Cologne of the Ghost

I sat in the broken window and looked out onto the burnt grass and the weeds; the sun was gone, the moon was gone, the stars were all gone; a blank, hollow shell of a world and this scratchy ticking in the background behind me and so I strolled across the creaking floorboards and met up with my ghost in the broken mirror hung crooked above an old dresser.

The needle on the record player beside me dug rhythmically into the last grooves of some wobbly, distorted album a century old; dusty glass bottles of old colognes were neatly placed on a cloth on top of the dresser, half empty and oily, I opened them up and smelled them – memories of daddy drown in the deep eye of the now bitter liquid.

A stirring wind rushed in through the broken windows, cutting itself on the jagged edges of glass and howling off through the paper walls in pain; something rattled the pots and pans in the kitchen down below and before I went to the stairs, I looked at myself in the mirror and suddenly I wasn’t there – the linoleum was curling and stained with dust and dead bugs who had come in for some type of shelter from the rain, the weeds outside had grown tall and unruly; an old dirty engine sat in the grass, beat to hell, old and used and rusting away… The breeze belted away and went howling off to the woods to hide and cry, to slither up the trunk of a tree and rocket off to space, to dissipate.

And I stood in the doorway, knowing I could never step outside again, destined to forever look out windows and watch the world lose itself in the waves of time… I cannot leave, I will never leave; I will forever wander this old, broken-down house, try to catch the wind before it so rudely rushes away. I’ll listen to the needle dig into the record for eons, I will smell daddy’s cologne until it completely evaporates, unlike me, I will never evaporate; I will forever be the blind reflection in the mirror, and I will wait painfully without food or sleep or company for heaven’s hand to finally sweep me away.

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