Friday, November 16, 2012

The Rabbit Man




No one uses watches anymore. No one uses clocks. No one hears the time. The tick. The tack.

And still I hear it: Click-clock.

Ever since I saw him disappear inside the tunnel of the Wujiaochang station. Ever since he turned around and looked back at me from beneath that massive glass and metal construction. People were loudly living and moving about. The cars and the smoke and the sounds of construction permeated everything around us. My hair was flying wildly around my face. The undecided wind kept changing direction. It was as if fate didn't know where to settle.

He looked back, and his expression was punctured with a tinge of sadness. Was it hesitation? It was as if he realized something all of a sudden. I like to think that he made one step back in my direction- but it doesn't matter if he did or not. Either way, the electric stairway was carrying him down into the tunnel already. He let himself be swallowed by the metallic darkness. The floor rose like the sea level along his figure, and in one instant, he was gone.

I always wonder: What did he see when he looked back? A girl in the middle of a loud city staring silently at him. A girl with crazy hair. A girl. I am sure he saw a girl, because I wasn't a woman then.

I was staring so intently that I froze his image in that moment of hesitation. He is fixed to that place like a ghost, like the negative of a picture that I reproduce in a different way each time I recycle the memory. I twist and bend every feature, adding colors and sounds that were never there.

I don't know where I am right now. All I can see is this fantasy.

He is standing there again, but the electric staircase isn't moving. He is mercifully still. He pulls ouf a pocket watch, and looks at me with that same sad look. He remains there for a while, with the pocket watch in his hand. He is not even looking at it; he is looking at me. He is not saying anything, and it's as if he were letting the clock speak for itself. Everything else is eerily silent. The incessant buzzing of Wujiochang has died out. Here only we exist: him and I, and the silence.

I look at his watch, and I listen. Even though it is meters away from me I can hear the sound of each tick as if it were connected to an amplifier.

Tick- Tack.



I can't move, there is no wind, time has been suspended, but still the noise persists. That ghost stares at me; that ghost with the stormy eyes and the rabbit ears. And we remain there, not moving, not existing. We both listen to the eternal ticking. I can barely see the hands of the golden clock moving slowly in the distance, but then as I focus my gaze it expands and envelops the whole picture. All I can see now are its eternally slothful golden hands. The beginning of each tick seems miserably slow, like the blade of a pendulum, and then towards the end it slams into each second like a gavel, sealing fate.

It wears me out, that ticking. It makes me wonder if I really stopped chasing rabbits down rabbit holes.

After so much time, after so much time. I keep running through a huge mansion of closed doors, and every time I open one of the doors, it leads me back here. I keep opening and closing, going inside a hundred rooms that are all exactly the same, but after every new door I manage to unlock I am back in the same place. There is nothing here for me. Why am I here again?

That ticking. That hellish ticking noise. How can I get it to stop?

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