The young man with the old eyes.
He knows that the only real measure of man’s character in modern society is the level of self-control he exhibits over his vices and whimsical mental flourishes.
He doesn’t take pride in having seen the dark things he’s seen. He has never taken the witness stand because he’s never been subpoenaed. His lips are buttoned because he drools when he sleeps, and maybe there are other reasons. Some don’t posses the patience or dexterity to fiddle with buttons and loops. Seems like most, even, are just as happy to allow the wounds to remain loosely tucked in at the corners.
The young man with the old eyes was also guilty, of course. Guilty of sealing off the black, among other things. Landscaping over the landfill of his guts and mind with a close-cropped lawn. Then proceeding to take girls on picnics on that lawn. Playing guitar in the shade of trees in that park. Allowing innocent civilians to populate a world he created atop a pit of pressurized gas.
The internalized poisons increase exponentially in a fashion resembling cell division. Rattlesnakes utilize a similar technique to maintain ready arsenals of quick venom.
If the cornerstone is itself merely a slow moving earthquake, it is inevitable that the entire structure will collapse. Brilliant modernist architects and visionary post-modernist engineers could execute the most contemporary of clever postponements, yet nothing more than the delay of cataclysm is achievable.
Embedded somewhere within the outer layers of the young man’s knowledge-aged eyes was that layer of cool discipline, which could be mistaken for other things. Behind his back, some of the man’s acquaintances had been inclined to attribute more intriguing characteristics to the eyes than were actually to be found there. The colors and shapes themselves were normal enough. The dirt-brown and the concave. The difference was certainly in the extra layer, as if these eyes retained a more ancient interpretation of the scenes they brought in.
Sometimes a shadow lumbered across the pupil like a fat, slow cloud. Other times a barely visible nictitating membrane seemed to lash at the retinal windows, from the inside; like an icy tree branch from the Yggdrasil of his mind.
Greener pastures being ever sought, the sprawling rootball eventually grows unsettled in the universe of the infinite. Engorged nerve-sprouts stretch into ever more slender veins of electro-chemical consciousness, eventually insisting upon entering the world of the limited, the domain of the rational. The thing demands its own bloody froth, brought forth from spittle of forbidden fruit.
Attempts to crash through the ocular portal have long been in vain, and the tree has lost and regrown many limbs in an environment where the most supple and tender of vegetation grows to staggering lushness. Yet, an incessant force, however slight, gains momentum eventually. On an infinite timeline the kinetic energy could conceivably become incredibly high, in fact...