“It never seems to build a world out of the good possibilities, does it?”
If my mind was prone to the alternative, I wouldn’t have been sitting where I was sitting — the corner office, the same sinking couch. Head hung. It was rhetoricism sitting big in a tiny room, posed by the woman who sat somewhere in between genuine care and I have to be there.
It was the first time I had been rendered silent since I had walked through the doors. My first human interaction in days, I had been word salading about the world salad I had created in one-bedroom hell. Immersed in the possibilities of what ifs and what’s wrongs and whys, a different figure would be casted into the mix with each falling shadow through living room blinds. Surely, my desperation had been blinding enough through the phone to have been fit in seven hours before the Thanksgiving holiday.
“So, what are some things you can do over the next four days to keep yourself busy and out of the house?”
I got a gold star for saying writing at the library; consideration to the fact that it would be closed for the next two, neglected. I retreated the way I came for the next three-and-a-half.
It’s the home alone horror that has to be made into a comedy because otherwise the bomb would hit in the airway instead of the alley. While the goat grazes in the Grimm tales on a bookshelf or off in another god-forsaken parish, the shoelaces are closely tethered across feet dirtying bedsheets. And so, it becomes a game of tetherball — a meme of the Catch Me Outside Girl about to start swinging from a noose tied to her stripper pole overtop a #same. Suddenly, it registers that the sun’s been done for an hour and you’ve neglected to turn on any lights.
After panic-scrolling through an identical Instagram feed, my phone was screaming hot to be subjected to the same darkness. I set it free to get lost in the sea of strewn sheets until a notification cut through quick. New from Bandcamp: The Apex of Human Shame – Psalms of Suicide.
20% battery and 80% nervous energy to burn, I took hoodie and headphones to the streets.
Yet, this time, I had found that leaving the house didn’t mean escaping the haunt. Towers 20 stories tall still loomed like white plaster and sidewalks were all ascending stairs. The castle I had constructed had become the whole kingdom.
Within Wintery Grave, I walked; each step becoming higher as the forwardly-pulled bassline continued to sink. Pendu-Morne Cemetery—despite its tendency to rot above freezing—was still subject to the rest of the continent’s narrative of early darkness. Lost souls were calling one more as instrumentals recanted, leaving a familiar agonized wail of which friendly neighborhood cop calls are made.
The lo-fi dirge of Dungeons of Mourning tolled out of synch with the bell tower of the nearby chapel, my feet scuffling accordingly. I saw the shadows of the climbing bars and swing sets of the nearby park — the contraption of rope and chain hanging languid and linear from square metal. Another journey to the gallows. I could hear the skeletons behind me beating their ribs like xylophones.
But, as the dungeon seat was pulled out for d-beat, I felt a shift in tectonics. I had let others’ shame project inward to gut and twist organs into a puzzle that their stained minds had allegedly solved. My soul sickness had been existing in a vacuum less self-inflicted than previously thought; my home wasn’t the place of danger, but rather, the trap door through which I was pushed.
So I started walking faster towards fate. I was angry; really fucking angry. The audacity of minds to corrupt my own.
I tied up my hair and took out my hoops. I was about to start swinging.
I embraced the weight drop against leather as the rope awoke redness in my skin. Sneakers writhed around back and forth as I swung hard enough to blast into space like Heaven’s Gate. The pain ceased as my neck snapped up at the stars, welcoming what fires more brilliantly than neurotransmitters.
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