A rainbow, broken.

It was then we asked ourselves. "Were we ever good people?", "Did we do as much as we could before turning into stone golems?", "Should we have been more gracious, less pitiful in our sorrows?".

It was then we regretted not having regretted further. It was then, at that moment in the space-time continuum, we realized how torn asunder we became. It was too late but we tried to make it too soon. Because maybe perhaps things could have been will be might be different. Because grief shouldn't be an ocean, and in any event oceans shouldn't be salty, they should be sugary to make up for all the ugliness.

It was then we remembered words forgotten, words never spoken, words that made sense before but lost their meaning while traversing the skies. It was then we remembered promises broken and kept, and dreams as detailed as embroidered wooden tulips, and looking up to the heavens hoping for whatever comes next, come what may and all that jazz, but then all we thought about was "were we ever good people?". No wooden flowers. Just acid rain. We remember Jay Williams, Ashley Jackson and people who slowed time down for us, when we had time to be slowed down for us, when time was not of the essence and had barely any place in us. It was then, as the moon rose and the sun set over the hill, we remembered Jay's thundering smoothness, "look out for your souls, they'll come back to claim what's rightfully theirs", as he guided the boat through the river, I can't remember if it was the Hudson or the Styx, if he was Jay the trumpet-player or Charon the rudder-singer. I just remember that back then I was we and you were we. And Jay whistled Kind of Blue while we thought of words unspoken, we tried to invent words, we tried to give names to fireflies, and Jay sang all over, and we were alone in the night but we never felt fuller.

It was then we understood Oppenheimer. It was then we became death, the destroyer of worlds, this world we built over entire lifecourses, we resurrected and suspended time just to build it, then we dropped the "L" word, we became lost. And Ashley remembered us like two little orbs dancing, naming fireflies and deluding ourselves into eternity. Ashley knew better. We should have asked her if we were ever good people. I don't think we were. I wasn't. For all the flags waved, and all the chanting, and all the writing, let us change the world, let us bring utopia to the masses, let us quote Wilde and wax philosophical as we believe deeply in the revolution of angels dropping on earth, wings clipped but voices like heaven, they might be bearded but they bring good news, we're consuming ourselves for something, all is not lost, though we didn't comprehend at that time that for nothing to be lost all must be left behind, and we believed, oh how we believed, but that didn't stop us from thrusting the universe forward a thousand years and standing there and then, asking if we have ever been good people, decent people, people who are built statues and whose adventures are told in fables, people who are to be taught in schools even though kids don't give a shit about us.

It was then we understood that we never felt welcome and that in order to feel welcome, we needed to stop feeling wanted. We needed to stop feeling. We needed to be better and stronger. We needed to be impervious and believe blindly, without sorrow, iron wills without love, because love is petty and kills eventually, it's a good drug, a lovely drug pun intended although not required, but it kills and should be forbidden to those of us who believe, who believe until it hurts, until it breaks us, and then I remember Jay's thunder, "your soul will return to claim its due; you can't sell it to a higher good; Casy and Joad are right, you don't have a soul, you're the guardian of a small, minuscule bit of a larger soul", just as he banked the boat leftward, the sea is almost there, now I'm reaching conscious thought, and I know grief is going to set me on fire, because I will rewrite this moment of then in a book of sand and carry it with me, I will carry it in my heart and still question my vengeance-seeking soul whether I was good people, whether I did good enough, whether I fought long and hard enough. I know the answer, we knew then the answer, when you suddenly slipped into the sugary ocean and I never saw you again. Ashley threw herself into the sky, then into the dark water, and Jay stood oblivious to it all, whistling "A Change is Gonna Come" like Sam Cooke reborn, and I kept on regretting turning into a stone golem. She disappeared. Perhaps I wanted this. Perhaps you wanted this. Perhaps I should blame it on you, since it was you who slipped, even if it was I who always felt unwelcome, even my footprints said sorry, my eyes always trying to run away in shame, even if my voice thundered with rage against injustice; the bottomless pit of our own personal darkness was always there and I had fell so deeply that nothing I did would ever rescue me, unless I saw beyond the dark and closed my eyes into light. Then it would fade and become a sugary ocean. The one you slipped into.

It was then we forgot about everything because we had the power to remember. It was then we hated each other because we remembered how to cherish each other again. It was then we let go because we understood the difference between love and clinging. It was then I understood that I will never see two skies again, because when you watch the stars with someone you always look at several rays of light at once and hence it is impossible to see a single sky and single stars, it is always multiple skies and, because of that, a memory we can never complete without exchanging words or looks. If you had died, I would never be complete again, if only because right there we merged into a single memory, unrepetant.

But now we stand, just before you slip into a sugary ocean, just after we forgot everything because we had remembered it, asking "were we ever good people?"

I wasn't. Not good enough. Not close enough. Not hard enough. I was a rainbow, broken.