Hello, Darkness my old friend, I’ve come to write to you again. Won’t you please come in? I hope you like my new home. It’s a lot brighter than the old one don’t you think? It has a lot more windows. I’ve gotten quite used to light here. And the nights are peaceful. I’d offer you a chair, but to be honest, I want you to stand. No, I want you to kneel. I want you to know how it feels to beg lying down.
Do you remember that sense of an ending you instilled in me in school, that feeling you ground in and nailed with rust to the inside of my heart, my head? Well it’s still here. And do you remember the things you used to whisper to me in the night when it was just the cigarettes, the whiskey, and us, how you’d promise me it would all end one day. You used to sit by my side and tell me how simple it was. All I had to do was…
And it did seem simple at times. At times I almost believed you… because you loved me, that we loved each other. But you let me down. In those stolen moments, quarantined from time and space, alone, 2am, painkilled brain, bloodstream polluted. Where were you then? You couldn’t complete me, make me one with nothingness again.
And now after all this time I find you’re back. No, I want you to stay on your knees.
What did I do to them? To mom and pop, and all the strangers? Those I didn’t even know. Everything leaves its mark. You told me it was done. In the past. But you didn’t tell me that the past never leaves. That it constantly waits in the morning traffic, onboard the crowded city trains, sitting on sandy beaches, dining in restaurants, in the shadows like a withered stump.
I want the end to come. Can you bring it? Sometimes I feel like I’m walking in a dream continually along a pier where the boards disappear behind me. If I turn around I will fall, there is no other way around, only forward towards the nothingness from which I was born.
The great illusion of time is its simplicity. We think it constantly strives forward with benevolence–that time is a sculptor–chipping at the rock face of our existence. But it is all here isn’t it? It always was. The past, present, and future. Everything that could be has already been. And it’s always with us. We are butterflies fluttering in a doll’s garden, beating our wings against petals that don’t exist.
I have no means of escape. I only know there is an end to it. And that you will fail me again at the edge. At the edge I peer into the bright heart where all my futures lie. Everything I could be, all the places and people I could see bloom like a lotus out of light, far out of reach.
No, the only way is up, back towards the stars. I raise my hands here at the limit. I surrender to it. To time and all its complications. I cannot comprehend myself, and the world has lost its meaning. I surrender to the beautiful brutality of each second I hear go past: the pain, the scream of the clock, the anguish of not knowing how to be free. And yet knowing it has all ended already.
For a moment I was going to beg you again. I was going to plead for my life back. But the trick is, it was never mine in the first place was it? It was always yours, Darkness. You were always here. We shared that safe space together all those years ago before I took my first Autumnal cry into this strange world. And you did this, this is your doing–this silent shout–it’s all for you. But this is my moment now, not yours. This is my undoing. And it shall be mine. So get down on your knees and pray, because you need me. I shall live. And I shall write about it. I will exist and die a thousand times in all places, at all times that are permitted. I refuse to become lost again. And I want you to watch me do it. I want you to crawl and plead and beg, like you’ve made me do. And admit that without me you are nothing.
Image credti: Noah Silliman via Unsplash.