Thursday, May 22, 2003


Some rather extremely long post. I'll be gone a while. Literally, figuratively. A long while, I think-- enough to make everybody else think it over.

Because I've thought it over, and I realize that life sucks but I live it.

And yes, they're all about him. I don't know. Surface madness, I'm supposing. Surface. Not deep enough to kill.



Heart of Sorrow

Love. Hate. It's much the same thing. They both cause me pain.

It is his arms around her when she lays herself to sleep; it is his head on her shoulder, just above her cheek, his breath in her ear. It is his fingers twined around hers, his fingers tangled in her white sheets. It is his lips on her neck before she closes her eyes. It is his presence, here, that lulls her, his heart beating steadily against the skin of her back that reminds her of him, even as darkness steals over her. In his arms she is not afraid of the blackness that falls around them both.

Once, when a nightmare had come for her late at night, she had shaken violently in his arms, had clutched blindly at his hands. His arms tightened around her, had kept her close to him. Her mother's ghost faded into the night, and she knew then, while walking the line between sleep and wakefulness, that only he was real. She stayed in his embrace and the nightmares stopped haunting her. Since then she had learned never to be able to fall asleep without him beside her.

Night after night he comes to her, and night after night she allows him to hold her. And though she'd be damned before she knew why he kept coming, she never asked why. The closest she had come to asking him for anything was not asking him to leave her alone.

He disappears at first light, long before she opens her eyes. Every morning she wakes up alone in an empty bed devoid of any and all traces of him. It had taken her a while to understand that he is only real to her at night.

--

In the dark, it all seemed so easy. She would lie down and he would hold her, no questions, no words. It was ridiculously, criminally simple. She found that daylight complicated things, that in the light of morning what they had was in effect a large complication in itself, where questions arose one after another without waiting for answers. She found analyzing useless-- like banging one's head on a wall-- painful and unproductive. And so, she deluded herself into a sense of security. What they had in the night was enough, because, after all, he came to her only when she needed him. As, she supposed, was she.

In the daylight she found that what he was hurt her. In the dark it was impossible to see but under harsh brightness it was plain to the naked eye. He hurt her-- everywhere-- she would feel pinpricks of him piercing her skin, piercing her heart. She rejected that, and she rejected that she liked having him around her at night. He made her feel weak, inferior-- defective. And she was all the more weak, inferior, defective, because she knew he would come again in the night, like the other nights, and she would let him in, like all the other times before.

--

She lies awake this time, waiting for the first ray of sunshine to come through the glass windows. Above her, he sighs, his breathing deep with slumber, and quite suddenly, without any possible inclination, he whispers her name.

It is enough to make her world stop turning, for this moment at least. The second is frozen, and she is keenly aware of his arms locked tight around her, his fingers tangled impossibly with hers, and his heart, beating against the wingtip of her shoulder. His heart, she knew, that she had not yet attained.

Possibly might never attain.

In her own heart she feels all the love she has for him, overflowing in torrents she couldn't control. With that came an astounding surge of pain, of hate, deep from the core of her, that part of her that loathed him for being here, loathed him for being weak, and loathed herself for loving. And lying. And being weak, and wanting to be.

It is at that exact moment that she comes to a decision.

--

He was gone in the morning, as always. But when he came to her that night, she was ready.

"You're awake, aren't you?" he asked softly.

She nodded once in reply. The movement was enough to shatter half of the dream world. She watched in detached fascination as a world she had forgotten rose to the surface.

Her next words destroyed it completely. "We need to talk."

Once she had started, she couldn't stop. Not until she finished.

This has gone far enough.

I need to stop lying to myself.

Every night when you come I tell myself that you're here because you want me, need me. That's why I never stop you from coming. One of the reasons why, at least. And maybe you do. Maybe you want me, and love me, and I always wondered about that-- if you wanted me, and loved me, why couldn't you and I be together in the day?

And then I understood that I to you was exactly the same as you to me. We hurt each other. We love each other and that hurts us. At least I know I love you and I know it hurts you. That's why we keep this under cloak of night, under an illusion. Because it's easier that way. It's easier to fool ourselves.

At night, we don't hurt each other the same way we do in the day.

I love you. And that's also why I never want you to leave. When you leave in the morning I want you to stay, but I don't say it-- only lovers say that to each other, and you and I both know we're not that. I love you, and because I do, I keep hoping that one day you and I will stop hurting each other.

But that's what we are. Thinking that I can stop hurting you by not saying a thing is lying. And I don't want to lie anymore.

And I know-- I know I'm not what you need. I know that exactly. You-- you're only here because you think you need me, you think you want me, but you don't-- not really. Because if you really did, you'd fight the daylight-- fight the world for me. And you don't. You come here at night when the world is still and they don't see us.

I love you. That's real. I love you enough to accept that you don't know what you need and I love you enough to want to walk away. What I am hurts you, and I love you enough to not want to hurt you any more.


"I love you," he told her.

She shook her head slowly. "No, you don't."

She felt his fingers reach for her hair, felt his arms try to tighten around her, desperate, maybe, to cling to what was left of the illusion. And she would love to sink back, love to let him believe as he pleased, but she knew that in the morning he would leave her again, and it wasn't only going to hurt her, it was going to hurt him as well.

"Don't," she whispered. "You think it's kind but it's not."

For a long time, neither of them moved. Slowly, his arms disappeared around her, leaving behind deep imprints where they used to be. She felt his fingers run through her hair once before disappearing, too, leaving behind a shadowy trail.

Moments later she heard the door close with an empty finality.

For a long time, he was the only real thing to her. Only his arms, his hands, his heart was real when everything was darkness. In his absence she began to see the outlines of what was true-- the white sheets underneath her fingertips, the curtains billowing on her window, the sharp lines of her study desk.

This was her real world.

She turned to lie flat on her back, eyes wide open to a dim ceiling. She stretched out her arm, held up her hand. She was real.

She closed her eyes and prepared for the nightmares that would claim her.


-Finis-

~~~~~~~

Sleep to Dream

And now I realize that even in my darkest hours, you are here to haunt me.

Last night she dreamed him with her, here, when she finally closed her eyes in resignation.

It was like dreaming within a dream, where she laid in her bed and he held her, and all was right with the world again, though she knew and knew it well-- she had made him leave her not so long ago.

And when she opened her eyes in the dream to find him sleeping still next to her, she felt an immense sense of being safe, of being protected. She dropped right back to slumber, and the next time she opened her eyes, he was gone, and she knew then that he had only been an illusion-- a remnant of things she had yet ti learn to deny.

When she woke up with morning shining in her eyes she turned to where he had lain, where he was supposed to be. When all she found there were he tangled sheets and pillows she felt, quite literally, her world crash down about her.

She got up and went looking for the broken pieces.

-Finis-

~~~~~~~


11:57 PM
will you catch me when I fall? :: |




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