An Autumn Breeze Through Time

I laid in my bed after thirteen hours of sound sleep, paralyzed. I was astonished upon seeing the man who had freed me from the slumber that had held me so tightly in its grasp: this man shared my face, but had transformed from being brushed and chiseled by the sands of time over what looked to be around a decade. Curiously, though, he felt like an autumn breeze and made me feel the same. His smile was light and airy, and his hands were a gentle complement to his general demeanor. His hair shone under the light in a matte manner; its pigment was a bright shade of nutmeg reminiscent of the oxidized leaves that had littered the driveway in the New England autumns. He was a dream, another evanescent vision that would soon become cloudier as time went on — even days and weeks would weather him more than the years of time he appeared to have endured in some alternate, distant past — or rather, in some faraway future straight ahead. He took a U-turn and blew over and away as weakly as a gust of air pushed forward only by the lungs of a single human being, and he left an impression on me as strong as a violent gale, tearing at the sides of the safe-house within the walls of which all of our worst demons hide, the skin of the body.

“We can avoid everyone together someday. Let’s run away.”

No, that cannot be right, can it? I must have read his cold gaze incorrectly — we must have someone on whom we can depend in the future, no?

“We can fly under the radar and have a whole circle of people who like us.”

No — are these the only options? I must have misinterpreted his approachable gesture — if we reach out hand out like this too many times, we will only encounter trouble. We should only do for the people closest to us, so when they are helped up, they do not pull us down, and those closest to us should be those who can understand us, not those from whom we must hide.

Now that he was gone, I could not interpret his message at all. He disappeared as quickly as he came, and he pulled his hand away before I could decide on an adequate response. I was left alone, questioning whether there was a message at all. All I knew was the autumnal sensation he provided, which lingered even after the last cloudy wisps of his likeness wavered and faded into the scenery which once surrounded him.

Just as I am, he was but an ideal image, stretching across time to aid the fallen. Will I ever see him again?

Filter

There is plenty of room

For my words in the silence,

But my body cannot

Handle my inner violence;

Yet the words I would say,

Strung together and tied,

Accumulate in my throat,

Leaving me empty inside.

 

They are made out of twine,

Knotted and left in tatters,

But the things they describe —

Each and every one scatters

Far away from my soul,

Even farther from body,

Just like I tend to feel

When I talk to somebody.

 

They are clogging my throat,

They are pulling me down,

And in the dense, black waves,

They are making me drown.

The next action I take

Must be something alone,

Or instead I’ll forever

Be left behind on my own.

Outside In

My sense of self dissolved upon the arrival of the stagnant dawn.  A new day loomed over the artificial, unmoving, midnight blue earth surrounding my feet and silently greeted me — luckily, my spirit clung to the cloth of my shirt on my back, counteracting the ethereal winds which aimed to sweep them away, far above my flesh container.  I was therefore present enough to register a change in human definition where there was none that my eyes could recognize.   Mornings are cold now, as are afternoons and nights, and there is no perceivable way for me to differentiate a day from the one previous.  This room is an echochamber with no voices to echo and a haven for the ghosts haunting my mind to breed repeated messages and to layer them on top of each other one after the other until nothing is discernible from the cacophonous chaos; but aside from the single, temporary inhabitant living within these walls, this space is deathly quiet.  The color gradually leaked from its walls, floors, and furnishings until naught but white remained before I even moved in, since this place is the exact same as my last, down to the placement of the furniture, aside from a single desk being absent compared to one being present in front of the curtains in the past.  I am certain that we could not describe the differences in awareness between standing still in the middle of the room and lying on our bed, having each nervous tic cause a shift which wedges our bones into a new position between the uneven metal springs of the mattress, if it was the only condition that needed to be met to save our lives.  Wherever my body moves within this room, inherently, my soul still always blindly sits atop the same flat surface with its eyes closed within the confines of an infinitely spacious, sprawling, pure white void, with nothing disturbing its constant inactivity until enough multicolored noise soaks through the fabric of my privacy from the outside world.

Outside my window, a disease creeps closer to the uninfected as their bodies prematurely rot in their seats, melting and molding themselves following the will of gravity.  Their fingers type words of hate and disbelief and send them to others in the same predicament, and their readers nod their necrotic heads above their creaky, cracking necks in agreement.  Move farther away and there is my family with bloodied arms, fighting off the tendrils of corruption, inadvertently enabling little bits of infected matter to enter the crevices those tendrils create.  Venture even farther and fly above the world to observe the by-products of loud ignorance and soft fear in large groups, flailing about in protest, destroying where they live with their damaged bodies rather than deliberately crafting the messages they would need to educate the masses, distinguishing themselves as leaders.  Science becomes fluid which lacks a shape to contain it and as a result streams along the city sidewalks beneath the feet of men who spit sour nothings into each other’s faces and splash each other with the mental and physical diseases that course through their disintegrating veins.

Red streaks manifest in my field of vision.  Red sounds dominate my inner ears.  Red ‘X’ marks litter my limbs and my eyes soon follow.  It is all I see, hear, and feel.  Upon the flip of a switch, all awareness rushes in as a scarlet sea.  Death is no longer tranquil.  It is clamorous and contagious.  It stalks obsessively rather than waiting to strike and noisily rears its ugly head close to home and person alike.  Yet, it is the new normal.  It rains appendages and they plant themselves on the sidewalk with a squishy sound and a crack each, so whenever I go outside, I must avoid the red and black stripes they paint on the ground from their leakage when they land by stepping over and around them.  I did not fear the reaper until the products of his deeds were thrown in front of me only to seep into the ground, leaving no trace behind — no proof of my account of what I had witnessed.  If someone close falls in the midst of the faraway void outside of our general vicinity, should they make a sound?  Either way, my ears now ring like bells over the dead.

Numbly Sinking

The stiffness and the grayness is limitless and ceaseless as far as my mind’s eye can perceive.  I used to despair in the age when my headspace was gradually purged of its individual pigments and swept free of all objects that held what sentimentality was left, somehow faintly attached to certain memories.  I would lament on my knees in the middle of the clean, dimensionless white space within the confines of my skull.  Soon afterward, everything would delineate itself as I would continue tearfully squinting to spot any presence through the fog, and I would find that a hallway or a door new to the present, forgetful me had been there all along, so I could then navigate to what I once thought was lost; at times, a voice would even use what the memories stored beyond the new pathway served to teach in order to guide me through the seemingly unexplored territory.  All of my memories remained somewhere, after the emotions associated with them leaked out, leaving nothing but stainless white — the overwhelming presence of all colors of light I took in sometime in the past was sprawled amorphously in one place, unprocessed and still until I rediscovered them and compartmentalized them.  My life was an enthralling, yet anxiety-provoking journey of self-discovery and rediscovery, but every bright abstraction I pulled from the light would transform into a solid, shapely item of a singular, uniform hue after its existence had been unveiled from the clouds.

I have been left behind in this place alone now, however.  Mindfulness of my mindless, dreamy retreat has drained the color from these shapes, leaving thin, broken outlines where lucid pictures once animated themselves, defining the vivid story of my life behind my eye sockets.  Attributing all aspects of my past experiences to a single word each and subsequently shoving them into clearly-carved holes of a simple shape has subverted my humanity.  Comparing every piece of myself to the unattainable ideal of normalcy resting upon the transparent horizon and organizing every personal truth into either black or white — either fantasy or reality — has plunged my head below the smooth meniscus of the undefined portions of my gray matter, and I now flounder beneath the surface, concealed by their opacity, unable to create ripples to indicate where I am to any onlookers.  None care to pass by any more, however, so I have fallen limp, and the night extends longer every day my heart decides to maintain its rhythm.

My body lies unmoving in my bed, my limbs flaccid at my sides.  I am a stillborn child, forever lost on a cold, white-gray hospital gurney, having only known of one state: the warm, dark sphere of amniotic fluid in which I once floated, motionless and emotionless.  My eyes are closed while they are open, and my muscles are stiff and still while they are moving.  I am floating atop the world, but I am simultaneously plummeting into an unseen realm, unable to be retrieved by human hands, for I am too far gone.  I can no longer sense time; its silken fabric has passed more and more faintly over my skin, and now it imparts to me nothing as it brushes by, and yet I cling to the notion of lateness — “it is too late for me.”  The black sea is swallowing me, and I am numbly sinking with no intent of freeing myself anymore.  “Take over me.”

O.K.

What was love but rigid with mass — but an imprint firm-pressed in solid brass,

And what’s it now but a loose phosphene beneath an angry sun?

What was truth but a game with rules, to win which I could once use my own tools,

And what’s it now but amorphous, shapeless nothing to no one?

 

When all concepts become tangible, all that they govern seems more manageable;

Now that these objects are eroding, I finally can see

That the lines I so dutifully drew, and the organized ideas I once knew

Were never existent in the first place to anyone but me.