and keep us comfortable. It's no wonder we pay them so well to host us.


One after the other, Audra and Matt become young enough to come home. They're teenagers now, and like their own children, they undo their own strange hairstyles. Matt is no longer taller than me. They become younger still, and my heart is swayed away from my film-erasing hobby for the time being.

Evie and I start the garden again and take care of Matt and Audra, teaching them and playing with them. They forget things, little by little. My heart is proud and delighted, and this time I'm glad to follow; I make no attempt to fight its feelings. I focus on the joys of this time with our children, rather than regretting their impending births.

I take Matt and Audra out to watch the men deconstruct the monorail, and I tell them what the train was like when it was whole. My heart seems to remember it with inaccurate optimism; it didn't increase pollution as much during my lifetime as my heart enthusiastically describes. But the children are fascinated, so we stay a while and watch the men unbolt and tear it apart.

The children are smaller; I can lift one, and then the other. Too soon, I can lift them both at the same time, and not only because I have become so much stronger. They each fit in a crook of my arm, Matt's thin arms around my neck, Audra's little head against my chest.

Holding Audra close when she is tiny and bird-boned, I remember the white-haired woman who saw me out of my death, and I cradle her toward her birth with gratitude and love. Evie is so happy, holding Audra nearly always, accepting milk from her mouth; it fills Evie's breasts, fortifying her for their coming union. I snuggle Matt close and spend plenty of attention on him, comforting him.

Then Billy and Ali come to look after Matt as I drive Evie and Audra to the hospital.

In the delivery room, tears recede into my eyes as I hold Audra for the last time. The doctor takes her from my arms, and the nurse gives me scissors to join the cord that connects her to Evie. I remember how Audra made the plants and flowers whole, and I open the blades.

I hold Evie's hand as Audra is delivered to her; she struggles and wails. At the end of it, the sweat rolling back into her pores, she smiles; she glows, relishing this ultimate closeness.

We return home and she coos with delight, caressing the round swell of Audra inside her. Matt and I press our ears and lips to the mound, saying our goodbyes.

Two years later, I relinquish Matt to the same fate. I murmur to him in the womb and play him music until Evie's belly flattens to a taut washboard. Our children have left us forever, but there is no sorrow. My heart feels only hope.


Sex takes a central importance now, sex and this film hobby that Evie and I both enjoy. We pay to participate in the erasure of film after film. It seems like a waste of time to me, and the cost is outrageous. But what is money for, after all? It satisfies my heart.

When we aren't occupied with film-erasing, Evie and I couple ceaselessly; my body seems to desperately need that white liquid more than ever before. Evie is happy to yield this semen up to me from the secret passages of her body, from her mouth, even from her skin. We root it out from the trash and apply it with tissues so that I can hoover it up from her. In appreciation, I use my body, my hands and mouth to soothe her from the height of her own pleasure again and again.

Evie is at the height of her beauty, matching my most vivid visions of her; her tan satin skin, her strong generous curves, her small sculpted frame. By her side I feel handsome and strong, and when I look in the mirror in the mornings before bed, I see that those photographs were right. The years have ironed away my wrinkles, brought color and volume to my hair, put a silvery gleam in my tilted fox's eyes. My body is hale, stronger than ever before.

We get out photo albums, and I note the dates. Our wedding is approaching, a ceremony to celebrate our lifetime together.

On the day of the wedding, all in white, Evie dazzles me. This is our reward for decades of faith in one another: this gathering of so many people we love, on the day we voice all the promises that we have lived until now.

In all my life, only our children have made me more proud.


A few weeks after the wedding, Evie sends me off with a kiss and I meet with Elijah. He and I have a long, long talk. It begins with an embrace and a tender kiss, like nothing I've shared with him before in all the time we've known each other, growing young.

I've had visions of him like this, visions of him even younger, but these impressions seemed so unlikely, when I have been faithful to Evie ever since I can remember. I should have realized, though. My heart always knows.

After the kiss, Elijah and I sit and have a conversation that begins peacefully enough. But the clock spins from ten to nine, and the discussion grows more heated, more tangled and angry.

I tell him, with certainty, "Always."


"I love you," I say.

Elijah isn't soothed. "Why did you even start with me if you knew I wasn't what you wanted?"

"You always knew I wanted a family someday."

We talk, and talk, and talk, but all our words only increase the misunderstandings between us. He tears his hands away from mine and we grow more and more unhappy with one another, til we part bitterly.

I go to Evie and she comforts me, holds me. We make love, and I'm strengthened. I hate being estranged from Elijah like this, after such a strong and lasting friendship; we have been so close, ever since we were old. Evie supports and encourages me. Still, it casts a pall.

And the shadows only darken after that. Evie and I begin to erase a television show together. At long last our hobby coincides. But somehow, through sharing this experience, we slowly become less certain of each other. After all these years, we grow apart.

We move out of our shared house, each to our own apartments, and though I hope the separation will be temporary, the path is clear. My heart pangs with wanting her, but we drift away from one another until we only share a few glances, significant, loaded with all the weight of the years we've spent together.

Once every episode of the show is eradicated, we go our separate ways. I never see her again.


After such heights, I'm brought low. It's as though I have to pay for a lifetime of happiness with misery now. My one constant is Billy, and I rely on him heavily. I thirst for his visits and drink up his time greedily when he's with me. But he has Ali and film-erasing pursuits of his own, and my pride won't let me demand more from him, even now that I am all alone.

It's a hard time, and it seems to go on and on, until I'm afraid that this is all, that I'll be alone like this until I leave the world. I've lost Evie forever. I'm alienated from Elijah. My heart grows more and more obsessed with him, dwelling on visions.

If these things are truly to come, then he's the second great love of my life, no less important for coming later, no less true for lasting such a shorter stretch of time. After all, I am younger every day; every moment brings me that much closer to my birth. I feel the brevity of my life more acutely now, not like those leisurely days when I saw my span unfolding for decades before me, when I felt as though I would live almost forever. I know better now.

My time is finite, my time is running out, my time is more precious than ever. Even a few short months with Elijah now would mean so much. I burn for him.


And then one day I'm swiftly walking, the scenery regressing with each step, and my feet are on a path that has haunted my heart's silent visions all my life.

I slam open Elijah's door, and the doorknob removes a hole from the wall. He stands there unfolding his arms, his mouth set. I confront him with all my dissatisfaction, all my loneliness and desperation. He retorts sharply, and we get all the rage out of our systems.

With only a few miraculous minutes of harsh words, we unsnarl the conflicts and anguish between us, til at last I can come to him and sit with him on his sleek leather sofa, and hold him close.

After those lonely years this is such a reprieve, this passion for him. His warmth, his smile, the easy flex of his arms around me. The smoothness of his clear pale skin, the fringed shadow of his lashes on his cheeks. His ripe pink mouth and strong deft hands. I never want to let him go.


As it turns out, Elijah and I have more than a few short months together. We last for years; too short at that, but sweet.

We mend all our conflicts, large and small. We explain to each other why we couldn't be together until now: he was unwilling to commit to one person, I wanted a family, neither of us were willing to give up our ambitions for film-voiding for more time together. These talks occasion some regrets, some tears. But once they're resolved, by tacit agreement, we don't bring them up anymore.

I never dreamed I'd be this happy again, but I am. My heart is happy, I'm filled with simple bliss. My life now is streamlined, uncomplicated, as it hasn't been since all my joy came from sitting in a garden in the sun.

I'm responsible for nothing but myself. My concerns are facile, my desires easily met. I have always made money by selling and stocking goods; these days I work mostly at music shops, accepting money in exchange for CDs that I carefully put back in their proper places on the racks.

Elijah and I make love with an unmatched vigor, trading ecstatic doses of semen almost daily, sometimes twice or three times a day. The love I feel for Elijah is ferocious, intense. My heart is full with it. I have so little time left. It's so important to me to have this, to savor it.

With everything I've lost, I'm more aware now of all the little things, the small traces that I eliminate, the repairs I inflict.

I take a set of lights down and we sell them to Futurama. Piece by piece I help him cart his sleek, tasteful furniture to the shops. I use my barbell to smooth out a dent from the floor. I take little welts off Elijah's skin with my teeth.

I would like to leave a sign, some trace that I was here. Something that makes my mark more uniquely than all these small improvements. But things don't work that way.


Elijah and I attend the premiere of The Return of the King, where we reunite with the friends we have only seen scattered for so long. The parties and festivities go on for weeks. Our mouths fountain champagne into glass after glass. Billy and I are even closer now, no mean feat.

People clamor outside the theater after this final screening, shrieking; it was the last ever chance to see the movie. The crowds are all too aware that soon we will expunge all three films. As we retreat from the cinema down the red carpet, hundreds of them scream at us and run away.

The following summer, we begin the long process of erasing the trilogy. This is the most complicated of any erasure yet, and my heart is more thrilled by it than any other. How I love all my fellow eradicators. What a fellow-feeling we share. I suppose my heart longs to participate in this as an ultimate challenge, after a lifetime of practice at this strange art.

In these days, sometimes I wear a jacket that reads across the back, "DESTRUCTION IS CREATION"-- finally stating the philosophy that has seemed to inform this film-erasing lark for so long.

Then I fulfill the slogan literally. I spread the jacket on the floor of Elijah's apartment, lay a stencil on it, and use a spray can to suck the words off the fabric. He watches me with interest, inhaling smoke from the air and breathing it out, condensing it into a clove cigarette.


Premieres and summers come and go. Elijah and I are busy; we part and return to one another a few times, little rifts that smooth over easily enough when we're together again.

Then we arrive in New Zealand, preparing for the bulk of the work on the trilogy. There is so much work to do, so many people swarming to do it.

The film is cut apart from its original state, music and dialogue stripped from the soundtrack, special effects removed with powerful computers. We actors arrive at the sets late in the evening and spend hours matching and zeroing out every single frame.

It takes more than a year of dogged persistence before all those many, many reels of film sit quiet and empty in their canisters.

Then we train to forget all the combat arts we used during the film-erasing. We efface our notes from the scripts, and the different versions of our lines fade from memory as we repeat them. Props are eroded and destroyed, costumes rent to swaths of fabric.

As with Evie, Elijah and I grow less and less close throughout all this. I'm steeled for it this time, I'm resigned. It's happened with so many people by now that I've grown used to it.

My heart surges when I leave Elijah those last few times, but we are not in love any longer, only affectionate; and then we are only cordial, and then we don't speak much at all.

The exception to this sad pattern is Billy. Billy and I are the best and closest of friends til the very end.

After a few exchanges of jokes on that last day, Billy and I are as attached as ever, and only a bit less intimate. We ease apart swiftly and peacefully after a lifetime as each others' touchstones.

We hug one last time, and clasp hands.

The next day, I leave New Zealand for Manchester.


I spend a few years erasing other, smaller films, and another television show. I pay the audience at the theater; a pittance compared to what I used to pay out to erase films. It's a lively pursuit, and my heart thrills each time we finish another performance and the curtain comes down.

My heart is more changeable than ever, more fickle. I accept spunk from a few more men and women, but these are trifling engagements. It becomes clear as I thin down and begin to lose what middling height I had that the most important events of my life are behind me. The rest is denouement.

I'm put in school. It seems to be mainly a way to keep me occupied, to distract me from the inevitable end. But I suppose it is important to keep learning all through life. Unwriting my lessons, I try to make sense of it all as I wind down to the end of things.

I pursue girls and boys, little loves. These flings fill up my heart with a false sense of significance. Each romance is brief and exciting and soon over; these are like matches compared to the candles I've known before. Matches flaring against the darkness of what's to come.

I can't help but think dourly of my future. My heart rushes gladly toward oblivion, but I'm afraid of birth, of what will come after, when my infant body will wane to a foetus, to a cluster of cells, and then nothing.

In one class, a boy gives a book report. My heart pays little mind, turning toward the short skirts of yet another girl, another matchlight love. But I listen, I read the excerpt in the formbook attentively as best I can as my eyes trail over it indifferently.

The story he recites involves Merlin the magician. Plainly on the page, the words say that Merlin lived his life in reverse: Merlin lived from death to birth.

In reverse.

I'm rapidly coming to the end of my time, and suddenly I'm left questioning everything. I ignore my heart's antics and think it over.

Am I going backwards? Does the world make any more sense the other way around? There have been so many things that I found strange, but I thought I had sussed them out, or else I took them in stride. After all, there is possibly someone in charge who works in mysterious ways. And I am a creature of impulse. I follow my heart.

It begins to make a certain sense to me, though. Part of me journeys this path from death to birth; another part of me, my heart, travels from birth to death. I am like a stream of water rushing, with eddies that flow in the opposite direction. The path is set, a groove in the earth, no matter which way the water runs: destiny.

My heart drivels and dallies. I meditate on what the world would be like if I put one foot in front of the other, if I swallowed food instead of spitting it up and sculpting it whole with my teeth and tongue. I think those trips to the loo are a bit distasteful in either direction, to be frank.

I feel as though the very fact that I've discovered this revelation proves its truth. I was meant to learn this. It makes me serene as I go on losing height and weight. The ground looms ominously nearer and nearer, but I am flowing one way; the eddies are speeding the other way, and in that direction, I am getting taller. It all depends how you look at it.


I begin to dream in another language. At school I become more eager, more clownish, less secure. I need badly for the other kids to like me, to think of me fondly, because soon I'm going away.

We leave England for Deutschland, where the speech of my dreams is common parlance. I use both tongues freely. My parents have very good timing; whenever I begin to feel awkward and shy around my schoolmates, my family moves again to a new place where the other children are affectionate and convivial. In this and a million other small ways, my parents do everything possible to make me comfortable in my last days.

I'm smaller, small. Mum is the strongest presence in my life, like Audra at the beginning. Where I go now, Audra has already been for decades. That makes it easier to face as well.

Objects have a certain safety, a constance. In the beginning, or was it the end, I had my cane with me always. Now I have a blanket. I had the cane to prop me up, now I have the blanket to lay me down. Maybe I experience life the wrong way around, but things do make sense in my direction.

For years I was afraid, but not anymore. What's coming upon me is only destiny, after all. And I take comfort that for my heart, what I approach is the beginning. The water flows both ways, unending.

I feel myself fading, but gently, gently. I am laid in my crib. I am surrounded by love. I am losing myself as my heart comes awake for the first time.

And now I am only waiting; waiting for yesterday to become my heart's tomorrow. Waiting for time to come around again.

Back to the remixes