From within the corridors of her past, she stares at the reflections that line the walls with a miserable contemptuousness, herself remembering them as one does an infection. They were never there yet they made demands continuously, their beck forever tapping upon her back, their persistence became her pulse and her memories of them were likely false. Their corrosive countenances were etched into her mind and they pestered her, sickly reminders of her error, their faces like ghosts moving through patterned wallpaper, herself hiding behind curtains, tangled in drawstrings, vigorously shaking her head as if to scatter these visages from her mind.
Yesterday was likely not the day that she had imagined it to have been. It remained with her as a tattered thing; like a childhood companion stuffed with mimicry, it eluded an objective definition; soaked in the psychic tears of miseries and dressed up so prettily, these were not real things and she could only hold on to them as one harnesses the intangibility of a dream.
All had been altogether incomprehensible to anyone but her. These odd, diminished things, things wrapped in twine and stowed as they had been found, choleric things tarnished by the fraught mind which had first encountered them. And now even she doubted it all as it all became fractured, as memories splintered and pierced through the parchment which had once so firmly held them, shards of light permeating through the punctures through which those remembrances passed as they fled from her, herself now filling with an illumination where only dimness had heretofore persisted, a darkness replaced by a nothingness profound, a disdain now reduced to a finest vapor which presently drifted from every pore of her nonexistence.
She had not thought of them for so long: Those dear smiling faces, these freckled physiognomies so delightfully indelible. They were so friendly, so kind, their generosity so great as to be overwhelming—how had she lived for so long without them? She kept small pictures of their profiles in lockets, these charmed trinkets which dangled from the same gilded chains which bound her presently, herself strangled and choking, herself now little more than a memory which hung lifelessly from this day which bore on without her.
As she remains in the Meadow with her back against a Tree—a tree who feels comforted by her presence—she reflects on the elements of herself which appear without a mirror, those pieces of her which remain abstracted and obscured, the elusive so-called qualities which persist as impediments and whose mere existences seems to her enormously absurd.
She speaks to the Tree in the softest of tones, asking if itself sees any sense in it: These stains upon a soul, contaminates infecting character, flaws sewn into a personality like a purposeless pocket: Herself having been filled to the brim with something perpetually pernicious before she found herself stitched up permanently. She scrubs at herself with the moss lifted from bark, not iodine nor radium, the skin of her arms red and raw, she hunches over herself and works furiously, removing layer upon layer of sullied skin: The cure for these ills seems to only breed further infirmity and so she ceases work and is found panting, breathless, herself now staring blankly out into the Meadow with a returned rightness, her back against the Tree—a tree who feels disquieted by her presence and soundlessly wishes that she might leave.
She has been uprooted and dismissed once more and so she moves to a different corner and ponders perpetuance, or rather she considers continuation as a problem which desires a remedy complete—yet with a profundity wrapped within its precision. She knows of no design for something with such delicacy in surgery and so she drifts into fantasy, instead contemplating the gloriousness in a dismantling: The entirety of it reduced to a memory awaiting future remembrance bound within a Regret.
While not dismantled itself, the day begins to feel undone and so she retires into herself, pulling with her the fragments of a perusal, none of it sutured nor secure, she flows from herself into the emptiness of it as her breath slowly winds around her, enveloping all until she gasps no more, she rests her head upon the rest of it and the Tree—a tree who feels saddened by the end of her—gently shuts the door.
There was a certain uselessness to it and she began to feel as if any pretense to it being otherwise was itself just as useless. A use for herself was needed and she began to burrow into the recesses of her experience in search of it, her mind twisting itself into a contorted mess as she furiously flung the soil of her soul about the room, scratching at the filth of it in hopes of unearthing something useful, herself sinking deeper into it and finding little more than void and vacancy: Perspiration and determination amount to little when there is simply nothing more to be revealed.
She now felt disheartened and she toppled limply as if she were a doll tumbling from a shelf, herself now falling into the hollow which she had so recently exposed, its uselessness bottomless and herself now splayed and insensate on the floor.
A purpose was required to delineate differences between this day and the one before it, something to allow a sensation of definition, the usefulness to become a direction, the sudden apparition of a declaratory signpost alongside a road long-thought abandoned and without purpose or destination. Perhaps all she wanted was to feel another’s hand in hers as she went along this stricken path, the grasp of a traveler in fellowship, the grip and solidity of something known and certain, herself allowed the comfort and confidence in a beacon which was illuminated by a flame without flicker, something altogether brighter than herself: She a dampened wick which had been extinguished long ago.
Though even this exploration of a desire abstracted was merely a distraction from the conceptualization of an implementation of a day spent proud and purposeful: This was never it and this forsaken road shall not be found intersected: It remains useless as it pulls her along its solipsistic spiral, forever crude and contaminated: Forever inflected and useless.
She shall awake tomorrow and repeat promises into mirrors which remain dim and unconcerned: Herself forever deluded, herself ugly before herself, and herself remaining forever useless.
There are the kindliest of intentions which find themselves eroded when they are put in the presence of those most caustic of spirits, those drifting with malice, those whose flippant friendships are cloaked in Falsehood’s drape. The Merriment is now little more than a palsied jitterbug beneath a moonless night, a dance with idiocy, this jilted joviality which envelops her with detachment shall surely be her demise.
She gazes upon clock faces and watches as time turns idly by, herself tapping fingertips upon tabletops in a fractured rhythm dictated by fragmented moments, slivered seconds shifting minutes into disrupted days. What was to become of it, this Endlessness, this prancing buoyancy of spectacle which surrounded her but remained apart? There were things to do that will never be done and this burdensome lack shall surely be her demise.
The weight of it immobilizes her and she is found on the floor once more, cheek to board, eyes wide and staring, her breath short and quick, a tear runs along a well-worn path beside her nose, an erosion, a rivulet of Want makes its way reluctantly away from her. She will soon be no more and will be all the more better for it, a Newness forms to persevere in her place and she will be found encompassed and apart, severed and forever separate, this modern plot shall surely not be her demise.
“I shall never do it again,” she promised the moon which had long since departed. “For me there is no sanity in augmentation, no respite in removal. I shall remain as I am and beg only for replacement: For if I am to continue with this dismantling as I have been doing: I shall surely meet my disturbed delight in a most divinely devised demise.”
A discarded scrap, designated or maligned:
Calamity as symptom: At once adorable, by the time a second look has been taken the condition has worsened: Calamity as catastrophe, the finality of an identity only exposed in the foulest of moments, itself anything but itself, itself suffocating beneath itself as an identity expires having been forever denied an honest definition. There is a suspicion that it was never meant to be this way and that suspicion is incorrect: It simply is as it appeared to be in that it was simply not to be at all.
A Desire presents itself as a tiny pulse, a small suddenness from what was static, a singular throb, a certain thing. It became an idea formed within a yearning and it then becomes insolent and demanding. It has requirements and it necessitates a rearrangement. However simple and clean this longing appears to be on the surface, the complications and considerations beneath its delicate veneer are innumerable and unkempt. This Desire is certainly a terrible thing and it now bangs and rattles at the doors and windows of her mind, persistent and insisting, its seemingly innocent yen now a criminally disagreeable guest.
“Though is there a way to orchestrate its demand into a Desire found fitting?” She has dropped her teacup and there is prudence draining from it: Sensibility escapes between the floorboards and she is found once more sitting alone and without wisdom.
How simple it appears to be, indeed: The elusive phenomenon of a Desire fulfilled without a Day’s contamination. The experience of a momentary joy without the inevitable completeness in collapse as its closing punctuation: The ruination of All the result of the pursuit of an almost insignificant satisfaction. What appeared to be inconsequential becomes the cloud from which a thousand consequences pour. She knows this and so reluctance is bred into even the smallest of fancies, each enthusiasm found gasping as she banishes them from plot and plan.
“It was such a silly thing for me to have even considered it.” She gingerly picks up the pieces of her shattered teacup which lay scattered at her feet. She makes sense of it no matter how nonsensical it may seem and she finds her cup filled once more, wispy steam wafting from its brim, a Desire ignored and her safety restored…
“Now who is that knocking upon my door?”
On this occasion she discovered that the pause between days had been seamless and unobserved: There could be no doubt that it had indeed occurred, though there was no remnant of evidence which would allow for safe proof of it ever having existed. She had fallen and when she arose there was another day blooming before her, one less damaged than the others, one shimmering with the potential for calm and…
(There was a road that carried her towards the purpose for her excursion. There were gifts hidden in the crevices of the city, alleyways playing host to the most exquisite of festivities, tiny parcels of possibility squirreled away in the most unlikely of places.)
…consideration, a day painted upon the finest of linen. She wrestled with the notion of it: This uncommon thing, this alien thing built of minutes as thin as matchsticks, each moment as inflammable as the one before it, each eager to alight from the airiness of today’s firmament to a perch of ruin beneath the evening hour’s dismantled sky. She cherished these things, these rarest of particles: The preciousness of a day undisturbed knows no worth other than the contented purr of those who it collects within its shadow.
And so the cacophony itself begins anew: The day damaged, the day pained by the pounding of children upon the temples constructed for the worship of separation, that once-celebrated veneration of those future days having themselves begun afresh.
She struggles to find the proper placement for suture: To repair the day becomes her purpose, for needled thread to find purchase between the torn seams of her solace, her newborn hope diminished as the day stumbles and denies the mending stitch.
A momentary pause only serves to amplify the cacophony’s chorus: The return of pain to the day only made more severe by the reminder of an actuality of absence, the remembrance of silence now a catalyst for increasing sadness as a song of din is sung.
She falls into it with a resignation renewed: Her patience winds around a passivity until the tears wrung from it stain the day’s drapery, those clothes now as threadbare and worn as she, her yearning for nothingness now feverishly refreshed.
There were no days like any other. And while each day was born of the one before and bore a similarity to all the rest: These days were not the same. They spoke of themselves with fractured tongues, broken shards of a memoir, a reflected self as a portrait distorted. This day was cloaked in desperation, that day wore a hat. One day danced and fell in love beneath the sun while another sat undone in darkness and knew little more than rain.
Though today felt as if it needed an excuse to be, an explanation or definition, a succinct story to sum up its existence. She wound the day around her finger as one would bandage a wound. Perhaps she was healing, perhaps she no longer needed to care. She forgot and then she became inconsiderate and the day unwound itself and fell and finally floated to the floor. It laid there like an unused thing, a discarded remnant of moments that had long ceased to be, this day now little more than the detritus of time: A waste of it, indeed.
Each day brings with it a conclusion and each of these endings is punctuated with a potential. Between each day is a hesitation during which time the fate of the following day is sealed. This pause may be fraught or favorable, barely a blink or bathed in battle, though however it was spent: The day to come shall be formed from nothing but the result of the preceding pause—be it stitched in stillness or something altogether undone.
She, herself, has since become the result of several successive hesitations which themselves were most damaged, each compounding on those before it, each vicious in its refusal for somnolent complacency, each rendering her days tearful and in turn: Herself anxious and yearning for this day’s completion. She leans against the wall and considers possibilities: If only these days were allowed to arrange themselves with purposeful precision, allowed to bloom to a fullness of beauty, allowed to skip from moment to moment with delight rather than to have found themselves fouled before they were even allowed to begin.
The pauses demand themselves be packaged. They deny modification once they commence and any attempt at alteration shall only produce punishment. The pauses may feel interminable though they must be endured. She now makes plans for their manipulation as a result of their own result: Another day frayed. She had felt that to become resigned was the only solution, that she must find a way to grow unmoved by all of this newfound unpleasantness so that it would not infect the periods of hesitation—a cycle to be severed, a momentum reversed. Though now she drafted plots to bury the barrage beneath remedy, machinations machined upon lathes of loathing, she would allow herself to be condemned no longer and so she planned further. She became interrupted which led to a distraction which resulted in a day repositioned:
“Why must it be so,” she demanded of the air which to this point had been causing her much strife. “This nonsensical tradition of delivering to me bad news is now bordering on a farce. I must entertain its folly no longer.”
And with that exclamation she fell exhausted, the contamination of an accumulation of damaged hesitations had worn her thin and so she evaporated into the vexatiousness of it. This was never meant to be a place for her, the river continued to flow, and there had been no pause at all for the allowance of a moment’s careful passing.
Moments once cacophonous are soothed. They whisper of their past, yet their voices have become gentle like the patter of precipitation upon a pane. Though the pain of it must not be reduced to a mere modest memory: For when one is bound by the tumult and anguish of dismantled times, to live within each moment is not simply deleterious: These damaged moments become the cobblestones comprising a path towards an undoing most profound. One is perhaps best suited to avoid such routes completely and instead demand an alleyway’s distraction, absorbing dispassionate moments from atmospheres detached and orchestrating them into an implement for the suturing of a reality frayed.
She looks from her book and discovers that things were precisely where she had left them, even these things which she had placed purposefully, the ones now looked upon with rue as well as those whose placements had been pleasantly planned. She took quick inventory of her compulsions, her anxieties, her fret, and found them to be there—yet they were different, somehow more clean, more defined, each its own rather than a blurred distortion of itself, its boundary having bled into the next. She felt indifferent towards them at that moment…They seemed patient, they would be there for her to contemplate later if she ever cared to at all. She sighed and wiped a rudimentary tear from the corner of her eye, fumbling with her book, trying to find the line which had been momentarily abandoned due to the abstractions of a distracted mind.
It begins again, as it will. Unsettled and demanding, it scratches at her from inside herself. Yesterday she had tried to run from it, down to the shore, away from it, the water hurtfully obvious in its disinterest in her. She begged the air for a reprieve or condolence but it, too, cared little for her difficulty. She sat at that place and considered the misery in which she now found herself, how unexpected it was, how different from the expectations to which she had so foolishly adhered her hopes. Those hopes now dashed upon the rocks beneath her: Crumpled, silly things, contemptible relics who’s only remaining use was to serve the pain she now felt with fuel.
Though this time it wasn’t only her. Those horrible monsters perched above her, grinding their teeth. Those selfsame monsters crawling beneath the floorboards, grunting to one another, the machinery of their menace omitting endless whine and jilted howl into her defenseless hovel, the sharpness of their shrieks piercing her as if needles, the relentless noise from them dragging her to the ground, beating her with their ceaseless pulse, the crinkled chattering of them spelling curses and humiliation onto her walls, the drone of them, the futility in attempting to remain stable in spite of them, they bore down on her and she choked and drowned in their sound.
Outside is awful and now the inside is awful as well. The contamination of the interior renders her infection complete and therefore she is subsumed into it all. To whichever place she runs as a means of escape will find her fleeing once more, never to find momentary peace again, forever fleeing from it until she is found gasping, pleading, exhausted in either place, and that place shall be for her the end.