His left hand slid from his abdomen to his lips, and he tried to talk to that sinister appendage, but Jezrahiah could feel it. He could discern the subtleties of pain and pleasure, those twin songs resonating inside his cavernous—his empty—stomach. It was akin to a capsule; a glistening, almost plastic sort of casing that had been emptied; thin, but rigid and hard, as a pill which contained no medicine but appeared at least, to help. His stomach could not help him at the present, nor could his hands. His voice was but a mere concept, an ideal he could conjure up but to sustain a petty dream, a dream of perhaps escaping misery’s grasp; it was a dream not realized, not soon, not again, nevermore; it was the last dream inside his fleeting head.
“A voice today is a mere sigh later,” that is what his God said. It was not his Hebrew God, it was not his ideals or his dreams, it was his bottle; that is what his empty bottle said.
The sighs, they emitted, and his consciousness, it flickered. His suffering was an acciaccatura of demise; these traveling scars were vibrations, the sine waves of Hope’s lute, of its sad strings. The sighs, the sighs, they are the random, the intricate, the sustained notes of Life’s ballad, though suffering is but a prelude to transcendence.
Jezrahiah lay there, glaring with fatigue up at the Wall. He was lost, almost gone, but could dredge up the water from his past’s reservoir, he could remember. He remembered he had sung here before, and this pained him. The thought that at one time he had possessed innocence and the virtue which accompanies youth; the thought that at one time he had possessed a purpose; that he had at one time feasted on the flesh of accomplishment, prolonged and intensified his pain; it added dissonance to what was once his harmony. He wrapped his thin, knotted fingers around the empty bottle lying next to him and poured what two drops of its contents remained; poured them into his eyes, to replace the tears he was too weak to shed. Meanwhile, the bottle, that glass deity, it finished its speech, “…such is the cruelty of hunger.”