D as Death, Duration, and Deconstruction
“MY SOUL?” OUR FAUST MAY HAVE ANSWERED. “AND WHAT IF I HAD NO SOUL?” BUT PERHAPS IT
WAS NOT FOR AN INDIVIDUAL SOUL THAT MEPHISTOPHELES HAD INCONVENIENCED HIMSELF . “WITH
THE GOLD YOU WILL BUILD A CITY,” HE WAS SAYING TO FAUST. “IT IS THE ENTIRE CITY’S SOUL THAT I WANT IN EXCHANGE.”
The story of the death started from “once upon a time” is no longer in the story of man or
his memory. The death was once there, standing at the marble gate of the City and
waiting to collect the soul of the monument of man. The death never returns to the gate
because he understood that the city made out of marble is without a soul. Now, normally,
a story that begins with once upon a time will finish in “and lived happily ever after”, or
more practically “and they lived happily after until they died”. The oral tradition of
folktales and fairytales is ingenious in a sense that the storyteller always closes the
cellar door of wonderlands they are describing. The act of closing not only completes the
tale but also protect the land of wonder in storytime, that is, to keep the wonders of man
separate from his daytime. The act of telling a story then becomes a very specific ritual,
a ritual performed at night, where the sky is as clear as water.
The story of the death told by the storyteller was once upon a time a story that was not
yet a story. Once upon a time, the story of the death was in daytime. The death was once
there, standing at the marble gate of the City and waiting to collect the soul of the
monument of man. The death wondered around the wall erected around the City. The
wall of the glorious city is made out of marble. It is in a color as white as the moon. The
texture of it is like flesh of human. The veins hesitantly revealing its paths under the
skin of stone. The death was seduced by the earthly material. He stared at the wall while
he walked around it. Then he suddenly realized that it was night. The sun had set. Under
the soft whisper of moonlight, the wall became even more seductive, almost erotic to
him. He couldn’t restrain himself from the urge of touching the wall. Then he touched the
white wall made out of marble. The wall felt cold, and sharp. Now, the death was trapped
in his daytime that he had to performed his own actions responsibly. He is also trapped
in the storytime which I created temporarily along the words I am writing.
The death was disappointed. While he walked around the wall, he was amused by the
harmonious ratio between the wall and the ground, the carefully framed skyline, the
sublime beauty of stone. Then he felt the coldness of what the wall was. He turned away
from the cold city. The death slowly wandered back to the forest over the hill where he
came all the way from. Now he felt cold too after the time he spent with the city wall. He
is lonely under the vast sky that is as clear as water. He tried to look for stars but sadly
there wasn’t any. He then started to wonder in his own mind that it would be wonderful
if there was someone he could talk to. I want to paused the story for a little bit. While I
was writing, the death certainly had a life of his own that I can’t interfere, or more
precisely, I can’t interfere too much. The death has his own interpretation of his purpose
in life. Even when I paused the storytime I created, the daytime that the death is
currently living in, struggling with loneliness and coldness, is still happening. I wonder if
I need to proceed with telling the story of the death told by the storyteller before me.
Suddenly he saw something flickering in the distant forest. He also heard, from distance,
a sound similar to his heartbeat. It is a deep, accelerating sound that is calling him. He
forgot to wonder if he really had a heart. The death ran toward where the sound came
from. Then he saw the flickering light. It was a campfire. The flame is in colors of orange
Once upon a time, the story of the death told by the storyteller was once upon a
time a story that was not yet a story. Once upon a time, the death had flesh just like us.
The fire in the forest was where the death met all the other deaths. They talked to each
other, just like us talking to each other. They had sex with each other, just like us having
sex with each other. They started to have rules in the forest, just like us having rules in
the city. They started to have governance where some deaths ruled over other poorer,
less educated deaths. They started to judge each other, just like us judging each other.
Along the generation and generations of deaths, there were always deaths who, like me,
tried to tell the story that started with once upon a time.
“IN EACH OF THEM, INESCAPABLY, I PASSED BEYOND THE UNREALITY OF THE THING REPRESENTED, I
ENTERED CRAZILY INTO THE SPECTACLE, INTO THE IMAGE, TAKING INTO MY ARMS WHAT IS DEAD,
WHAT IS GOING TO DIE.”2
The duration of storytime is exactly like the duration of the time sealed in a photograph,
an image. The story of death was once upon a time alive yet the ritual of storytelling,
exactly like the ritual of taking a photograph, seals the living time of being into the realm
that is no longer physical, therefore no longer touchable by the death in the story. At this
particular point of the story of death I am trying to tell, I , or rather, you and I have to
make a certain decision as the one who tell the story and the one who listen to the story.
It is a decision very much like flipping a coin in the air. So the coin, preferably a golden
one, was flipped. While the golden coin was in the air, both you, and I have no power over
the result of the coin flip. What’s more mysterious is that neither you or I know what the
flipping of coin actually means. Furthermore, neither you or I know the result of the coin
flip and what it might imply. While the chances are in the air, lets proceed the story of
death that was once upon a time a story that is not yet a story.
The story of the death was not yet a story once upon a time, but now it’s the opposite, it’s
twice upon a time. The death, in the duration of his time, could not forego the beauty of
white stone that hesitantly revealing its paths of veins under its skin. He could not forget
the wall he saw. The sublime monument of man and his memory erected like a giant as
old as Kronos in the mind of death. The white City lives its image inside the mind of the
poor death. In fact, the first sacred ritual he performed was at the night he fled from the
City of man. The death sit in circle with other deaths. He looked steadily into the fire in
the colors of orange and red. The flickering fire reflected in his eyes. The others looked
steadily into the fire in his eyes. Hypnotized by the flickering light and the crackling
sound of burning logs, the deaths felt a strong connection to the sensational warmth
coming from within. The death started his story, in a husky, wonderfully toned voice that
he never used before.
Once upon a time, the man was there, standing at the marble gate of the City and waiting
to collect the soul of the monument of the death. The man never returns to the gate
because he understood that the city made out of marble is without a soul. Now, let’s
paused from the story that the death is trying to tell because the coin we just flipped is
no longer in the air. It must be a little surprising for you to realize that the coin is no
longer in our hands. Remember, we did make the decision together. The death smiled. In
the circle of deaths surrounding the fire in the colors of orange and red, he opened his
left hand. He extended his arm so that all the other deaths could see what’s in his hand.
In the eyes of all the deaths listening to the story, there is the reflection of the flames of
the fire in the colors of orange and red. The death looked steadily into the eyes of all the
deaths. He saw a coin in the color of gold. The coin was in the shape of a wheel. The wheel
turned when the death showed it to all the other deaths.
The duration of the golden coin flipping in the air intersected with the duration of the
story of death telling a story to all the other deaths. The storytime the death created cut
through his own daytime and interfered with the lines of words I am writing. Dear
readers, are you afraid? I as the storyteller of the story of the death that was not yet a
story once upon a time, must admit that the story might go out of my hands just like the
coin you and I decided to flip. For stopping the death from furthering unacceptable
behaviors like stealing a golden coin, let’s make a deal just between you and me, the
inquisitive reader and the honest writer. I am going to tell you the secret of the golden
coin. In the color of gold, in the shape of a wheel, the fortune held by the left hand of the
death in the story of the death that was once upon a time not yet a story, is the wheel of
golden fortune given twice upon a time.
“THE SPECIAL IMPRESSION OF SYNCHRONY AND DISSONANCE, OF CONFUSION AND SINGULARITY, OF
COMMUNICATION AND ESTRANGEMENT THAT EMANATED FROM THE BODIES OF THE SMILING
The deconstruction, or rather, the de-structuring and structuring of a story is exactly
like the structuring and de-structuring of an image. The components of the stories that
was once upon a time stories told by storytellers, in the duration of the story I am
writing along my lines of words, have lives of their own. They start to talk to each other,
just like us talking to each other. They dance with each other, just like us dancing
together. They start to have sex with each other, just like us having sex with each other. I
wonder, dear readers, would these beautiful beings that have lives of their own, once
upon a time, judged each other. Once upon a time, the components of the stories that was
once upon a time not yet stories, realized that they were in a story. The story that that
they realized to be in, started like this:
THE STORY OF THE DEATH STARTED FROM “ONCE UPON A TIME” IS NO LONGER IN THE STORY OF MAN
OR HIS MEMORY. THE DEATH WAS ONCE THERE, STANDING AT THE MARBLE GATE OF THE CITY AND
WAITING TO COLLECT THE SOUL OF THE MONUMENT OF MAN. THE DEATH NEVER RETURNS TO THE
GATE BECAUSE HE UNDERSTOOD THAT THE CITY MADE OUT OF MARBLE IS WITHOUT A SOUL.
THE DEATH WAS DISAPPOINTED. WHILE HE WALKED AROUND THE WALL, HE WAS AMUSED BY THE
HARMONIOUS RATIO BETWEEN THE WALL AND THE GROUND, THE CAREFULLY FRAMED SKYLINE, THE
SUBLIME BEAUTY OF STONE. THEN HE FELT THE COLDNESS OF WHAT THE WALL WAS. HE TURNED
AWAY FROM THE COLD CITY. THE DEATH SLOWLY WANDERED BACK TO THE FOREST OVER THE HILL
WHERE HE CAME ALL THE WAY FROM. NOW HE FELT COLD TOO AFTER THE TIME HE SPENT WITH THE
WALL OF CITY. HE IS LONELY UNDER THE VAST SKY THAT IS AS CLEAR AS WATER. HE TRIED TO LOOK
FOR STARS BUT SADLY THERE WASN’T ANY.
THE SUBLIME MONUMENT OF MAN AND HIS MEMORY ERECTED LIKE A GIANT AS OLD AS KRONOS IN
THE MIND OF DEATH. THE WHITE CITY LIVES ITS IMAGE INSIDE THE MIND OF THE POOR DEATH. IN
FACT, THE FIRST SACRED RITUAL HE PERFORMED WAS AT THE NIGHT HE FLED FROM THE CITY OF
MAN. THE DEATH SIT IN CIRCLE WITH OTHER DEATHS. HE LOOKED STEADILY INTO THE FIRE IN THE
COLORS OF ORANGE AND RED. THE FLICKERING FIRE REFLECTED IN HIS EYES. THE OTHERS LOOKED
STEADILY INTO THE FIRE IN HIS EYES. HYPNOTIZED BY THE FLICKERING LIGHT AND THE CRACKLING
SOUND OF BURNING LOGS, THE DEATHS FELT A STRONG CONNECTION TO THE SENSATIONAL WARMTH COMING FROM WITHIN. THE DEATH STARTED HIS STORY, IN A HUSKY, WONDERFULLY TONED VOICE THAT HE NEVER USED BEFORE.
“LET’S MAKE A DEAL JUST BETWEEN YOU AND ME, THE INQUISITIVE MAN AND THE HONEST DEATH. I
AM GOING TO TELL YOU THE SECRET OF THE GOLDEN COIN. IN THE COLOR OF GOLD, IN THE SHAPE OF A WHEEL, THE FORTUNE HELD BY THE LEFT HAND OF THE DEATH IN THE STORY OF THE DEATH THAT WAS ONCE UPON A TIME NOT YET A STORY, IS THE WHEEL OF GOLDEN FORTUNE GIVEN TWICE UPON A TIME.“
THE DEATH SMILED. IN THE CIRCLE OF MEN SURROUNDING THE FIRE IN THE COLORS OF ORANGE AND RED, HE OPENED HIS LEFT HAND. HE EXTENDED HIS ARM SO THAT ALL THE OTHER MAN COULD SEE WHAT’S IN HIS HAND.
IN THE EYES OF ALL THE MEN LISTENING TO THE STORY, THERE IS THE REFLECTION OF THE FLAMES
OF THE FIRE IN THE COLORS OF ORANGE AND RED. THE DEATH LOOKED STEADILY INTO THE EYES OF
ALL THE MEN. HE SAW A COIN IN THE COLOR OF GOLD. THE COIN WAS IN THE SHAPE OF A WHEEL.
THE WHEEL TURNED WHEN THE DEATH SHOWED IT TO ALL THE OTHER MEN.
“ARE YOU AFRAID OUR SOULS WILL FALL INTO THE DEVIL’S HANDS?” THOSE OF THE CITY MUST HAVE
ASKED. “NO, FOR YOU HAVE NO SOUL TO GIVE HIM.”