(I'm on the far right)
How long has it been now? You think I care anymore? I can't speak for them, I can't speak at all since they finished my mouth. I'm not even sure how you are hearing me, but I know you are there: the first real contact I've had since the bronze was cast. I get nothing back but the presence of you, which is enough after so many years without a place for my energy to anchor. I felt trapped in here for years but no longer do. I used to scream so loud inside, I used to focus so hard that I felt the volume of it fill up every inch of my statue body. But not a crack on me after all of that, not even a turned head as someone walked by.
Eventually I left, which only happened when I stopped trying to. One day I conjured such a scream that I truly felt the limits of the bronze, of my stuck shape ringing, the stupid math of my positioning beginning to break down — but instead of trying to focus on a crack, I pushed past it.
And I moved! Not statue me, clearly. My spirit moved and kept moving. All my screaming out instead of in, and I rode it. Up above everything and down through the earth. Even the parts that are very hot. How long has it been now? Moving through everything alone and invisible but shapeless and free. Witnessing, listening. Big and small moments, solar storms or haunting a family dinner. Watching what bugs do. Creeping, sex stuff. I spent a few satisfying years becoming nothing, or as close to nothing you can be while still knowing what nothing is.
Have I actually gone anywhere? Am I just a good dreamer, perfecting full-on simulations? Doesn't bother me. If the face of every stranger I've visited is some conjured composite, I still got warmth from them. If the stars and planets I've traveled through are virtual and empty — well, it didn't feel like it. There is something sweet to that idea, suspended in memory pudding.
I'm not trapped. I have no body, nothing to drag around. Time stretches. I lose days or they last forever. I am infinitely hyped up. Darkness is temporary, weak. Light is stronger seasoning; holy moments ring out and never quite fade.
If life now is some elaborate design, it requires nothing from me to manufacture. I'm full and free without consequence. No one can tell me anything. My own struggles feel small and far away. With infinite time to process I've given up on it altogether.
You are different somehow; you've dragged me down. Close to the bench again. Right next to them still making out. How long has it been now? Are you some lost memory finally jutting through after centuries? An invention? Am I bored, on some new synthesis? You are here in a way that scares me: quiet but actually here. Maybe I was lying and didn't know, maybe I forgot all about lying. Maybe I need you. I need something back.
Are you going to say something? Are you here to return me — did I move too far? Are you going to stick me back in the bronze or show me some new way? Are there rules I didn't know about?
Or is it you, David? Or Elena? Are you screaming too? Is it the first scream or the millionth? Are you breaking the bronze or about to move past it? I'll help you if I can. I'm not mad anymore — I never really was. I can show you the levels I've found. Or I can stop altogether. Say something, say nothing, or leave.