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Three Voices

The escape hatch was locked. All the doors had been sealed with ear wax. Time dripped in rivulets between the bricks. Soon the place would be swimming with furniture. Soon they'd be straining their necks at the ceiling like guppies coming up for a feeding. 
An immense tragedy had taken place right there on the dance floor just minutes before. His two steps to her one had threatened to put a virus into the universal computation. A vision of the great contriety had persuaded the other couples to leave the scene immediately. That was when the leaks began and he mounted her, further breaking the fundamental law separating....
Fuck this, he thought. I feel sick. He decided right then and there to go visit his mother. A stab of guilt turned his finger tips into buzzing wires. He hadn't seen her in God knows how long. And when would a moment of such clarity come again? 
It was four in the morning. For sure she'd be home. He bought a metro card, two rides. At the stop where he had to change trains, a vendor was still open. A Pakistani with high cheek bones and long lashes. He stuffed the little gift into a brown paper bag and gave change. Never make visits empty handed. The boy had been well enough raised. 
“I'd like you to know,” he began after hustling his mother out of bed -- she sat shivering at the kitchen table. “I'd like you to know the simplest facts because there are facts -- no matter what your professors told you in illo tempore.” He placed the paper bag on the table. Its contents moved slightly to one side creating an arpeggio of crumpling sounds. Then it rested in stillness.
“Don't pay attention,” he told her, “listen to me.” The bag moved again, but he went on. “I will sing you a song.” And, closing his eyes, he sang to her of many things; his childhood, twilight when the sun and moon agree to lower their lights and allow a child the illusion he's grabbed the stage, climbing a tree and wondering why anyone would do this insane thing, the pleasure of large black snails and their inhospitable front doors. He sang and the thing inside the bag moved again.  
"Shall we cut the crap?" said his mother. "It's five in the morning. And I have a job tomorrow." "No kidding? You're still working?" said the son, genuinely surprised. Her retirement benefits were substantial. A great deal can be paid for silence.   "Who’s the lucky fellow?" asked the son. The mother pulled a photograph out of her bag. They studied it together. An ordinary man. A bit Jewish looking. In his early sixties perhaps. Hard to say. "Now I'll be exhausted of course and slower thanks to you. The slower, the more terror -- more time for them to release all sorts of adrenals and God knows what else and makes me crazy for a day or two. And I'm talking climbing-the-walls crazy. My sleep, forget it, my sleep'll be wrecked. Medicaid has cut back -- I'm down to five hundred milligrams a night. Sudden awakenings like this are to be avoided like the plague.”

Sudden. Sudden awakenings. The phrase put his mind in freeze frame. No maybe before or during. No reconsidering. "Sudden" was the slap at the end of Tenebrae, Bam! When Christ performs the one true Opus Contra Naturam and returns from death to life. Not in time, never in time. But who, besides one born of such a father steps out of time?  And suddenly he knew that, for him, there would be no Opus Contra Naturam, no return, no second or tenth chance though he had bet everything on it, everything. For him there would only be the slow journey into failure he had begun with his first steps. He saw himself blinded by the unbroken sunlight of the just-what-is, walking into the who-knows-where and shedding, as he goes, all the imagery he'd hoarded over a lifetime. And behind him, the trail of words fallen on the hard earth, white and 
curling up from dryness. 
In desperation, he reached into the bag and lifted out the gift. A Jackson lizard. "Are you out of your mind?" screamed the mother. "This creature needs rain forest conditions!" The lizard stood quite still on the kitchen table, adjusting it's periscopic eyes to take in the mother, on one side, the son on the other. The steam heat banged through the radiator, the lizard sighed with the quiet dignity of a doctor facing his own mortality. Each eye adjusted focus on its subject. Mother and son stared into their respective eye. Mother and son slid down the converging lines of the lizard's twin perspectives, turning upside down with precision and terminating in the deep recesses of the amphibian mind. Each had been taken into custody for his own protection. 
How long they stayed, the three of them, motionless at the kitchen table, no one knows for sure. It was reported by the building super who swept the hallways that a strange singing was heard from time to time. Three voices.