Reaching for something

This is something I sketched out on 16th August but hadn’t gotten around to typing up. But then I saw the Daily Prompt a day or so ago, and even though it’s a little late, and even though this might not be exactly what they intended when giving out the prompt, I thought I’d used this as motivation to put this up!

Every night as I lay in bed I am overcome by the burning in me, the burning that stays dormant during the day. When the words and actions of people serve to cool and distract from the blazing heat, the soul-sucking black hole that forever remains on the verge of collapsing in on itself. Every day, while the world around me turns and whirls; I pretend to myself. I burn.

Every night as I struggle to fall asleep, I see you hiding in the shadows. Fluttering somewhere just beyond the darkness of my tightly closed eyelids. I reach for you but my physical hands feel only nothingness. If I could push my hands out from within my eyeballs and brush aside those gauzy, flimsy curtains and look you in the eyes, I would. As it stands, I see tiny black palms emerging from the blackness of my irises desperately reaching out towards you and falling back, struggling to emerge from the writhing, slippery mass ahead of the others, to be the first to reveal the truth – that which is all I seek and all that needs to be seen.

I find myself suspended in time, sometimes wondering if it is better to endure the steady fire in my veins than to try fruitlessly night after night in my quest to achieve the truth. I wonder if the anticipation has become so great that no matter what is on the other side of the curtain, I will find you wanting. I wonder if when you find me, perhaps you will find me wanting. Then I shake the thought from my head and laugh at myself because I know that for you, as for me, on the other side of the curtain waits perfection. That a part of me was placed into you when you were born and that without it, I remain a fraction of myself.

Yet, those days, days on which I doubt myself, disillusioned, I prolong the simplest tasks, procrastinate, waste my time and pray for swift sleep born of tiredness because I cannot face another night of empty searching.
Every night I lay in bed, eyes shut, searching into the late hours for you before sleep takes me. Every day I pretend; I pretend to be oblivious to the burning, to the aching, to the emptiness within me. I pretend that the pain that throbs dully behind my eyes is from lack of sleep and not the strain of trying to see into something beyond the abilities of my naked human eye. I pretend that I am whole.Hence, I am proved a liar, time and again. And my only redemption is in you – the truth I seek.


Ripped my heart out

I stand alone in a darkened room; shoulders hunched, fists clenched, toes gripping the cold floor. So suddenly and yet it was somehow expected – a thudding sound and a piercing pain. A sharp cry is heard as the knife slides between my ribs. It scrapes against the bone. I swivel around rapidly, looking for the source and shudder to find my shaking hands wrapped around the hilt.

I withdraw it, thinking of throwing it away when I’m seized by a sudden urge. I slam it in again. And again. And again. Gouging out my heart, mincing the flesh around, cutting open the organ that has caused so much hurt and emptying it of the gloopy oil inside.I tear it out of my chest and fling it aside; hands dripping for a few moments before the blood dries and congeals, making intricate tattoos on my palms and forearms. The blood soaks through my shirt and falls to the puddle pooling at my feet.

I beat my sodden chest, a macabre drumbeat, the timeless tempo echoing with grief. I thump my chest, magnifying the dull ache; feeling a brief moment of the sharpness that grants me clarity every time my skin makes contact with the mangled flesh until I can feel the sharpness no more. The clarity I need no longer available no matter how hard or how fast I hit my bloodied bosom. I scratch my eyes, claw at my skin in desperation, trying to find that beautiful moment of peace. A moment in which all thought stopped, a moment that I wish was more than just a moment but instead was my reality.

I shove my fingers into my mouth, trying to tear myself in two, drawing blood from the inside of my cheeks. I poke, I pinch, I tear. I rub myself raw until I there’s nothing left of me but wounds and rapidly scarring flesh.
I fall to my knees in the blackness, sobbing and the only testimony to the passage of time is the quiet splash of the steady dripping of my tears.

The leaden weight of anger

I poke a needle into the webbing between my thumb and forefinger. The sharp prick of pain, so sweet and clear. For several seconds I cannot think at all. I imagine it to be a giant dropper bulb filling with the sludge in my blood. Freeing it up, reducing its viscosity, making it flow quicker. I wonder if it will soak up all my toxic anger. It doesn’t. But I still try.

This anger; it’s just bubbling, bubbling through my bloodstream until I’m practically fizzing, shaking violently, foaming at the mouth. I take a deep breath, I can feel the strain in my chest as it struggles against the resistance that is the hand that is tightly wrapped around my lungs, squeezing. There’s lead ball of anger sitting upon my sternum; a compressed sphere of highly combustible gunpowder just waiting to explode – preventing me from breathing till it does. It rises in temperature; it washes my insides like the hot lick of alcohol burning the lining of one’s stomach. I feel the fibres of the cannonball unmesh; growing more diffused, yet so darkly concentrated at the core.

I carry it around, wherever I go. It feels almost too heavy; like I can barely lift a limb to act or react. A sort of violent lethargy that overcomes me. Seething under the surface but unable to do anything about it. I’m afraid to strike the match. The match that will galvanise me into action but will ignite and burn me from inside out; leave me a charred corpse amongst the blackened ashes of my surroundings.

Nothing grows on poisoned land. Not in a human lifetime anyway.

I wish there was a word I could utter or a spell I could cast that would dispel this feeling. Dissipate my anger. Clear out my insides like the long handled broom of a chimney sweep, and carry away the soot and dust that has accumulated over the years. Years of silently seething. Years of being unable to burst like a supernova.
I wish I could fill my body with cool, cleansing milk and rejuvenate the land that has died over the years. It dies a little more every time I swallow the sun; swallow the fiery, molten, self-sustaining rage.

I wish.

I would punch a hole in the wall and enjoy the release of my anger but I can see my bones splintering upon impact. The wall standing solidly without a scratch. I can hear myself howling with pain. A physical agony to equal and compound my mental pain. But I don’t, I can’t, I can’t explain it to anyone if I did and the hole in the wall remains a hole in my head.

I am at my lowest ebb.

I have nothing new to say. It is so utterly strange. It is as though every meaningful mouthful of words that I had in me has already crossed my lips and dissipated into the atmosphere; lost forever. And all I have left are shadows of those ideas. Malformed homunculi churned out by the hamster running on its wheel. The same rubbish on repeat.

I am closing in on myself. Folding up the happy, carefree part of myself into smaller and smaller bits and stowing it away into the pocket of my soul. I feel claustrophobic. What wouldn’t I give to have someone snatch that tiny square out of my pocket and fling it into the darkened sky where it’ll spread into a velvet canopy of stars with all the swirls and patterns of a Van Gogh painting, only coloured with vivid reds and greens.
These feelings don’t change. They only vary in their intensity, the general trend towards despair. Worse. I am getting worse. It is like every idea, however fleeting is absorbed into this oozing, glistening, slick black plasma that is spreading like warm butter into the nooks and crannies of my brain. It seeps into every fold. It grips. It adheres so strongly that even though the fluid continues to flow on downwards there remains a constant, thick film of filth. It metastases like a cancer and it will not stop until my entire body is rotting from the inside out. Until I dare not breathe for fear that the stench will reveal the rotting flesh within. ‘Won’t’ and ‘Can’t’ are the same to me now; the difference between the two lost in the blackness of the very ink that first wrote them on my mind.

Lost in the homogeneity that is the uproar in my heart.

If it was a fire burning me away, eroding my will; then at least there remained hope of something growing anew from the ashes. A flower that could spring from the dirt after years of leaving it fallow. But what grows submerged in petroleum? That which remains is pinned down, crushed by the weight. Even that which could be salvaged, wiped clean, would never be useable.

Every day it fills me further, ruining forever all that it covers.

And then there is me, struggling at the surface, trying to avoid being sucked in. Skin peeling, eyes slipping down my face, hair burnt away. Disfigured. Deformed. Struggling.
When all that is left of me is this battle to stay alive, to keep myself from drowning, is it any wonder that I have nothing new to say?