When the moon rises and darkness falls, we look forward to diving into our sweet beds that will allow us to drift off into a dream far away from the troubles of reality. We cover ourselves in sheets, blankets, and quilts as though they’re a shield created to protect us from the stress that lies within our lives. We lay, and we think about the events that transpired throughout the day and thank the man above for the ability to live to see our precious solitude. It’s interesting, really. We yearn for the unconscious to take over our bodies, and what lasts for eight hours only seems like five minutes once we wake up to the world that has the ability to take away all that we love and cherish. Still, we look to our beds at the end of the day for comfort in escape. If even for a little while.
Though, I cannot relate. If there were ever a wish to be granted by a magical Djinn they speak of only in tales, I would ask for the same comfort, the feeling of bliss as I drift off. You see, when the sun sets outside and the natural lighting no longer accents the inside of my apartment, a feeling of dread washes over me the way nausea sets in after an unsettling meal. Everyone around me will have a break from the world, the life that now welcomes me into it’s wretched arms. You see, the world is not a very nice place for those like me. It’s even harsher to others. The world we know is one big library, full of wonder and knowledge and adventure; but there is a price to be paid throughout it all. You must be willing to pay dearly if you are unwilling to pay forward for enjoying yourself over the limit that life gives to you. Everything you borrow, everything that may bring you joy, and whatever it is you hold dearest to your heart, will one day be taken away from you. This doesn’t mean it will be taken away from you right away, oh no, it can be gradual.
You can meet someone. This person you meet will be the embodiment of what you’ve spent your life searching for up ’till that moment. You won’t realize it right away, but the time you spend with them will linger with you even after they leave. Their smell will stick to your skin, their words will drill into your brain to settle and inhabit and haunt you. The experiences you share will remain with you as memories from the times you opened the door of your cage and let the bird explore the world that it had once been scared to discover. He/she can become your comrade, the one you can count on to be there when you turned your head to the side. You will share secrets with one another. you will share fears you hadn’t dreamed of speaking aloud. That’ll be it. The brick walls you’ve dedicated years to building brick by brick, betrayal after betrayal, heartbreak after the other. Each experience that tormented you like an earthquake, that motivated you to use these tremors as inspiration for each heavy brick you lifted to protect yourself in this wall you’ve built around you. Every moment you spend with this newly welcomed comfort is another brick that begins crack and fall, and you’ve no preparation nor awareness of what’s happening because your vision has adapted to the light on the other side that became bright enough to shine through the wall. The strength you had diminishes.
This person can be a lover. They can be a friend. They can be the in-between that you refuse to label or clarify because you don’t understand what’s in front of you anymore. One day, on a day that you wake to this treacherous world, you will see that person brighter then ever. Their light will blind you, as it should, given that you no longer have that barricade to protect you. It’s done, planted into the floor with every step you took together like seeds in the soil that never grew, but were planted in hopes of it one day becoming a beautiful sunflower. One day, this person you come to favor will lie to you. They’ll betray you. They’ll no longer see your light the way you see theirs. At this moment, their light will become red. A scarlet shade that screams danger at you, but you won’t pay it any mind because the light is coming from a familiar place. This person, this thing, this life-change that was everything and nothing you could have expected, begins to slowly drift. The scarlet red light screams your name, all in the while the brightness dims and you become confused. Your nerve endings frantically prickling your every pressure point and slowly courses throughout the rest of your body. Once this light disappears, you panic because the world becomes an unfamiliar place to you.
Once on a journey into the future along a new path beside the person you deemed your equal, becomes a lonely walk in an unfamiliar wood. Your days become slower, the voices you hear speak your name no longer turn your head. Your children cry for your attention but you yourself don’t know where your attention is, and you start losing sight of what needs it, who needs it. You lose focus, and everything around you falls apart to the floor to lay beside the broken bricks that you spent your life stacking – one on top of the other. And yet, they crashed in synchronization. At the end of the day, when this treacherous world has dug it’s claws masked in hope only to rip it out of your skin to bleed until you can no longer, you look to your bed. Your precious paradise, messy with sheets that need to be changed and pillows have become flattened over time. The fade and discoloration reflects the drainage of color within your life and it begins to comfort you, the imaginary friend who understands you, lays with you and hugs your body throughout the night. If you are lucky, you can escape the demons that trail behind your every step throughout the day and drift off to a world where your clothes become brighter, your skin gains color, and all that has ever gone wrong in your life takes an opposite turn if only to last for five minutes – and you wouldn’t even have to open your eyes.
All until you wake.
Oh, but can’t you see how lucky you are? The sheets of your domain welcome you, the pillows you pull against your body become the extra padded protection you longed for while you were away. Your soul leaves your body and behind you leave the flesh that becomes immobile as your brain waves reach rem. Please, do share, I yearn for the ability to escape this wretched world. The ability to shut out the voices of the unknown that surrounds me in the silence. They ask me questions I don’t know the answer to, they remind me of the failures I’d endured and whisper beautiful rhymes that bring me back to my childhood. My thoughts begin to show me the lights I yearned for, the bricks that fell from every wall I’d ever built, and I begin to wonder why my bed no longer welcomes me. It’s as though my shelter is shared with memories that hold daggers to my feet, urging me forward while playing reminder. I walk to the bed and yet my daydreams dance around me like chicks around a cartoon character. Nothing is real anymore. I lay down, and the mattress refuses to accentuate my body. The pillows lack volume, and my body stays below temperature no matter the layers of sheets and quilts I tuck to my sides. I cannot sleep, because the strings attached to my limbs are keeping me from going deeper. It’s as though I have unfinished business at the end of my day, and life as I know it won’t allow my soul to experience the adventure that awaits me in the next world because this one still has work to do. It’s dark outside, and as I peer outside the window, there are no bright lights for me to turn to take my hand and lead the way. Only distant lights, lights ever so dim that I need to squint my eyes until they hurt to grasp the scarlet red that I know all too well. I knew it well because these lights used to console me. Now, this shade of red has become the only color within my life. A reminder of what life truly means. The brick walls we build, what we call trust…
Trust was never meant to be shared with one another. This is a lesson that life teaches you far along when your skin loses its elasticity and your armchair becomes your 8 year old son. Trust is the basis and the foundation of how the bricks you build your protective barricades with are created. Their robustness lies in the trust you have within yourself. It is this thought that crosses my mind as I lay in a bed of discomfort, trapped behind bars with every word I have spoken throughout my life carved into the metal. My fingertips graze these words, and a rush of regret, as well as triumphs, send chills to my overly exhausted body. I become one with the woman inside me that screams internally yet is never heard. She and I become a light that shines brighter then any light I had ever encountered. I begin to fall in love with her, a mirrored image, a woman who knows pain, heartache, loneliness, as well as happiness, smiles, and content. She shows me her collection of memories that keep her going through dark times, and I think back to the days when my fragility had reached its peak. We hold hands, her and I, and we whisper promises to each other as we lay in the bed that has rejected us. She tells me to trust her, and I do. A sudden warmth takes over my body, and our smiles join. The demons in the dark no longer taunt us, as we are bonded. The bed reads our conjoined mind, and understands the newfound breakthrough of self-love. My body maneuvers around the curvatures of the mattress, and pillows welcome me with a cool, soothing touch. The quilt has decided to keep me warm throughout the night, and the fear I held within me can be seen drifting out of the window towards the specks of red lights that are close to disappearing. The societal strings of the world detach from my limbs and I become the free spirit I yearned for, and the trust I share with the woman within me manifests bricks larger and stronger then any I had ever stacked.
I close my eyes, and all that once was, was no longer. I drifted off to the world of the subconscious, protected by the comfort of my bed from the reality that is the world we live in.
By Virginia LaTourette
I will tweak a few things later. Enjoy!