The Distant Music of Shattered Glass and Broken Dreams

February 25, 2009
By bleedingink BRONZE, Orinda, California
bleedingink BRONZE, Orinda, California
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

The night is cold as the dark wind blows in through the cracked bedroom window, cooling her dark, empty second story apartment.
She rests in bed, lying alone in the darkness. From her elevated location, high above the earth, she can hear sounds of the world below. Sounds of cars, sounds of the city, sounds of life, so distant from herself.
They are like music to her tired ears. Music and lyrics, wonderful melodies of honks, screams, screeches, buzzes and pops. She is distant, far above them, above the noise, above the chaos, above the fun.
Her glazed, tired eyes stare upwards, looking upon the new, sleek, and yet silent fan.
The fan, though dazzling, sits dormant with nothing to do, its purpose taken away by the cold night air. The fan has no more direction, and as such, it simply sits against the vast green and blue ceiling, waiting for the warm summer to give it meaning once again. However, for now it has nothing more to do but to sit and slowly collect dust like the dirty fragments of forgotten and broken dreams.
The vast apartment is dark. There are no choruses or melodies here. No songs to sing.
No one dances on dusty wooden floors in cracked, broken, hollowed out shells.
The only sound, only sign of life, is the distant washing machine, thumping over and over again, just like it does every night.
This noise is repetition, not chaos. The city below is chaos, the city below is fun, is exciting, is new.
The city below is alive.
She lays in bed, contemplating the fan, bothered by the distant thumping, and wide awake.
However, she's not sure why, the wine usually puts her to sleep.
But the glass sitting on the night stand is only half empty. Maybe she should finish the rest, but the nightstand is a million miles away, lost somewhere in the busy city streets.
No reason to try and reach the impossible, the glass is lost.
With weakened eyes she watches the last wisps of smoke from the last cigarette rise and then get swallowed by the night, stark gray against the cold, harsh black.
She sighs. She put the cigarette out almost five minutes ago, but the stubborn thing just kept burning.
Burning and fighting like it does every night. But nothing can escape the inevitable.
Finally the cigarette gives in and ceases to exist. Ceases to exist just like it does every night.
Thumping just like the repetitive washing machine.
The whispering wind chills the silent room, yet she only covers her skinny frame with thin pink panties and a ghostly, translucent tank top.
There is no need to try, to burn like the cigarette.
She closes her eyes. Her clothes are soft and they feel good on her skin. A rare comfort.
She then questions whether to use the blankets, but then dismisses the simple idea.
The blankets are demons, evil, creatures of the night, sharp and spiky, with claws that rake at her soft skin, that eat away at the layers of her flesh until she is exposed.
They explore her being, and then feast on her own darkened and bored heart. But, like all things, they lose interest in the tired soul and do not kill. Never kill.
She sighs again, the washing machine beats on, and she looks away from the useless fan to the oak nightstand.
The single cigarette rests, defeated, on the mahogany wood, but it isn't really there. No, because it does not exist, it is gone like the layers of her skin.
Her blood sits inside the half empty glass, deep and alluring, ready for the night to drink.
But not even the night dares take a sip of the simple liquid. No.
The night wants fresh blood, blood that moves, that churns, blood that's alive.
Alive. She isn't as bothered by the cold, as she is by this word and the sudden motivation it brings with it. She should get out of bed.
She moves her slim frame away from the clawing demons, who try to latch onto her clothes in failed protest.
She rises.
She bids goodbye to the lost fan as it searches for its own purpose in life, picks up the bloody glass, opens the door, and says hello to the night.
The night responds with its beautiful, quirky, alien music.
She sighs at this, and places herself down on her patio.
She lifts the half empty glass to her pale, half empty eyes, and lazily swishes the blood around.
Embarrassed, she stops and contemplates another cigarette. But cigarettes have ceased to exist.
She lays back, listening to the nightly song, and then, on a whim from an unknown force, pours the liquid into the soil of a solitary plant, potted, withered and sitting by itself in the cold night.
The plant too should enjoy the blood, enjoy the warmth.
Its roots will drink, gorge and swell at the feast. Yes, the blood is boring, but so is a plant.
The glass is empty now, save for the small tint of red that stains the chalice with the blood of remembrance, with pain, sorrow, guilt and tears.
The moon is high above, stars glimmer across the horizon, and somewhere in the distance the washing machine rolls along, repeating its cycle, over and over and over again.
The same thing every night.
The moon is bright, as stunning as a grand star. Yet, despite the cheap parlor tricks and false glamour, it is still a rock. She knows that, everybody knows that. It is good to be like everybody.
She stares at the icy orb trying to find the reality in the rocky, broken face, to see through the starry illusion clouding her view'But there is none, only an empty glass, a silent patio amid a cold, noisy night, and the beating of a heart, of a washing machine.
She shifts her gaze downward and stares as the empty glass. Empty.
Has it ever been that way before?
Hasn't it always been half full?
Is it something new?
Does it matter?
No. Maybe. Perhaps
She swishes about this information, and then her slender hand, delicate and pale, drops the glass, and with small clash it shatters across the stone patio.
She does not move, but stares.
Then slowly, with the pain and weariness of the decrepit, she stands. She arises from her plastic throne, looks over the city and hears its song with programmed ears.
It is a different song every night, but it is a deception, because every night there is a song, and that is repetition.
Just like the thumping of a machine, the beating of a heart, or the spinning of a fan. Nothing changes.
The washing machine is almost done now, retiring early, but the city and its music is constant.
She stands and takes in the strange scene around her. It is new. But does it matter?
No. Maybe. Perhaps
The glass has never been shattered, never been broken, and neither has the cycle.
The washing machine screeches to a halt, no longer running, no longer singing, no longer beating. The only sound left is the music of the city far, oh so very far, below.
The glass cuts her bare feet as she stands, but she welcomes the pain. It feels nice, like she's down in the city walking on rough sidewalks, like she's alive.
Her lonely, pale lips finally smile.
The cuts reveal to her that she has blood. That it's still there, that it still exists. It wasn't all wasted, wasn't all given to the plant. Some of the blood in this world is her own. She has control.
The glass hurts, stings as she takes another step. She watches the shards sink deeper, just as she watches the city.
She takes a moment to ponder the deepening night, and then takes another deliberate step onto the broken shards that are scattered about the concrete floor like skeletal remnants of a stone graveyard. These remnants slice her skin, invade her flesh, bite, cut deep and open more wounds.
The wine seeps onto the concrete floor and pools about, clouding the shattered fragments, staining the soul and patio alike.
She smiles as more slices appear on her feet, and watches as the glass sinks deeper in, watches the city.
'We are all ceiling fans' She says to herself, to the music, to the washing machine, to her heart, to the night, to the world, to no one at all.

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