Discover more from The Holy Loneliness Collective (english)
Last night there was the perfect opportunity. Leo had disappeared once again. Even late in the evening there was no trace of her. So it was the ideal occasion to take care of our mushroom problem without her finding out about it. Not wanting to burden Till with it, I decided to tackle the whole thing quietly and secretly during the night. So I set the alarm clock for midnight. We are all sleeping in the fireplace room right now (except Hans). I quickly checked that Till was still fast asleep and then sneaked over to the kitchen.
At first I didn't notice it in my drowsy state. But then shock hit my bones. The green door was open. I quickly tapped over to the kitchen door to prevent the smell from drifting out into the entrance hall. This almost caused me to collide with Jin, who came in at the same moment. We both flinched and Jin let out a muffled scream. When our heartbeats had calmed down again, we looked at each other - and slowly it dawned on us. Apparently, we'd both had the same idea. Jin was holding a shovel, and a wheelbarrow was already waiting outside the kitchen door.
So I also fetched suitable tools and we set to work. With shovels and knives we stabbed and scraped the mushroom overgrowth from the walls. The spongy fungus bodies broke with hollow crackling sounds. Shimmering lamellae bulged outward. Flourescent slime dripped from our hands and the musty spicy aroma thickened the air. It was a relief to have Jin with me. Not only did it go faster with two of us, but it felt good to no longer carry the secret of the green door alone. Our spirits rose with each load we dumped by the fire pit, and soon we were sitting giggling and chuckling among the broken mushroom remains. Maybe we should have worn masks, because I realized that the spores circulating in the air were clouding my mind in a not unpleasant way.
There was just no end to it. The big hand of the kitchen clock had already moved past two and still we had an impassable wall of steaming mushroom meat in front of us. Manically, we drove our spades into the gooey mass. Then, suddenly, something hard. A wall? No, it was wood. Old and gnarly, with dark, broad grain and squiggly shape. What was it? Carefully I dug deeper with my hands to avoid damaging anything. Exposed a knobbly shoulder, an arm and a piece of neck. Was it a statue made of wood? When I looked again, suddenly everything was moving. The mushroom flesh bubbled and boiled like simmering soup. There was a hole in the middle and through it I could see the wooden figure waving at me. Struggling I squeezed myself through the opening and followed it, deeper down the corridor. The walls glittered and flickered like broken screens. I looked up and there were the stars. But it wasn't stars at all. It was little flowers, blossoming and fading away in a matter of seconds. For a while I lay on the ground and watched the spectacle mesmerized. In each flower a whole universe. 'I'm hallucinating' - it popped into my head, but there was nothing scary about the thought. 'Jin?', I called out, 'Can you see the flowers.' But no answer. I was alone.
Then suddenly colorful drops fell on me and I saw that the flowers were crying. Or melting - it was impossible to tell for sure. I struggled to my feet. Everything was very dark now, but I could make out the shadowy shape of the wooden figure in the distance. I staggered in that direction. And suddenly there was this melody. A magical sequence of notes that permeated the air like golden honey. Never in my life have I heard anything like it. I listened enraptured, swayed, fell.... barely noticed the hard stone that pierced my temple. I could no longer move, but felt something crawling over my back like slugs. It didn't bother me at all. I just wanted to hear that melody, inhale it, draw it into my body until I was nothing but that heavenly music. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the wooden figure hammering glowing nails into its own cheek. How wonderful, I thought.
The next thing I remember was the wooden figure hitting me on the shoulder with its hammer. Sunlight lay warm on my face. I blinked cautiously. It wasn't the wooden figure at all - it was Till gently calling my name and shaking my shoulder. A little behind, Jin sat with a large glass of water.
It took hours until I had completely returned to reality. In the meantime, I have at least recovered enough to be able to write these lines. Till and Hans have cleaned the kitchen and burned the mushroom remains in the garden. But behind the green door there is still a lot more left. Jin and I have only managed to get two steps into the corridor. And even where we scraped the slimy mass from the walls, new scale-like fungal bodies are already beginning to sprout. Seems, the problem cannot be solved that way. For now, we've sealed the door with tape.
At least Jin and I don't seem to have suffered any permanent damage. Only this melody keeps haunting me. Of course I don't remember how it goes. It's like when a word is on the tip of your tongue, but as much as you rack your brain, you can't figure out which one it is. All I know is that it was beautiful and perfect in an almost terrifying way. What I wouldn't give to hear it again. To use it in one of our songs.