Emblazoned, contemptuous, and enraged. The burning anger ignites like sparks for a wildfire. The yelling has stopped—I’ve even driven away, but the red in my cheeks couldn’t be more real. The pulse of bitter sadness and the beat of primal depression brush the needle edge of my consciousness, emboldening the fiery demon within to rear his ugly face; to take flight against friend and foe alike.
Of course, they’ll never see it. The waitress, the passersby. Friends and family, whores and ladies in kind. They all see the practiced mask of smiles, well worn by now, like a familiar pair of shoes. The unexpected cries of children, or the sudden guzzling of a motorcycle are the only moments where my armor cracks.
And yet, even now, they fade away. The fryers, the bustle of children, the lights and sounds and spirits all grow distant to the darkness inside my mind…
Is this why people shoot up schools?
The haunting image of my own tattered self lies dead before me. He’s gruff, bearded, and dirty, like the homeless man I saw off the freeway tonight. His jeans are shredded—not as a Hollister model’s, but as one lost, so worn dry that his bones stand out against his sunken skin, and the depths of his eyes hold an empty black void. A void filled with the same horror that lies within a black hole. His curly hair lies in shambles, down along his shoulder line, and his once proud, fat fingers are stretched boney and pale.
Of course, he is me, and I am him. I sit appalled, as this slump of a dead man sits across from me, his body listing weakly against the red and white diner booth. At once, I am filled with both disgust and jealousy. To die such a lonely, pathetic death.
And yet, to be freed from the world of lies, of pains, and of false smiles. I shift uncomfortably as the envy in me tries to win out. I think it will.
The hours have passed by. The heat of my anger has given way to the frost of my heart. Not the ice I instill on others. I cross my t’s and dot my i’s. I smile, and play along. But the frost bitten feeling within the carcass I inhabit. The chill I feel with each morning’s rise, and each evening’s fall. A familiar sting; one that I’ve made my own. But it is uncomfortable, nonetheless.
The limp returns. A phantom, not unlike my happiness, yet it seeps in to my life in ways the smiles don’t. It’s like an old friend come calling, sapping the life from me. He’s back again to tug at my will, to push me to give in; to bend me till I break.
Remind me again the need for faith and fitness, when we all will be buried in dirt just the same? Or burned, if we are lucky. Turned to trinkets our families can treasure for years to come.
My hand drifts absent-mindedly to my chest, adorned with my golden necklace.
Pages gone, scribbles, failed lines, cliché poems, broken stanzas; a myriad of simile and metaphor, and I am spent. Like the last dollar the single mother-stripper scrapes off the dance floor—too ashamed by the house lights to pick her head up. She fears the sting of her children’s stares.
Spent like the poor aching man, working two empty jobs so that his mother, wife, and children all have food on the table—though he himself is too weary to lift the spoon to his mouth.
Spent like the hearty teenage couple, after their first grip of ecstasy, when the reality sets in that the condom was broken.
Spent like the dimes clattering in the grizzled street musician’s guitar box. The hoots and hollers of drunkards make him wonder what good those years at Julliard did.
Spent like Dante, and Chaucer, and Shakespeare, whose pens all live despite their death. Yet we know not the men they were, just the pages they have left behind.
Pages, like the ones I’ve left you.
Did you like this story? Let me know by leaving a like and a comment!
Want to keep up-to-date on all my posts? Follow my blog!
Want to see more of my work? Check out my blog’s site!
Want to read more of my stuff, but don’t go on WordPress often? Check out my Facebook page!
I recently started an Instagram for my blog! Follow me there for visual highlights of my writing!
A quick closing note. They say writing is an extension of self, and this is in no way inapplicable to this piece of work. However, you, the reader, should also recognize that this is a fragment of the emotions we all feel, which I have tried to capture as truly as I can. It does not reflect the day to day world I live in, or the feeling I am necessarily experiences at the time you read this. I could be at Disneyland for all you know! (Ok I mean I’m not but you get my point). Anyways, enjoy this, see the value it holds, and see what you can pull from it for your own well being. 🙂