III.

"And I will die all alone. And when I arrive I won't know anyone."

("What's he doing? What's he saying now?"
"He's praying. To Jesus Christ. Jesus Christus.")

All the Germans out there laugh and in my demented state I think if I scream real loud He'll probably hear me better.

"Well, Jesus Christ, I'm alone again! So what did you do those three days you were dead?!"

My body remembers and all the blood rushes to my head and I stumble against the wall. I grab for the ceiling and slide down the concrete wall.

'cause this problem's going to last… more than the weekend.

I wake up on my back on the ground because they're making slamming noises against the door again and I yell at them to shut up because I'm talking to Jesus Christ and they all laugh again. My body remembers and it wants to throw up again, except there's nothing left to throw up, just blood and guts. I go out black again and they make me wake up again and indeed, there is blood all over my shirt. My chest goes up and down. Up and down.

"Well, Jesus Christ, I'm not afraid to die," I whisper. "I'm a little bit scared of what comes after."

Do I get the gold chariot? Do I float up the ceiling?

The Germans keep banging on the door, asking if the Englishman is okay, and laughing—because they think I can't understand them, but I'm smarter than they know, I can understand them—I can also speak German too actually pretty good but maybe not because the last time I tried that they kept—until I stopped.

"Do I divide and fall apart?" I whisper, "'cause my bright is too slight to hold back all my dark?"

I trace a little star on the ground.

It reminds me of flying a bit. Like even when I was a kid, I used to do that. Back on the farm, haha. Send me out to get firewood and there they'd find me, hours and hours later, crouching down on a stump with a completely serious look on my face. Flapping my arms up and down, up and down. With a completely serious look on my face. These days mostly what I do is repeat my name: Hi, I'm Eli. Hi, I'm Eli. I'm a royal pilot in the Royal Airforce. I'm Eli. I'm Lucifer. Aeroplanes were never really the same thing.

All of a sudden there's a different noise out there. That little respectful sound, that straightening-up-of-their-shit sound. But I don't remember how the words go, because honestly I've never prayed in my life before.

"And this ship went down in the sight of land."

He's praying to Jesus, they tell him. Except it's not funny this time. It's never funny when this guy is around.

"And at the gates does Thomas ask to see my hands?"

It's a strange German echo out there, with the translator mirroring my words.

"I know you come in the night like a thief. But I've had some time alone to perfect my lying technique.
"I know you think that I'm someone you can trust. But I'm scared I'll get scared, and I swear I'll try to nail you back up."

I can tell he's done listening, out there. The bolts are moving. I clasp my hands and scream as loud as I can:

"So do you think we could work out a sign? So I'll know it's you and it's over so I won't even try?
"I know you'll come for people like me. But we all got wood and nails! We all got wood and nails! We all got wood and nails!"

The door opens.


With lyrics from Brand New — The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me