I wrote this over a couple of late nights with lots of tea for a course I’m doing that is in no way related to creative writing. Certainly got me out of my box for a bit! Interested to hear any thoughts.
Though everything is gone, nothing can be forgotten. While I remain in this godforsaken place, I will not cling, with every fibre of my being, to what once was utopia.
While it may never have been the dream envisaged by some, relative to the home I am left, it was truly paradise as never imagined by any man. It was taken for granted, it was abused, it was destined to happen. Greed, exploitation and no compassion for another soul. How could we ever have expected anything different?
I wake up each morning, wishing that the night had taken me. I have no religion but this hateful place has driven me to pray as I lie shivering each night. I don’t pray for redemption or forgiveness but for an end.
I remember hope.
It used to fill me each day, it brought me to my feet and sent me outside to face the sallow, barren landscape. I hope that I will see someone, a person, an animal, some kind of life. Even a body. Some recognition that it isn’t just me. There has to be someone else. Something else?
Now, hope is a memory. It was an emotion that I used to feel, like fear or regret, or passion. Without these, I am a hollow shell, a chamber of echoes and silence, a mirror of the home in which I wake each day, without reflection.
The aching darkness of night, every day, gives way to the aching light of morning. When the sun disappears beyond the bleak horizon, it allows me to sink into myself, to rediscover memories, to smile, to forget what daylight revealed. I can’t call them dreams because I can never escape my perpetual nightmare, but for short moments snatched, I feel real as my heart warms.
My back arches and my head is thrown back. My knuckles whiten as my hands clutch at the cool steel chains. My legs hang freely, not knowing which direction to move. The cold air rushes over my face and through my hair. I feel a strong hand on my back receive me before launching me back into the air with a strong push. I release an elated shriek as each time I rise higher, each time closer to making it all the way over the bar. The bright sun warms me amidst the sound of joyful play. I’m at home, by the seaside. My mum comforts me after the swing has thrown me to the ground…
But it’s just a moment. It’s a life I knew and would forget if I could. The memory only serves to torture me, makes it impossible to accept this reality. Whatever it is, I wish I could know. A poet with the words of the world would struggle to describe the scene I see before me each day. The world around me is dead, I am the last drop of blood circulating in it’s heinous veins, waiting for the weakened heart to stop pressing from one place to another, to take my hope and set me free. The ground beneath my feet is scorched and brown, lifeless.
Withered grass crunches under the deft fall of my feet in what should be the early days of spring. The baking heat is everlasting with not a breath of wind offering release or refuge. There are no clouds in the murky, grey sky. The sun is invisible. I am sure it still exists as an approximation of daylight arrives regularly, but it offers none of the comfort and joy it once did. No sunglasses or ice cream, no days at the beach, no summer dresses and nobody to share a smile. Instead a landscape from Lucifer’s own hand, something that would make him proud. Designed seemingly to translate my every emotion to that of helplessness.
Today I haven’t found anything. There has been no sustenance, no sight of the humanity that has disappeared and left me hear. Somehow I survive on the quickly reclaimed, meagre fluid that my body offers me.
I remember watching relatives, long past the point of a happy existence, waste away to nothing and wishing that they could be helped into a happier state of being. Now I wish this for myself. There is nothing more that I can offer to this place and nothing more that I can take from this land.
I drag my weary legs through a garden, once well maintained. Black roses lie on the ground, not even a thorn left that might once have extracted blood and an exclamation of feeling. By any name this rose tortured me. A symbol of beauty and love. Now dead. Behind the garden and the rose I crawl into a corner of a one time living room. I lie my head on the hard wood of the floor and hear the splash of a tear. I curse myself as I can’t afford to lose the fluid, yet maybe now is the time to lose.
I gasp for breath and sob. Longing for a soul to hear me. Wishing above all to know what had happened. That day that I had woken to the fires, to the desperation, to the slow dawning realistion that now it was me, and only me. I was alone.
My foetal body drew anxious breath after breath, slowing to a sleep, slowing, slowing to a nightmare, that one day, I hope, might end.