If work is the only thing I have, then I have grown to enjoy it. It grew in me. I hadn’t consented, but it did. What growth comes out of this infestation, not just the regular shrubbery or the country grass, but the greedy evergreens that block out the sun. They don’t even need the sun, yet they are kind enough to block me from it too. Maybe it isolates me, maybe it hides me well. But with the clear-cutting the snow is left exposed. Perhaps I didn’t want to see the sun anyway, with all its radiant warmth melting my cover. Or perhaps it wasn’t the trees’ fault anyway. It was just a change in season.
Surface, on the surface. Why bother with everything else when all you can see is on the surface? Why do I ask that question when everything else is as ridiculous and cold as the snow that covers me? Sure, it’s soft and fluffy; but it’s cold. Perhaps they mistook it for a soft bed, perhaps low ground is a shelter from the wind. But it’s low ground, the ground studded with gravel that stabs at every step. Of course some are smart enough to walk with shoes on. That leaves them less vulnerable. I guess they’ve had too much pain in the past to take their shoes off.
The light flicks itself onto my eyes, constant flashes, they have no meaning. Or maybe there is one, because it’s something out of the ordinary: a pale green wall, angled because of my head tilt, flashing because of my disease. Then I see another wall, this time plastered with paper. Wall paper, they call it, wallpaper. Yes I’ll squint, maybe that’ll make the light less harsh. Or that will just crush my retina. But I have to squint, because if I don’t, I’ll appear like I’m struck dumb, that my brain has refused to acknowledge my eyes. Since, when I squint, I can pretend I’m thinking. It even pushes me to think. To think about why the hell I am pretending to be thinking.
Idleness in a dynamic environment can result in obsessive staring of seemingly random points in space. Symptoms include the self-directed study of the relationship between the length of time it takes for a callous to form on the phalanges of the left ring finger, switching to rubbing the other hand when the subject experiences discomfort, obsessive attention to the patient’s breath to ease the compulsion that the moribund patient is not dying. Further studies show a decreased awareness to surroundings, an inability to pretend to think, and EEG graphs resembling patients in comatose.
It’s a sound that I can’t see, a warmth that I can’t hear. Yet all the coldness that rests inside me shatters to my own ax, an ax I made from words. Perhaps it’s self-deprecation, perhaps it’s truth. In either case I deserve it. With outstretched arms I lie prostrate feet sprayed arms stretched, and bear the drilling of the rain. At least I can feel the pain.
It wouldn’t be self-deprecation if it’s true. Yet the only one who knows my truths is myself. Too many untruths have been told. The dignity with which I walk is a set of invisible strings held way up there. Every step I refuse to take the skin of my face slips off one more bit. They still manage to hold me up, their hooks in my jaw, head up stand straight.
I am still lying prostrate though. The hooks snap taut and lurch my body upward. It accelerates until all my blood is pressed against my sole. Sloshing around I barely feel a tinge of warmth, maybe just a quiver of life still hangs on. Yes, I still hang on to the hook. A muscle reflex still hangs on. Hung for the crimes he has committed against humanity, for social deviance, behavioural discongruities.
Amidst those eyes I can see a profundity, a murky haze of contemplation, or a forlorn gaze, or hollow devastation. Lost in oblivion yet still here. I am too still here. Where? Here, I say. This place, here. Who did I expect would hear me?
Maybe I’m there where the water falls, curtains of strands pulled down from up high, their freshness lapping on my skin. It’s where the water falls that I feel joy, the taps on my face from their lingering streaks. Perhaps it’s a sensation I can only get from water. It runs its drops over every part of my body, through my hair, under my feet. And through this refracted light I hear their drops sprinkle and bounce against the porcelain. Breathing in the mist I see the uncertainty of the past, and the inevitability of the future. I might slip and fall, just like another bathroom death, but I won’t. I won’t have myself slip just yet. If I fall there will still be water to catch me, though it made me slip. I’d rather have myself trip on the stairs or fall down a ladder, because then, at least I’ll seem like I was pursuing something. Tragedy whilst pursuing a dream is the worst.
Leap and bound into the air, because we all hope that the grassy meadow will catch us. When the black crow snatches me in midair I will not protest. In its eyes I can see my own reflection. It would be cruel for another crow to drop on the innocent flowers. It snatched me out of unforgiving necessity. The evil in my heart has found its home. The black feathers brush off my dust, the dust of what remained from my body hung high.
Night, night, come and go. See me in the darkness as a fool. The cloak of night still lies donned waiting for the dawn that never comes. Maybe I should just whisper into the night, it’s quieter now than in the day. I can almost hear myself.