I alighted from the bus, into a glaring sun stroked street and sat upon a short red bricked wall. There was a person with me, but she kept staying behind me, as if not wanting me to see her. I kept it that way, allowed her to remain detached, aloof, a shadow.
The old magazines were falling apart in my hands and I knew secrets and traditions were encoded in these seemingly commercial, late 70's trash. I remember buying them from an Indian man, who sold second hand books and torn magazines from another era. He hung up those mags like laundry on a line, using wooden clothes pins. His shop, above an open air market, was hot and cluttered with discarded books. These were magical texts, masquerading as paranoia magazines and Gossip and pulp. The pages were yellow, the smell of dust strong.
I arranged them in my hands, in some kind of cryptic sequence, as if the right combination would activate something deep and mysterious.
I do not remember my walk home with the girl behind me but when we returned to my old house, we were already carrying something very different.
It was small, but not built for a child. It was as if we had grown much larger, like giants, and I remember laying the coffin down along the wooden cabinets beneath my window in my room.
Was I afraid of the dead?
I sat behind a table, as if it was a protector, distancing me from the corpse. Somehow my friend was communicating with me in my mind, telling me not to be afraid, telling me that we've done this before.
She was hardly seen, never by my side or in front of me. Always behind me, watching and talking over my shoulder. She went out of the room, to see to her friends who were coming over for a birthday party. Whose, I wasn't sure.
I was left alone with the coffin. Its lid was partially opened, and I dared not look inside. I didn't dare look at a dead body.
Somehow, time passed between blinks. Long stretches of time gone.
And the lid of the coffin was now wide open before me. Cast aside, I didn't know where. Inside was an Indian man, in a light blue t-shirt and dark shorts. I could see yellow flowers scattered around him. Perhaps, he was the man who sold me the magazines.
The sun was blazing through my window and I knew the light that shone in was breaking down his body.
The coffin was shuddering by an unseen force, as if we were on a boat upon a choppy sea. The movement dislodged the dead man's leg, unplugged from his upper body. The leg rolled about in the lower part of the box and I could see white stuffing sticking out of the hole at his torso.
I then appeared outside in the hall, watching the friends come in. One of them, a lesbian woman who always had short hair, arrived with gifts in a white plastic bag. Her hair was straight and long. Beautiful. She was dressed in black and looked very attractive. Perhaps the birthday party was really a wake.
I returned to the room, looking into the coffin. A great burst of energy with no light transformed the man, suddenly and without warning. In the coffin lay various quarts crystals, elongated, thick, with hues of red and orange and yellow. Fire colors. Tones of the sun.
The dead man had turned into something clear and mystical.
Objects of strange and foreign powers.