Category Archives: 2013-03-25 to 2013-04-07 – Black, Dust
Experience weighs upon the soul like black dust.
Youth is filled with fresh clarity; the scales of decision are unburdened by memory. What little knowledge we have of the world is easily measured and instantly evaluated. Each decision an obvious consequence of our understanding. Our bemused elders seem unable to grasp the plainest argument. As if lost in a hall of mirrors they point at subtle reflections and miss the obvious truth.
But as the youth rant the elders gently smile.
They see the black dust settling, each moment a new grain of experience: invisible, undistinguished and unnoted. It settles near evenly on both sides of every scale. Each day it gathers: the complex, tiny motes of worldly knowledge. Each decision is infinitesimally harder and marginally more complex than those that came before. Those subtle motes of who we were yesterday must be measured against who we are today, everyday.
Experience weighs upon my soul like black dust. Is this what they call wisdom?
I prime the musket before I round the corner, just to be prudent. Caskets and bales of hay. As expected. But no guards. That is not as expected. I can hear the constables patrolling a few streets away, so I cross the cobbles at a fair clip, keeping myself low to the ground, and to the shadows.
The solid oak door leading into the tavern stands ajar. I glance around behind me before slipping through the gap and into the warm glow cast by the oil lamps.
In the middle of the room is a single table. A solitary pigskin purse sits on it, looking heavy with its fill. I pick it up, open the drawstrings, and peer inside. Some manner of dust, black in colour. I sniff it, trying to catch its smell, and immediately my eyes water and my head spins. Darkness closes in quickly from all sides.
* * *
I slide a fresh clip into the 9, clear the chamber. I eyeball around the corner. Couple of boxes and bin bags, but no security. Thought there would at least be a rent-a-cop doing rounds. Sirens bounce off the concrete and around a few corners towards me, so I sneak across the street away from them.
The edges of the security gate are bent and bashed. The lock sits in pieces of the ground. I shoot a glance behind me, then head into the room with the cold blue bulbs.
A green plastic box sits on a brushed steel table. I open the box. It’s filled with black dust. I lick a finger, dip it in, and try a taste. Wow. That’s… I feel a blackout coming on.