Night's Wings

You know, when I was a kid, I was really messed up. I used to feel like I didn’t really have a body, that I wasn’t really part of it. My bed wasn’t mine, and the floor beneath my feet could just fall away at any moment, like a black mouth opening to swallow me whole in its sticky, dark abyss. Of course, there was nothing wrong with the dark. I could sit in a corner, surrounded by its blind embrace. I could cry in the assurance that the dark would not judge. That the eternal nigh would not pity or scold or try to comfort me even though I didn’t really want comfort.
I could cry in the black solitude. I cried by the same thing, every time. I cried because I couldn’t be myself, because I couldn’t say what I thought because people just don’t do that anymore. This meant I couldn’t care because people don’t care anymore. I couldn’t love because loving gives you pain. I couldn’t have a home or a body because they didn’t really exist. I couldn’t find them. I would search the night. Reach out into the stars and try to snatch at the stars. Try to feel like I actually belonged because no one likes a bookish child who laughs at odd things and is always trying to compensate for others’ lack of affection.

So I became another girl. During the day I said the things others wanted to hear. I closed myself up because that is what everyone wanted. I cut all the veins leading to my soul so the body could live without me. But the girl still searched for me. She read books, trying to make up for the fact that life is never as good as it should be and people don’t care or laugh or love enough. She found me among the well-worn pages, hiding with fictitious characters. The heroes and villains and lovers and supporters who were everything people are supposed to be and secretly want to be but keep themselves locked up because they are afraid that believing could hurt. They don’t want someone to come along and rip their world to shreds so they just live a fake life. They criticize others who do live because they are so afraid that someone might see right through them. But everyone is too frightened anyway to look too closely at anything, so what’s the point?

People used to say I had my head in the clouds and I wish it were true. To be able to fly away from by troubles and glide on the velvet wings of night, sailing across the sea of dreams until I met the cold island of the moon. I was a perfect little girl, who always said yes sir and did my homework and played on the sidewalk so no risks were ever taken. I was the one who didn’t talk to strangers and kept my head down in the principal’s office and never played with matches. But in the night I searched for me, reading by a small light so the world couldn’t see my love, living in the darkest hours. Feeling the life flutter like butterflies against my skin when I felt. When I came across imagery that tasted like chocolate ice cream and slid smoothly down my throat to soot my heart.

I searched for myself, and I found myself. It’s odd, because I cannot describe myself. But if I were me I would never put up with the crap people think of as normal. The real me feels like someone tore open my heart and let the boiling emotions bleed out onto the cold pavement of society, seeping into the foundations. As I watched the mistress moon soar gracefully through the sky, led by a chariot of silver horses, I felt the burning that didn’t hurt as my soul settled temporarily to nest for the night.

There is a girl. She is 15. She goes to school each day and banters with friends and gossips about enemies. She gets good grades and listens as her teachers spew out word strung together to form tales of the “right” society. She hears all about the choices and the freedom and how lucky she is to live in a country as wonderful as this. She accepts these things, and doesn’t tell the truth because no one really does that anymore. Besides, everyone is always struggling with their own problems. Why bother them?
But then the hypocritical sun drops from the heavens in a superfluous display of gaudy lights and omniscient night humbly takes her place. As the girl sleeps I wake. I live while death momentarily claims others with his soothing hands. He croons his promises to them as slumber overtakes their tired bodies, stroking souls gently with his fingers, letting the precious seconds tick away. Patiently he waits to ferry his children to the other side. I open books sometimes, and let the words play out in my head, living between the lines, a shadow curiously gliding beneath the oblivious characters’ feet.

Most of the time I lay there, letting the tides of life rush out, following the pull of her majesty the moon, unfolding in my fingers like fragile lotus blossoms. The current electrifies the tips of my hair, sends up sparks behind my eyes. In the darkness fleeting truth crouches, and lies are illuminates and scandal exposed. Under the gentle moon’s light the girl is put to rest and I at last reign. I am free now to love without misgivings, to bubble over with emotions kept at bay for an eternity. In this world of shrouded mists, everything becomes clear. I know that there are masks to hide that fact that the occupying souls have left their hosts, chasing fantasies while the husks of humanity are left to perform what is “right”. But in this nightly Odyssey, I know all. I feel. I am alive.





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Junebug said...
Mar. 9, 2010 at 8:46 pm
Wow! I can really relate to so much of what you have shared here. How often have I used a facade in order to make it through this life! Not many know the true me. Most have never understood me, their being too much "of this world".
 
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