He pushed himself away from the desk, the chair rolling back jerkily across the carpeted floor. The force of his push sent the middle monitor toppling. His hands were at his head grappling with the pain he couldn’t reach and the chair slid from beneath him. He wasn’t aware how soft the carpet was or how the sound outside his apartment which had crescendoed like his music. In the streets there were a series of bangs, accompanied by bright white flashes. The sound of the crowed turned to screams of pain, like the pain that coursed through his body but mostly screamed inside his head.
The windows above his bed lit up, their translucent white blocking the scene at large, but not the sound or the white floodlights that illuminated the slum.
“YOU ARE IN VIOLATION OF THE CONGREGATION ACT OF 2112, RETURN TO YOUR HOMES OR YOU WILL BE PROSECUTED.”
The pain moved from his head down to his eyes, still closed, ached, the burned down his spine. A hot liquid that spread to his fingers and toes. The pain built again at his extremities. He opened his eyes, he could hear the yelling in the streets, the bangs and the flashes. He was faintly aware of a sulfurous smell in the room. But his fingers, his toes throbbed as if swollen with blood. He rolled onto his back staring at his hand. There was no outward sign of damage there, but it felt as though his fingers might bust, like the overripe figs merchants sold at market in the summer. He groaned and flexed his fingers, his hands. Something shattered behind him and suddenly the acrid smell of sulfur was all about him. Light streamed into his small studio apartment and the screams of the poor registered over the pain–the pain that seemed to be seeping from under his fingernails, toenails.
He rolled to his knees, then up climbed to his feet. A large stone had been thrown through the window. Shattered glass littered his bed, the floor near it. He breathed deeply, breathed smoothly. He went to the broken window and looked out. Flood lights still illuminated the narrow street, the buildings that rose high into the sky. Even the neon red, blue, orange lights of the storefronts and advertisements were dimmed by the flood lights of the Authority. The control trucks blocked off one end of the street and he could see Enforcers with their bulbous black helmets and hit sticks and dash shields herding the crowd into an incarcerator. He saw the logo sun logo of NewHorizon. Some of the crowd was still trying to resist. Some threw their bodies against the Enforces, but were pushed back easily by the dash shields the armored men carried. For a moment it looked as though one of the mob members had broke through, but then the hit sticks flashed bright in the already bright light. From his position he couldn’t hear the scream, but he knew what a hit stick felt like, he’d screamed every time he’d felt it, and he imagined the scream, even from his vantage point.
I sit in front of a blank page and don’t know what to write anymore. There’s this long list of ideas in my head and none of them seem worth putting on the page–even when I’ve just been woken, when my mind is less judgemental the quality of my writing. What I’d like is to write small 500 word stories every morning, but that is impossible for me right now. Stress is the creative killer. It creeps into the places between synapses where all your ideas form and then it just takes root there. It courses through your mind so nothing else can fill that space between your consciousness and the matter that makes up your brain.
See: it seems to me there is space in between these places. Between the brain itself and the consciousness it forms. Perhaps this is where the unconscious self lurks, and so too is where the stress builds. The brain are the thoughts. Our feelings will mirror our thoughts. If we focus on negative thoughts then negative feelings will follow. If we focus on positive thoughts, then positives will follow. Here are the positives in my life. Here are some gratitudes.
Last week–well, just on Saturday, ended one of the most stressful weeks of my life. It ended a relationship I had had high hopes for. It left me distraught and if not broken, at least hurt. Instead of getting home and having nobody to talk to I texted my friends in order to hangout. It was, after all, Saturday night. It was like the Thundercats assembling. Everyone rose to the occasion and I wanted to cry, not because I had just been treated horribly by someone I cared about deeply, but because all my friends rallied around me and lifted me up, even if they didn’t know what they were doing. So this is to my friends that have helped me through so much.
Next is to my own bravery. This may seem conceited, but for the last year or so I’ve been continuously dating in a semi-serious manner a handful of women (not at the same time, just in progression). For anyone who knows the dating scene then you know it sucks. But I’ve continued to put myself out there and be open with people. I’ve continued to make myself vulnerable and that takes a lot of guts–because it gives others a lot of power–but through feeling and hurt, I haven’t been broken, but just made more aware how special true feelings are. So, this is to all the feelings I’ve had in the last year, good and bad–they are both precious.
Lastly, it is my words that I love. My words and how they seem to always make things more clear to me, even if not to others. This is to, somehow, I can write the truth of a matter before it is completely apparent to me. It becomes some kind of warning to myself that I have been unable to head. Perhaps in the future I will be able to, but for now–I’m thankful I understand this.
When I wake before you I like when you roll over. You bring the blankets back to me, your unconscious self wanting to be close to me. When You have the blankets up around your neck and only your face is showing, your nose flares with your outward breath, your lips part too. Inside I can see the white of your teeth and the cracks in between which are only darkness. Then there is your hair, all let down and framing your face and your eyebrows so much like calligraphy lines swiped, meticulously onto a clean doll. The place where your nose stars–I am sure the doctors have a name for it, but I don’t–you know, right between your eyes scoops and swoops like sallow in spring time chasing bugs in the sky. Then there is your nose. Not jutting or protuberant, but certainly, yet inconspicuous. It is round and small and perfect. Back down to your lips below it, are pulled down in a small frown as if you are having a bad dream.
I want to kiss you. I want to hug you and hold you and tell you whatever causes that frown isn’t a problem. I want to wrap you up in my arms in a way that I’ve never wrapped anyone. I want the other night to have never happened. Because since it has it hasn’t been the same between us, even though I know it should. I know the truths of what we are doing. I know the truths of how I feel. And the way I feel is that I want to tell you you’ll never hurt again. Not when I’m with you. You’ll never feel the sting of rejection or the bite of spiteful words. I’ll never make you feel small or unworthy. And as long as you treat me as an equal, not someone you’re just keeping around, I’ll treat you the same. And if we can forget that night ever happened that you didn’t feel like you just needed to be alone, that you didn’t have time for me. If you didn’t keep looking out at the crowd and shaking your head as if you knew this wasn’t meant to be, and I hadn’t been upset you needed space from me, then maybe we could have avoided this whole thing. Maybe if I had decided that the distance was too great or that you had your own agenda that didn’t involve me–maybe if I had seen all those things I wouldn’t be typing this out. I wouldn’t have woke up beside you this morning wishing we lived closer. Because now the honeymoon is over and I’ve written you poetry and love letters and we’ve meditated in the hopes of understanding who we are together. And we did, for a little, but then we didn’t because who we weren’t who we had said. I’m selfish and hard and jaded from experiences I’ve had with other women in past relationships. I’m wary that this becomes something I’d not want. I’m afraid that we begin to work together we’d find we aren’t the right fit. But in truth, we know we are, or we know we can be. And I know you aren’t going anywhere and I know I’m not going anywhere. And tonight I’m going to do something special for you when you get home and everything is going to be alright–at least, I hope it will.