The Golem

On the night the golem rose in Prague there was a storm. The sky was dark and loud and thunder rolled between the sick beats of my heart, the heartbeat of the city. I wandered the old Jewish cemetery, weeping for those gone long before I was born. Hidden in an iron-bound garden, I found an intense young man: a cut-rate Dracula accompanied by two crow-like goth girls, all glittering eyes and twitching fingers. I saw these magicians whispering by an ancient grave, saw them call and cast, rocking and weaving over a small book.

The fever which had already begun took fierce hold of me that day. Staggering back to the austere hotel, I shook and vomited, alternating hot and cold, head stuffed full of feathers and blood and tar.

Sometime in the never within the night, I awoke in fear, in wonder. I parted the curtains and looked out across the city and felt him rise beneath the full moon, felt the golem stalk the streets. Watching for him, I almost but not quite saw his lumbering bulk in the shapes unseen just behind the buildings and the clouds. Listening close, the weather spoke for him. I was consumed with a portentous feeling so strong that, years later, I can still recall it easily.

Trembling, I tried to wait for more but then I fell asleep and dreamed and tossed and turned too long and woke to another day of weaving the streets glassy-eyed: looking for meaning, looking for medicine...