Maybe in the quiet gloom they can still breathe a breath of hope, that their efforts will not succumb to indifference, that their eyes will still hold that penetrating shimmer they had as children oh so long ago. So it is with this final strain (perhaps an optimistic hope confused for a final strain) that they march on. No, not march, their steps are too calculated, too reserved and bold; they creep, yes, they creep along at what seems to be intolerable languor and with sudden animation leap in the air to snatch their prey. All they don’t know is that all they would catch are their own tails.
I see them come forth. Their tired eyes have struggled too many times to try to make sense of the uncertain future. Perhaps their jolly light skip calms their heart (or their bodies could be slaves to their palpitations). Their faces are those curtains—shielding out the darkness of the night, yielding from the brightness of the daylight. Yet that’s all there is. It’s the thin veil that hides the darkness of our hearts, some are less sheer than others. It’s the same crumpled cloth that still bears the batters of the rain. The raindrops that soak it in and out waste away our conscience until we seem to believe that we are crying, that these are our own tears.
Their future is my past, yet in their youth, I see no resemblance of myself. What is the future for them but a bleak horizon, over which they can just make out the distant howl of the wind. In the picture of memories past, I still hear the whirlwind, yet it disappears in a black abyss farther and farther down into the irretrievable. No, this can’t be my past. Yet how come it is? They say when you look back at your past you overlook your happiness. Yet there’s nothing to overlook. Perhaps I was one of them, and still am. Perhaps I was lost in the whirlwind of self-destruction, spinning ceaselessly until my soul wrenches out its last quiver. This storm which we unleash against ourselves, that we all wish could become all the more tempestuous and violent, is our own creation. We, as a collective, have done this. We, as a society, has kept this storm alive. We subject ourselves to another form of slavery, of blind ambition and senseless wanderings. We are those who do not have the fortune to see a guiding light. Without this guiding light, we create our own. Amidst the downpour of the masses we light our own fire. Maybe we light this fire just because. Or we light it for that brief momentary flicker of subtle brevity, possibly imprinting its magnificence into our memories, only for it to fade away but it’s there nonetheless, we’ve seen it, and that’s all that matters. Yet maybe some still sit here hunched over and crippled by old age grumbling at the chiseled rock cursing it to light the fire that will never be. Their limp hands seize up desperately all the gravel they can find, cutting their fingers, bashing endless rock upon endless rock, until their tears fall down to douse the chances of lighting any fire, yet they still bash on with increasing vehemence. Never have I seen such a pitiful sight.
Though we can accept or deny our past, the present we live in is the whirlwind. How do we get out of something when we don’t know what ‘out’ is? It doesn’t matter what our own values are when society has its own. We can protest and reject and deviate from society, yet we are defined by others, the individuals of society. Perhaps it’s when we finally reject behavioural changes of others in conversation when we reveal bits of ourselves, when attitudes change based on trivial, nonconsequential facts. At the end of the day all we are proud of, then, is that we managed to make it out of the whirlwind. Maybe we used a vacuum to suck out our tears and empty us of our humors, maybe a handsaw for that bothersome penis that too often guides us to unrequited sorrow, or maybe even a wooden board upon our heads which we can whack; for then, and only then, will we be sure that we are alive, because we still feel pain.
Little doves, save me from this misery. Their fake lights have torn up my heart. Your dappled wings swinging high, to fly for that is your being, for you are defined by your flight. To fly for you is to be. And for me, it is to… to…