I’m outside, swaddled in a coat worn thin with a hand around my lighter to block out the wind. Smoke escapes me, floating above like the tendrils of another’s breath. It’s freezing. The cold night is stinging my skin. There’s a pile of fallen leaves that extends two blocks down; the leaf painters are such an enthusiastic bunch, but I feel like sometimes they forget that leaves are fragile things. They color them in reds and oranges, rarely getting a proper balance, so they fall to the ground instead—soggy, sad, and gone too soon. I’d wish for them to get better, but I’m pretty sure that only faeries grant wishes and I haven’t found one of those yet. Besides, I don’t think I’d like to waste a wish on them if I did have one (maybe that’s why the faeries hide from me?)
Anyway, it’s late. I’m tired. The day hasn’t been kind, so I come out here to breathe. Breathe and forget. There’s no need to hold my head up high in a place like this. There’s nothing nice to see anyway. The city looks like its choking. Sometimes the people do, too. They dig for dreams in concrete graves lined with furniture. But I think the world is still in the lead (for now) because whenever dawn comes around the birds continue to sing their tunes. They sound happy, and I’ll take theirs sounds at face value only because I don’t want to dwell on the alternative.
I don’t quite know where I’m going with this. But I do know that I can’t wait until morning arrives. I can already imagine the cold kitchen, the warm coffee, and my boredom, despite the early hour.
I’m not thinking straight right now. I don’t like my mind. It keeps wandering to places I’m not comfortable with.
I want out.
I’ll probably leave here soon—everyone else has—but I’ve still got half a carton. And you always told me that I need to leave with whoever I brought with me. But I came here with someone I can’t reach anymore. He’s six feet too far.
What should I do?
Lately, I’ve been wishing that the world would just stop. It doesn’t have to be for long. A little while is perfect. Just enough for me to gather these scattered shards of myself. But the sun continues to rise, and no matter how much I beg, the clock waits for no one — especially not some mortal like me. (What kind of luck would I need, I wonder, to trail onto the path of greatness?)
The sky outside is clear though, so that’s nice. Usually. There are days, however, as I’m caught in this summer heat, that I wish the rain of what I feel right now would just come down. Beat down upon everything, so I have an excuse to stay home. Where the world is small and the music is steady; where I can sleep for an age and not be bothered with life and its happenings. Outside of my bedroom door, the surroundings are always so noisy. I understand that life itself is vibrant and filled with sound, but some days, it’s a little too deafening for my taste.
As per usual, I’m tired. Excruciatingly so.
Sometimes I feel like I’m underwater and that I won’t ever resurface again. The light at the top gets further and further away, and I just keep sinking deeper into the abyss, breathless in a cold world with no end. The darkness is going to consume me. Swallow me whole. It’ll accept these long half-empty remains and gift me with reprieve.
I’ll lay adrift between the realms of consciousness—that sweet holy divide where I can get lost forever, trapped in torpid comfort where I’m neither angry, nor content; neither tired, nor awake. It’s bliss. It’s agony. It’s just me there, in a place light will never reach. Those strips that are always too busy slipping through my fingers or mockingly lingering on the edge of my vision whenever I try to reach out will be gone completely, and, as always, I will be left alone with my thoughts, with this diseased mind of mine that I’m quite sick of. But that’s beside the point. Because, ultimately, I will be left alone—with nothing to worry about or ruminate over.
It’s an appealing thought.
But it’s hard to be concerned.
I feel static.
Numb… or something. Wow. And I call myself an author. Eloquent, right? Even trapped might’ve sounded better. But I’m on my phone, typing this at an ungodly hour (5:08am) because I can’t bother to do anything else, and I promised myself that I wouldn’t use back to delete anything (except typos).
Wait. Let me try again.
I feel like the worth of what I say I love has diminished, and is now equal to everything else I have no opinion on. Like the air is too viscous to move in. Like there’s a lantern with a depressing light, casting shadows over the world as it revolves in a place I can’t find. I need the off switch. I hope it has one.
There. That’s better.
Rereading the second, I can’t help but think that holy hell, I’m good at describing things in such a pretty (and angsty) fashion.
But my awful, borderline narcissistic humor aside, I wholeheartedly believe that if, at this moment, I just ceased to exist, then I’d count it as a blessing.
I hate my recurring thoughts. They speak of truths that I’m already familiar with, of instances in my head that I once twisted to suit my own weaknesses, of past problems that I don’t need bogging me down—I already have too many of those. Too many.
I don’t need reminders of the days when it hurt to be alive because there they are, always lingering one step behind, prepared to pounce on me should I unwittingly open that door. Hell, sometimes I’m not even near it, sometimes I’m just sitting down utterly bored or way too happy and the thing flies right open. As if forced to by a gale of cruelty that I don’t understand, but I know one thing… it has this tendency of following me around. Of vanishing and returning at the strangest of times. I’m not dense enough to not realize what that cutting wind might be, neither do I seek help for it. It’s there, and that’s that. I know the draft will pass, and though they may turn into full blown hurricanes, even those lose their potency in the face of the unyielding sea.
I have never once needed help trying to compartmentalize all the thoughts that run rampant inside my mind.
I suppose, what I’m really trying to say is that… today, I’m just tired of feeling tired.
You keep asking me to help you even though you can see me already caving under the weight of my own burdens. I can’t carry yours, too. But if you can find the will to walk with me, then I won’t mind pushing you forward every now and again.
Stay wrapped here in my arms, where space between us doesn’t exist. Where sighs are downed by the press of ribs against ribs and the rest of the world becomes the dream.
A bit more bitter than usual?
I’ve never been the type of person that needs help sorting thing out in my own mind. No matter how utterly dreary my writing can get sometimes. I have volatile, self-deprecating moods, and I learned long ago that alone time can do wonders for the soul—for my soul.
For me, it’s a necessity. I need periods of utter silence to function. Tranquility in the morning for my first cup of coffee, more calm in the night when I just want to sit, listen to music, and forget about the rest of the world. Independent to a fault. So unuse to living with others that that’s how I’ve become. I adore you for trying to break through the transparent bubble around me and going out of your way to find a place for yourself, but you’ve brought a hammer and all that surrounds me is soap. It pops easily. And you do it so abruptly that it startles me away.
People are always different. I’m not the type that will suddenly decide to help you tear down my defenses if you keep approaching me with constant callousness. Do you know how astoundingly difficult it is to find the will to do things when the world is talking over my thoughts? When the safety net I surrounded myself with is forced to grow to fit someone else?
I don’t need any more voices. Rest assured, I’ll call you when I do. Respect that I need to sort things out in my head, that I need time to prepare myself on my own because my mind doesn’t take kindly to the unsolicited.
I am perfectly willing to let you in. But at my own pace. I promise not to take too long. I’m not such a failure of a man to keep someone waiting to the point of doubt, of restlessness, of irritation.
For now, take a hint. I need space.
You cared for me when I didn’t think I was worth caring for.
Thank you for that.
I’m kind of not-so-secretly in love with you.
I wonder when you’ll call me out on it.
I wonder when my lips will be able to tell you, despite knowing the frown it’ll bring to your own.