When its emerald eye glimmers in the shadow of the dusty shelf above
I sense a presense.
It is not unlike me to attribute human characteristics to inanimate objects.
Give them names and nicknames and quirky character traits based on how their forms bend.
In the flickering lights of a broke wicken sanctuary though, I do not do it out of habit.
I feel it and stare it back down and see my own reflection in the cracked gems that once were a soul.
A gaudy skull.
The kind you see in home video Indiana Jones tributes,
with hats stolen from someone’s parents,
and jackets stolen from someone else’s elder siblings,
and ketchup for blood.
The kind your quirky local manic pixie dream girl uses to hold incense.
The kind I’m about to waste my money on because I’m an adult now and I can use my millennial minimum wage however I want.
I do not become aware of the possessed nature of my new buddy until I take it back home and hear it snicker in the middle of the night.
I know it is the skull, for my roommate is not one to snicker.
(He chuckles when he’s hiding an opinion and has a villainous laugh when it’s coming from a place of sincerity, but that’s beside the point)
I know it’s laughing at me.
I know this for a fact.
It takes me three more nights to call it out on it because I’ve never been confronted with the issue of standing up to a haunted antique I took home from a secondhand shop, possibly owned by satan’s offspring.
But I’m twenty-one years old and still experiencing some firsts, I suppose.
The gaudy skull is exceptionally snarky.
In a way none of my named plants ever were.
Not even Gerard.
He comes for me for the garbage on the floor and the dust on the windowsill on which he’s propped up, and then later for my poor taste in chore-doing music.
I never ask for its name because I know for a fact he’ll make a game out of it
and I am not in the mood for entertaining ghosts.
I come to realise it all on my own a couple of weeks later.
Once the snark starts to wear off,
and domesticity settles in,
and shared quiet becomes comforting,
despite the circumstances.
It is Judas.
I know this for a fact.
You do not understand the extent to which I am certain that it is Judas.
I have never been so aware of someone’s origins in my entire life.
I bought this creepy item and it is now in my room and I’m developing a weird attachment to it and maybe occasionally use it as a paper-weight and it is Judas.
I feel it in my heart and know it inside of my skull that might be standing on someone else’s touchscreen windowsill
two thousand years in the future,
jade stones for eyes even though I specifically requested amber,
but you get ****** over by bureaucracy even after death.
How do I know it is Judas?
Because I feel him stare at me like he wants to kiss me late at night and sense him plotting my betrayal early morning.
I know it is that, for a fact, because I’ve felt this exact sensation before.
My **** edgy room decor is Judas.
I try to get him to admit it himself by talking of past lovers and reading aloud the surprising number of Jesus metaphor poems I have in my room.
I hate Jesus metaphors, but I do it for that sweet sensation of seeing someone trying to dodge the inevitable once it’s coming at them like a mule through Rome piloted by the son of god.
I know he’ll cave eventually and tell me
and I know it’ll be the same caliber of glorious news as Jesus coming out of his own cave of burial,
resurrected and preaching winning.
I know I’ll win.
And I think to myself that maybe I am in the mood to entertain and just haven’t found the right outlet yet.
Maybe history’s most infamous apostle is It.
The original sinner and the original rebel.
(I’m aware it’s technically Cain, the jealousy-ridden son of Adam and Eve, but I only ever count the ****)
Judas and I have bonded.
And I can tell he’s on the verge of telling me his dark and twisted backstory. Again, I have felt this sensation before.
And when it happens, we can talk
about what it’s like being demonised by the one you love
and being the odd one out in your devotee friend group, even though you eat bread and drink wine and worship metaphor just like them.
And how patriarchal institutions distort history to pedal the same tired spiel of everything having a place and everything being there for a reason.
But we both know that isn’t true
because neither of us feel like part of god’s plan or created in anyone’s image.
And we can listen to sad music about wanting to kiss the wrong people together.
And that’s all I ever wanted from a friendship.