chewing your cremains


This is the story of Beatrix Kondo and the opium smokers.


Languid, beautiful people with flawless posture. Poetic necklines. Admirable decadence. They hate Beatrix, for the very good reason that she isn't as good as them.


"This beauty you see in us," they complain, "is false. We wear this earthly garment only till it rots, like fruit out of season." Beatrix realizes that 'this earthly garment' signifies their bodies.


"Oh, what can you know?" they complain dismissively. "What have you felt of the burdens of mortality? Thy life, lost, were not lost at all. Knowest thou the tenth part of the anguish of the lovely?" One calls her hasslich. The others nod and smoke again, earnestly.


"The body," declaims one, "is a box of water." The others nod and smoke again.


"There is a lyricism," offers one, "in the leaching away of youthful charm." He is a maverick; the others regularly ignore him; but this time his invocation of lyricism has struck a chord. The others nod and smoke again.


Beatrix dares to interject: "Were I religious I would pray: 'God rob me of all I love; tear every joy from me; cast me into incalculable misery, so that my suffering doth wax beyond mortal endurance―for then shall I begin to deserve what I have lost.'"


Then she waits for a response. A reaction of any kind. One of the smokers kicks her from behind. She falls down.


With her face on the ground, surrounded by enemies, Beatrix forgets it all. She gazes down into the dirt. She digs a bit of earth up with her fingers, and under it she sees frost needles. Frost needles. Perfectly formed, though if she hadn't looked at them, it's likely no one ever would have.