our honeymoon

Mar 21 2013

i had packed my husband John away in our traveling chest in the corner, and when i had closed the lid he had been sleeping peacefully, but when i wondered why he had not woken up i had opened it and had seen that he had died.

this was supposed to be our honeymoon on a luxury cross country train, but after we had boarded, we had quickly discovered that the train was meant for cattle, and we were locked in. the cars were just big empty boxes with some straw scattered in them. our carriage was open at either end as i assumed they all were, and there was nothing to stop other passengers from walking in and out if they chose to, regardless of whether we were fucking, or shitting. the walls were not even closed properly, they were made out of broad planks immovably fixed to a heavy frame, and the outside air was rushing in everywhere. we had joked that we could at least look at the landscape through the gaps, but i had not seen the sunlight in many days and the train appeared to be traveling into an eternal night.

i shook John and called to him to try to get him to wake up but i was confronted with the infinity of his death. i could shake him forever and he would not awaken. i could search forever for him in his body but i would never find him. he was simply no longer inside it; he was gone forever.

i realised that i had thrown all of our possessions out of the train when i had put John in the chest. i had pushed them through the spaces between the slats of the walls, i suppose in an agony of grief, or just for something to do. it didnt seem to matter anymore anyway since now that John was dead his body would have to remain in the chest. his body seemed massive in death, even larger than it had in life. the chest would be occupied entirely by his corpse, there was no room for anything else. John had become part of the luggage; he had become the luggage itself.

from the corner of my eye, i saw a figure standing in the connection to the next car. it was the first time i had seen another person on the train, apart from John. “excuse me,” i said, “i need help. my husband has died.” the figure fled into the next car.

when i entered that car, i saw the figure at the other end of it, again standing in the connection to the car after. this time i recognised that the figure was John and i called to him. “John, you are alive, youre alive John!” he was as handsome as ever and i was so happy to see him. i ran towards him but he disappeared again. i followed him like this through carriage after carriage until i lost count. “John,” i called, “i am so sorry for packing you in the chest, i would never have done it if i had known you would die.” he knew i was trying to reach him and i demanded that he stop running from me but he would not listen. i realised that there were too many carriages on this train, many more carriages than i had seen before we boarded, and we had not stopped since then, so i could not explain it. the train could stretch on forever for all i knew. it did in fact appear to go on forever.

i was out of breath and sick with chasing John so i sat down in the straw in the carriage i had reached. i realised that i had still seen no other person, apart from John, who was at this point as before peering at me silently from the connection to the next carriage. looking about myself, i saw that in the corner of this car, just like the car John and i had originally boarded, was a large traveling chest, identical in appearance to that owned by John and i. out of curiosity, i approached the chest, and opened it.

John’s body was inside this chest also. i twisted his neck so that i could see his face, and i thumbed open his eyes to make sure that it was him. i would know John’s eyes anywhere and these eyes certainly belonged to John. i closed the lid on his body.

after glancing at the figure of John that was already moving to the next carriage in anticipation of my pursuit, i moved back into the carriage i had come from. in this carriage too, was a chest identical to our own chest, and in this chest again, i discovered John’s body. i became frantic, and ran back through carriage after carriage, rediscovering John’s body again and again. how had i failed to notice all of these chests, when i was chasing John? having lost track of the number of carriages i had passed through, i understood that i would never again be able to find John’s original, authentic body; it was lost amongst all of these other, identical bodies – perhaps an infinite quantity of them.

from the connection to the next carriage, John stared at me mutely.

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