Brutalist Stories #7
...And I still feel you.
“Here, at the end of all things, and I still feel you. I’ve lost you, over and over again, so many times. Countless faces through the infinite, the same person, the one I was searching for…” he went silent, looking up to the light piercing the crumbling concrete, the sky outside on fire.
“Tired, so tired of all this. I’ve held on, through it all, to the last, always knowing this is where it ends. Always holding on to the idea you would be here, and over and over again, left alone.” He closed his eyes and felt the dust raining down him as he raised his arms above his head and cupped his hands to the sky. Collecting those ashen flakes of the place he’d built to come back to, to store himself and everything, to rise again and to hope.
“There was hope, there was always the idea of hope. No matter how many times we had to repeat all this. These lives played over and over, hoping that one day the computation would work. That once, just once, things would quietly align and I would be able to stand here with you next to me, with your hand in mine. To see it crumble but to have each other to hold onto, to never have to repeat it again.”
He fell to his knees as the tears rolled and the fire outside raged, his heart pounding against the inside of his chest. The ash growing thicker, the light getting darker. “But it is empty. Everything is empty and I’m here again, alone at the end with nothing and no one to hold onto. I can’t do it again. I don’t know how I can possibly do it again.”
The fire exploded across the sky and pulverised the concrete ceiling, collapsing and raining down on him, crushing his body. Slabs devastating his flesh and bone and as one last breath hammered its way out of his chest, his scream rang through into the darkness and the end came.
“And we start again.” He rose, looking at his hands, flexing his jaw and gritting his teeth. “And I still feel you.”
Building inspiration: St. Agnes Church (Berlin)