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An Everpresent Lack Of Heart
I awoke. Again. The thought had been tearing through my dream. The simple, small bit of knowledge had been eating away at me. Night. Day. As if the space behind my eyes was constantly being berated with the same song. Over. Over. Over. Being aware of this for the short week that I had been felt like an eternity. I was falling down the Rabbit Hole and never hitting the bottom. Nothing could keep me from thinking about the state I was in, where I was.
It was odd, I thought as I lie there in the rock-like excuse for a bed, breathing heavily due to my recent nightmare, that in all honesty I felt exactly the same as I had before. Aside from the isolated feeling that seeped into my bones. The cold, bitter feeling of loneliness was the only difference. That was the most painful thing to me: the isolation. Knowing that each day that same feeling would overcome my body and mind. I think if anything gets to me in the end, it will be the loneliness. I rolled into the most comfortable position possible on the gratingly painful, damp daybed. I glanced up at the clock (it was 3:17 a.m.) and decided to attempt to get more sleep prior to rising for the day.
As soon as I closed my weary eyes and grasped for the arduously regained sleep, the dream gripped me again. It tore at me. It ripped me into pieces. I could see it all: the bright, gay Sunday afternoon, the lazy, loveseat-filled daze I was so encompassed in, and my Love, my Anastasia walking into the room, as if a dream in herself.
As she drifted through the parlor entranceway, her tresses floating around her perfectly- shaped countenance, I could see the love in her eyes, her true devotion to me. The room itself spoke of the intimacy we had developed over these years. Years. It was funny to think that it had been years since I first saw that face, those blue eyes, those oceans I would drown in, and in a blink, return to life (remember to breathe).
This chamber showed all the aspects of the life we had formed together: the seat in which I was sitting, the desk we had inherited upon her mother's untimely death, the daybed we often frequented on afternoons such as this, all the prints of infamous works of art she loved to collect, the table and chair set I had built for her on our third anniversary together, all of these things that we had put into this small, contented room. As Anastasia walked in, I was lost in these thoughts of our love and our life together; I was filled, entirely overwhelmed, with this pure and unrelenting joy as my eyes followed her glide toward me, sitting on the loveseat.
My thoughts seemed to meld into hers, for a split second I could swear our minds were connected. Our thoughts drifted together, danced in the air between us, becoming one so we might have the most unadulterated conversation without a single word. For one fleeting moment of this beautiful split second I found that those purest thoughts were tinged, veiled with some hint of the deepest evil, some force that unsettled my stomach and left my mind in a knotted cage. Though in an instant, that one fleeting moment of that single split second gone, the pain and agony I felt in that look and those thoughts had left as quickly as it had come, and I reverted back to an almost pure joy, but somewhere, somewhere deep within me, I felt as if there might be a true hindrance in our love. The thought, the tiny nagging being, was a parasite on my joy and on my mind.
As soon as she had traversed the space in between the entryway and the loveseat the split second ended, happiness remained, but the dance resolved itself. I looked upon her face as she reached me. Our eyes met (the drowning commenced), and she lifted her hand, slowly, into the air and out to where mine rested on the arm of the seat. My hand was enveloped by her delicate fingers and she raised both her and my hand into the air together. Gracefully, I was lifted from my chair, as if I had taken on her airy gait, and came to rest upon my feet. Being up above her now, I felt a difference: the parasite grew. My happiness ebbed, slowly becoming confusion and misleading me into more dangerous thoughts, thoughts that said her intentions weren't what they should be. I did not want to believe this. 'It could not be true, our love was pure. I will swear it until my dying day', I thought, 'our love is pure and shall forever be.'
Over. Over. Over. The song was playing again. The thought entwined within my being, cooling my heart and body from the inside out. It was a quarter past six in the morning. I had slept too long. Much too long for where I had wanted to be. The alarm clock was beating the time to this song. I was being completely overcome by it now. I pushed that feeling out of my mind. I would not let this loneliness take me.
Though I wasn't entirely sure if it would make a real difference now, I decided to keep with my previous day's schedule and go to mass. It was the first Sunday since it had happened, one week to the day. I arose from the bed, first moving my feet from the dank mattress to the floor, forcing myself to sit up, and finally rising completely from my new sleeping quarters. My walk across the parlor was one that was almost filled with disgust; this room had taken on a new light today, a darkened hue which sickened my inner being. As I passed through the entryway of the parlor, I came into the main foyer of this small house. This house which had been Ours, but now there was no Our, or We, or Us, just me. So just by myself I traveled out the blackened front door.
The world was only faintly lit as I found myself outside. The sun was beginning its daily journey into the sky. In my mind I wished it good day. Though I knew, even if it did have a good day, it could never respond to me, and I could never tell it that I was having a good day; for I doubted that a good day would ever grace me again. The remnants of wispy clouds flitted away happily, as if mocking me, as if saying "We have freedom, we have control, we have the world in our palms and always will." I was envious of those clouds as I walked down the dimly lit street. Wishing I could be just that, a wispy cloud in the sky.
I made my way down the cracked and dilapidated sidewalk of the street which my house occupied. I could see the cathedral in the distance, dark and looming. Its towers seemed to rise into the very heavens, have a direct line from God Himself. It was, in all honesty, a magnificent church, beautiful in its own dark, brooding way. The cathedral was only a singular, lonely block from my house (not my Home, anymore). I seemed to not even notice the other houses, or anything for that matter, that took up the street. They were all a blur to me, nothingness followed by nothingness. That is the way most of the world seemed to me now. Just the house I was in, day in and day out, the cathedral I was approaching, and nothingness.
I came upon the ancient, ornately inscribed double doors. As I pulled open the heavy wooden entrance, I glanced up to the stained glass window that pictured Mary, the mother of Jesus. While looking upon her I could have sworn, could have sworn I saw a tear, a single tear escape her eye and roll slowly down the window. I ignored it. I did not want to see it. I walked hurriedly through the door into the cathedral. It was dark and empty. Its details had graced my eyes so often, yet they were a beauty which filled me upon seeing them, slightly easing my melancholy being The ceiling was high and arching. The priest's pulpit was an ornately carved dove, who's wings met and formed a solid surface on which one could set the Bible. The altar was simple (showing the simplicity with which we ought live our lives), the tabernacle a brilliant, shimmering gold, and the pew's hand carved out of wood.
I reverently walked up to the last pew in the row and kneeled behind it. I placed my hands upon its back and interlaced my fingers. My eyes closed, and my neck became bent. My prayer was one which I often returned to:
"Upon this soul take pity, my Lord; Upon this soul pour out thy ever present mercy. Upon this earth lie my body down; Upon this earth lie down this short life. Upon this body remove the wounds, Upon this body leave only smooth. Upon this mind leave only ease; Upon this mind give a freedom. Upon this man give whatever thou may, my Lord. Upon this man give rest. Amen."
A prayer of my own hand. One that, in this day, I felt fit me. I prayed it, thrice over. I then made the sign of the cross, being sure to think about each individual yet ethereal being as I mentioned His name. My eyes opened. I knew that I must exit this place, I must return to the house. Rising, I turned 'round and headed quickly to the doors through which I had recently entered. Why this anxiety had taken over my body, nestled close to the loneliness, I knew not. Yet I let it overtake me, felt it move from my heart, taking the road my veins provided, through the entirety of my body. This body, this simple shell which had carried me through life. The shell was moving, fast.
Exiting the cathedral, I actually broke into a true run (why? Why was I running so? From what did I need to run? There was nothing I should fear now). I crossed the distance between the church and the house in a short amount of time. I skipped the steps and landed my feet upon the porch. I dove for the door. I tore it open, threw myself over the threshold. Quickly the door was shut, my back up against it, my body sliding down it. I was panting for air, gasping for breath, but there was none. I cried, sobbing, the tears poured from me as if their only purpose was to escape my eyes which caged them. I was seated now, and I began questioning myself.
I questioned the reason for this attack. Was it the loneliness grasping me entirely? That the parasite had latched itself on, stuck in its pincers, and overtaken my life? I knew not. I wouldn't let this happen. I had to take back control of my own body. I arose fervently, I moved my shell onto the loveseat (there was no love in it). I sat; I sat and waited for nothing. There was nothing to wait for. I began praying again, the same prayer which I had become accustom to. The words seemed to me to be perfection, the verbosity that could save me from this! Though I knew nothing could save me. Had I tricked myself into thinking that there might be an end to this?
I knew there was not. There was no end. Damn these mind games! Damn this eternal nothingness that had only lasted a week but was sure to last forever! Damn my newly found insanity!
Insanity? I was questioning it. Did that mean I had then not, in fact, gone insane? I hoped, I prayed. I prayed my prayer, my call, again and again. I was in the chair. And then, then she was there. My Anastasia, my Love! Oh, she was there! She was walking into the room again, drifting as she always seemed to do, our thoughts were dancing again! She took my hand and we rose, I rose into the air.
I towered above her, my Love was short, but I still towered above. Height was not power. No, no she had the power; I knew now why that parasite infected my brain, that purity was no longer a part of us. I did nothing to stop it however, I let it happen. Anastasia led me to that daybed, the one where we had shared so many joyous, lazy Sunday afternoons. She glided across the room, our hands entwined, and I drifted with her. She motioned for me to lie on the bed; I saw no reason to stop now. Already I had submitted to her intentions, there was no use fighting her. I lay upon the bed as she wanted, as she had wanted so many times before. I lay face down; she pushed my shirt up my back, massaging it as she did so. Her massage was always a relief for me, a sort of release from the world, always with a subtle scratch from her nail (to remind me I could never entirely leave.) She massaged my muscles, being sure to rub each one individually. It was an amazing feeling, one that I loved!
Then came the fingernail, subtly, at first. It made its way down the length of my spine, my Anastasia's nail. As she reached the bottom she began working her had back up the length of my back, though she deviated from her original path. The nail was becoming more painful, almost to the point of annoyance; it was favoring the left side of my spine, working its way up. Up. Up. Digging deeper and deeper into the skin. I could feel the hot rush of blood now, encompassing my back, cloaking me in red. The daybed was becoming damp with it.
I knew now it was not her nail anymore. It was a much more lethal weapon that such as a nail. I had sensed this was coming, sensed it and yet done nothing to stop it. I let it happen. The knife found my heart, caressed the slowly dying being within me. She had done it. My Love had taken it from me, my life. As I lay dying I could feel her hand on my wound. Tracing it with a girlish flick of the wrist. Then removing herself from the bed, from the room, from the house, from my life entirely.
I awoke. Again.