Oh, I spotted the name out of nowhere, hidden betwixt, somewhere between a number of particularly disproportionate superchunks. St. Joseph. (I, a few times, considered the idea that I only remembered the name of that pitiful place because of its name/sake.) I had difficulty trying to decipher the letters, and I didn't even really know what they meant; though, individually, I knew enough at the time to scan through dust screens so thick I coughed; once.

Still, after having assigned that sickening name to the backburner, a different—lesser, perhaps—part of my conscience (which includes everything and nothing, both) recognized his thought as I sat in the middle of this centre, huddled close to the ground, marveling at the carnage this concrete and steel had accomplished, stricken by it, taken in by it; in this weakened state, I saw:—

No way would I have ever thought to anticipate another 'being' of any sort there—those humans and their craftology, who ever in their proper state of existence would call them, whom dangled before truth and fire, relevant beings? There were none other than myself present—me an' the forthcoming . . . because you can feel that kind of imposition creepin' up on ya . . . saint. Anyway, that's what I'd thought before I distinguished, among the falsified tragedy, a presence similar to yours truly. It was then, fully actualizing the proximity between our realms, that I thought to blame myself for this discovery, this revelation of my . . . self. Nary another reason for such indiscretion would make logic, other than instinct stacked atop instinct:

This realm of mine (and I use 'mine' liberally, as I merely dwelled there, without ownership) recognized its own; I could do nothing but listen to the wet peel of depuration perseverating around me until my new friend revealed himself fully.

However much his consciousness pressed upon me, drowning out my own to the point of invariable oppression—suppression—prostration—wait . . . too far; I would not supplicate—no matter his insistence, I gave him my eyes. I had less a choice in the matter than I'd admit to at the time—relinquishing virtually the only trade of ownership I managed to grab hold of. Somehow, I didn't—wouldn't—goddamnit, couldn't—mind.

Though he had my eyes

(no, because he had my eyes)

I didn't recognize his body. Consciousness alone registered and rendered the suffocation of my microcosmic realm, the part I'd snagged from the whole on my way out the hell to which I belonged . . . His consciousness was silently taking me apart, one shred at a time, as he approached; and you'll notice a shift in my focus transpired some time ago—(less digressions) because their puny, insufficient, impudent efforts to restore their dead grew stale, stale as my dry eyes, some strange green (supervolcanicsickness green) that I had never seen outside of the water—as the water was the only place I could see—me—seeme. Like I saw him; two homogenous seconds passed: I owed my sight to the rain and so, I believed, it rained harder the moment that body finally made full, proper contact with my stolen bubble.

Damn. Exposed. The saint . . . I'd have my way with that thought later . . . the traitor. Couldn't even trust my own forsaken mind, creation, 'being' . . .

I grinned. He was oppressive, sure, but hella formidable other ways as well. No reason to gloss over a contrivance like this. Bottom line, physicality was ultradifficult for one such as I (including the erected tower that had come before me) to grasp as a concept; except, I'd already spent so much time seeing by then that I even saw the slow swirl of silver churn in his eyes. Call it a genetic imprint, I possessed the same nasty marking, but his was pure, which seemed strange considering he wore one of their bodies. It stunted his height—the truth to his fire (or fire to his truth?) stood out against the shoddy outline he had presented me.

Unfettered eyes; pale, hairless, human skin; a man's virility; an animal's woundedness; he opened his mouth to let the rain in so for the slightest moment I knew all of what was going on at that precise second inside him; my name.

Nothing about his enunciation of my name brought me any form of recognition of a greater capacity than knowing my sight. That wasn't to say it bore no effect on me—before I knew it, and apparently of this self's volition, I had lain down across the ground, despite the ragged crevasses which I could feel splitting beneath the crusty, flimsy, useless outer layer of the world. No matter how savagely and adeptly I had managed to master my realm,—hadn't I said this before?—its fire could swallow me whole. Whole.