Disclaimer: I don't own Six Feet Under or Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley. I'm merely using them to entertain myself (and hopefully, the reader) at no monetary gain to myself or others.
Well I heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do ya?
Well it goes like this
the fourth, the fifth
the minor fall and the major lift
the baffled king composing Hallelujah
There's clarity in death, but it's not soft and dark and silent, like you'd think. It's cold and bright and unflattering; like the fluorescent lightbulbs that threw the lines around your mouth and freckles on your nose into sharp relief when we were just fuckbuddies, the stuff of romance novels and airport sanitation editorials.
And the funny thing is that all the stuff that seemed so important and complex when I was small and pointless on earth becomes trivial and simple as abstract sculpture when I'm small and pointless in wherever I am now. It's perfect and geometric, like the pyramid—do you remember that, our pyramid? How it felt in there?
It's like that: All the mess, all the gore and confusion and ugliness, is revealed to be nothing but a shadow, a residue of clawed tree limbs stretching across the paneled wood floors on dark nights.
It's sometimes ugly here, and sometimes hard to understand; but if you're listening very carefully I can show you everything.
Well your faith was strong but you needed proof
you saw her bathing on the roof
her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you to her kitchen chair
She broke your throne and she cut your hair
and from your lips she drew the Hallelujah
I'm sorryI'msorryimsorry that I dumped so much on you, that Nathaniel Sr. had to go and get hit by a bus and I didn't have the goddamn sense to know that some random girl I fucked in an airport wouldn't want to get her hands dirty like this. But you went for it, and even here when I know it wasn't really my fault I hate myself for it.
Oh, but you were so beautiful; the kind of special that made a guy feel like destiny had a hand in it all, that there's definitely a reason for things, you know? The kind of special that blurred all the other girls—every single one--into a faint, single, unimportant mass of organic lip balm and granola bars.
You were like a drug, so new and addictive and so incredibly bad for me. My life before, that muted senseless existence, that floating, abstract drabness, was like being buried underground—like being devoid of fluids, of life; a pale corpse in the dark basement.
Well baby I've been here before
I've seen this room and I've walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you.
I've seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
it's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah
It hurt, when I was there and you would not let me close. The air would suddenly become tense and crackling and unbearable while you fulfilled a hundred journals' worth of psychological hypotheses on brilliance and self sabotage.
I know now—of course--that it's just the way you are--but then it was like torture, having you there and beautiful and so fierce and perfect and what a brave little girl you are and absolutely refusing to let yourself live and breathe and just be happy.
I look back at when we lived together the first time, and it was sharp and harsh, like here; but it wasn't brightly lit and it was not pristine. There were dark, raw things living there, lurking, occasionally coming out to play with out heads. They whispered things in our ears, seeded deceit and distrust and all the things we came to expect from each other.
Very human monsters.
Well there was a time when you let me know
what's really going on below
but now you never show that to me do you?
And remember when I moved in you?
And the holy dove was moving too
and every breath we drew was Hallelujah
There were scattered times, precious few, when everything was perfect and quiet and the closest thing to a power struggle was the sweaty closeness of those nights when sex wasn't a tool and it didn't make us feel guilty and it wasn't with anyone else.
I'm starting to forget how your face looked then. It's been a long time.
Well maybe there's a God above
But all I've ever learned from love
Was how to shoot somebody who'd out-drew ya.
And it's not a cry that you hear at night
It's not somebody who's seen the light
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah
The tussles and lovers' spats of well-groomed couples on soap operas always used to make you throw your head back (I remember the curve of you neck more than anything) and laugh, derisive and proud from your far-off perch on your private little island; because you knew the true tension of conflict, the ringing dissonance, like adjacent keys on a piano, a car horn, a chorus of babies' cries.
I had come damn near close to perfecting the art of hurting you by the time my brain decided that it wouldn't bear witness to more drama. By then I felt I'd experienced every behavior of yours, every tic and quirk and birth mark, that I could read you like a book, that I could push your buttons just enough by calling Billy crazy or going Quaker on you.
I'm the first to admit that, at the end, I took it a little far.
But I was so wrong about you. I was so sure, so steadfast in my belief that it was all you fault, that you were incurable and insane and the source of all my troubles, when it was really me; it was all me and being confused and presumptuous and far too old to be either.
I'd be ashamed, but I know better than that now.
Because sometimes you have to die before you realize, and admit, and accept that you were just a human being. Just a small, simple, programmed, darkly imperfect infinitesimal speck of matter in the scheme of a universe that sometimes seemed too small to hold everything you felt and did and wanted.
And you realize that you're not unique at all. That you're chasing the same thing that every other human being before you has chased, and that nobody will ever get. It's intangible and abstract, not happiness or contentment or serenity or anything to be found in the likenesses of saints in stained-glass windows.
It's not so bad that we never had it, you and I.
The painful part is that we came so close.
Let me know what you thought of it, please. See you next time.