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Stages of Life
He is running.
His feet are slapping the pavement, rhythmically beating the earth down below him and pushing the earth out behind him. He is propelling himself forward with sheer force, sheer will, sheer hatred of standing still.
His breathing is rough and jagged, like the edge of a broken eggshell – fragile, turbulent.
His heart is pumping his blood through his body at a rate of 32 liters per minute, at a rate of millions of units of fear per footstep.
His eyes are jarringly blue, the shade of falling glaciers and needlepoint focus.
His pupils are heavily dilated, light crashing in, piercing his retina, forming a crystal-clear picture of his present and ultimately, his blurred future.
His hands are clenched, knuckles bloodless, gripping a dream stretching from his fist and disappearing into the fog ahead.
His mind is an enigma. It’s complex and logical and efficient but it’s freeform and colorful and dancing at the same time. That’s how it usually is, anyway. But right now, it’s empty. And a while ago, it was black.
He is running because there are shadows chasing him. They are black like coal and endless like space. Their tendrils are reaching out to him, caressing his face and body as he sprints, a gentle touch with a threatening pressure.
He’s evading them, dodging them, headed desperately in the other direction. In front of him, there is a blindingly white light. It’s calling out to him, beckoning him closer.
And what about him? He is faced with light and followed by darkness, so what becomes of him? The intermediate, the divider, the man who holds 2 eternities in his palms. He is empty.
His mind is blank. A moment frozen in time, a question hanging in the air, unanswered. Will he succumb to the darkness behind him, or will he find salvation in the light before him?
He is close. The light is almost within his reach. But the shadows are surrounding him, gripping him tighter and tighter the faster and farther he goes. But before he is encapsulated by the dark, he reaches out, and his fingertips graze the light.
He stops, panting and sweating and terrified of what will happen now that he is still. The shadows rush in to fill the vacuum his empty mind has left. They burrow and scratch and consume the blank space inside of him. But in a moment, the white light starts seeping in. It takes its time, gently pushing back the darkness, overtaking it. But the light only has so much power.
After either an infinity or an instant, the battle of forces in the theater of his mind is finished. He is left with darkness and light, coexisting within him. He will stop running.