Burning alight

I didn’t sleep for two nights in a row, for completely opposite reasons.

In one, I laid pressed together in a close and cozy, occasionally over-crowded warmth. Skin soft and burning against my back, my arms, my side. A number of heads filled with thoughts and dreams, questions and possibilities, sleep and nothing else. In the morning, the space cleared like petals falling from a wilting flower. And by breakfast, you were alone.

In the other, I laid wrapped around a sleeping bag and coldness. Twisted into a knot both inside and out. No space to breathe but space enough to feel, to think, to fall into that old darkness where pain on the surface helps you forget, helps you feel, helps you break through the too-tough skin that you feel like you’ve been living in.

You aren’t cool enough for this to be cool or mysterious, not interesting enough for this to be something you’re admired for. You’ve always been just pathetic enough to disappear, fade into the background, not exist. Just like the marks you’ve always had the guts to make.

Nothing permanent resides in you but the desire to be and/or do more.
And the failing, ever, to be and/or do so.

So, by morning, nothing will have changed but the shape of the space you’re lying in.

A single other viewpoint, you know from that non-persistent past, could help to clear the clouds, the air, the smoke from your burning up. It could tell you all the things you already know, but stop believing in the moment their existence is all that counts. You could, then, see how wrong you were in the long moments, the endless empty spaces of the night just before.

Because for you, perception is a fickle thing you try to grasp as it slips away. You have never drawn near enough to see well enough. Instead, you persistently manage to skirt the edge of it. The hollow places, the empty shadows, the space in the room where no-one else ever goes — that’s where you belong. The ignorable one — that’s you.

You think you long to dance in full light, sparkle and glitter — but I’m afraid you never will.
Be happy, at least, for what you do have. With your fading lines and your impermanent marks, you’re far better off than some.
So they say.


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