The number two

The number two holds a place in my life. There should be an adjective there, but I have two to pick from: “good” or “bad”. I’m not sure which one it is.

I have two of many: two ears, two arms, et cetera. Just one nose, though, but there’s two nostrils I get to use. There’s two valves in my heart that cough up blood. They spew that nasty liquid – who knows where it’s been? – into two chambers; chambers like abandoned music halls where the ghost of good times still resonates. Cobwebs and dust cover a lone drum set in the left corner of the stage, almost hidden by a curtain. Its red-stained rhythm reminds me I am alive, which is good or bad. I’m not sure.

I have two hands, the right of which I don’t like to use. My left I reach out with. Its clawy form grasps at the window, opened slightly. There is a breeze today, an ocean. My hand goes unanswered and I understand completely. When it comes to those two things: yes or no – help me or help me not – I’d go with no, too. Two angelic shapes carry me through that window – I’d successfully squeeze through, because it’s my dream – and they take me to the beach. Two towels are waiting there for me; well, just one. The other one keeps waiting, and so do I. I wait, and I feel. Or maybe I don’t, I’m not sure.

I have two eyes and I don’t like looking at myself. I avoid looking in front of me, only up and down. When I look up, I see a sky that’s wonderful. Beyond that sky lies something I enjoy thinking about. I imagine myself as a space hero with a powerful blaster gun, performing opportunistic mercenary work and hunting aliens. When I look down, I see two hands that have touched two things. I have held two mugs. One I fill with green tea and honey, the other I filled with coffee – no milk, two sugars, my gratitude. I clasp the tea with my left and I clasped the coffee with my right. There are two names on them. One mug isn’t used anymore, one name isn’t said anymore.

I have two lungs and they stop working. The air I breathe comes in two: dead space, and the air that carries my name. There’s so much that whispers me. Space, for instance, calls out to me pretty much all the time. I go there constantly, either visiting planets based around a single thing (my favourite is Planet Food!), or making lengthy jumps on the moon while a synthesizer plays noises I can only describe as “space sounds”. In space, I use both of my hands, look straight ahead, walk.

But that stops when I breathe in the dead space. I choke, because violin strings form in my lungs, the antechamber to the music hall. When struck, they play a melody a bit too solemn for my tastes but one that suits the mood. The dead vibrations remind me I am not alive, which is. It just ‘is’, I’m not sure if it is good or bad.

Unlike the number two, dead space does not hold an ambivalent place in my life. It is hated. Dead space is the space on the towel next to me, the space I no longer carry coffee to, the space in my air that no longer carries your name, the space you no longer occupy.