A. J. stares at his precious means of salvation with absent eyes. He’s alone on his bed, alone with himself and his confused thoughts. He can’t think straight anymore. Not even his poems are willing to help him. The words flee his mind, leaving a blank spot behind them, leaving foggy thoughts and memories. He knows he is losing his head, even though he can still see the moon shining through the clouds. Even though he can see the stars. He can no longer listen to the words they whisper through the thin air. There is no longer a meaning. And he knows why: his Muse is dead.
A. J. closes his absent eyes for a few seconds. He remembers her soft, white skin. Her lips always left half-open, as if they are about to reveal an unspeakable truth. Her piercing eyes, eager to look and discover. He remembers her laugh, deep and contagious. A laugh that can trespass the insurmountable gates of darkness and bring light wherever it’s gone.
His repressed memories come back to life, no matter how hard he has tried to put them away, no matter how often his father has told him to move on.
Arianna walks slowly on his right. Her red lips are curled into an amused grimace, when she listens to A. J. reciting one of his poems. He has picked his best one because he wants to impress her. The poem is about love and the loneliness of humanity. It’s about the universe and chance. Arianna laughs lightly. She doesn’t believe in destiny. She knows everything is the result and consequence of something else. A. J. doesn’t understand what she’s talking about, but he nods and can’t avoid staring at her white skin and lively eyes. When she stops, she looks at him and understands he has fallen in love. When he kisses her, his heart beats furiously into his chest. His stomach contorts like a dry leaf fallen from a tree in September. The movement of her soft and wet lips makes him fly above the shiny clouds.
A. J. suddenly opens his eyes. He’s panting. He can’t breath. The memories, the memories… He can no longer think and remember. He wants to lift that unbearable weight crushing his chest. He wants to be over. He wants to reach her, wherever she is gone.
A. J. grabs the whiskey bottle. His hands are trembling. His heart nosily pumps blood into his veins, as if it wants to cry its hymn to life and survival. He swallows and swallows and swallows. Liquid and pills, liquid and pills. His body asks him to stop, and, finally, its request is met.
Darkness. Thick, palpable, black. No noise. No sound. No smells. Where is Arianna? Where is his Muse? He can’t see, but he can feel she’s close. He tries to stretch his arm. He wants to touch her. Where is Arianna? Darkness. Thick, palpable, black.
THUMP. “Come on, come on! One more time, one more time!” THUMP.
A. J. can hear voices shouting all around him. They fill his ears. But he wants silence. He needs that silence.
“He’s back! He’s back! Come one, boy! Open your eyes! Open your eyes!”
Why are they shouting? What are they saying? Where is Arianna? He knows she must be there. She must be.
A. J. faintly opens his eyes. The light is strong and unbearable. Everything is confused and blurred. And who are all those people hurrying around him? He needs the darkness. He has asked for the darkness.
“You’re alive, young boy! You don’t worry about anything, now.”