Her day felt modern, with sharpness as its definition, strong lines leading her to a conclusion. She felt confined by its rigidity, a sense of unbroken vastness spreading out until its boundary is too soon found, an abruptness halting all when a difference in direction is required. These chiseled hours with their facets so unyielding invoke in her a strange fear of errant variability, though it would be impossible for her not to adore to them their set aspect, with their clarified precision having been so frequently her prescription.
It is that starkness which she admires so—whether it be a strength in sincerity or false honesty, gentle confidence or a feigned assuredness, she looks upon their performance with a sort of covetous yen, never envy nor jealousy, she comforts a craving for Ability, perhaps it might be a resentment for herself which so often clouds an appreciation when she is found in awe of another: as if the spite which she feels towards herself for not allowing herself to be herself distorts, then overwhelms, then oppresses the purity of reverence which she experiences when confronted with the immensity of profundity as provided by others. (Alas, her acknowledgement of this falsity only allows herself to despise her pitiful self further.)
The depth of her notion is far deeper than any shallowness in which a more centripetal focus would be lost, though her preoccupation with her Self as it relates to her perception is in dire need of reduction—although even a corrective realignment would go far in allowing her perspective to fall beyond herself, before herself, or indeed anywhere else but herself.
She is ashamed by it all, really, a shamed self with ripened cheeks again, she hides herself from herself and in doing so she pushes everything even farther away from that challenge with herself which would do her well to have. Though a head hung between the knees will do little to propel her towards a reckoning and so she contorts herself into a confrontation: a dissection of these assemblages of fear within her, each with requisite and excuse spilling forth from any incision, each able to defend itself with explanations prescriptive and expansive: ‘This and that reason is why, exactly’, and so she ties herself into knots again, a cyclic labyrinthian plot within which sensibleness will surely corpse itself whilst attempting with futility to gain any sort of exit from it.
The day feels less modern as lines blur and any clarity she had known is now found drowned in a mire of befuddlement, fading definitions giving way to a day awash in abstraction, unsettled variation having returned to roost. This was by Yesterday’s design, she decides, and feels herself slipping into a confusion, herself having just forgotten precisely what it was she had only moments ago resolved: “This is not the place for me, here, it is already too far away. I have lost myself in trying to find it, to discover where I am and how I might return, to point myself in any meaningful direction now seems to me absurd. I must abandon myself, here, or there, wherever I was, wherever I wish to be. I had led myself to believe that I was settled upon a conclusion, though now I am startled to discern that I have never been further away from truth.”
And with herself beside herself, in stitches and in fits—she pushes herself past herself and begins again renewed.
“What a perfect time for this season to present itself fully.” She has filled a box with too many books and struggles to move it across the room to its place with the others, boxes each of a dissimilar size and proportion, all stowing the contents of a life, stacked as high as seemed reasonable, with the boxes at the bottom of each teetering pillar showing signs of crush.
“It feels perfectly suited, the bitter cold of it, when gelid desperation has caused all of this.” She pulls pushpins from the wall, dropping one, herself bending down to retrieve it from where it had rolled between the picture frames propped up on the floor, these pictures like toppled dominoes leaning against each other along the baseboards, above which ghosted profiles like silhouettes in dust mark the places on the wall where they had previously hung.
“It would be lovely if it snowed on moving day, my tracks being covered with the stuff as I go from here to there, as if all is disappearing behind me, a memory dissolving into sheer blankness as I go.” She sighs in strain as she forces a wrench, a stubborn nut disrupting the progress of a table’s dismantling, this table which she had found discarded, tossed out in the street, a table which she had taken piece by piece back to wherever she had been living at the time.
“It would be impossible for me to be warmer than I will be in this next place, regardless of an outward frigidity, no matter the depth of drift which might form outside my door.” She looks around herself and presently decides that this room had taken on the impression of being empty, even with the detritus of a life stacked and scattered in its midst, the unnecessariness of these burdensome objects having never been more apparent, herself like litter lying beside a dustbin, it would be so effortless to find this all promptly and properly discarded at last.
Succumbing to the heavy somberness of the day, she sat herself by the leaden river at the place where it curved through the center of the city, wide and slow, the water hesitant as it passes beneath bridges, shrunken in the shadows of the tall buildings which line its banks, wide and slow on its weary way to the bay.
The wind was strong that day and its repelling gusts caressed the surface of the river, sending rippled shivers up the water’s tingling spine in such a way that it appeared to be flowing backwards, back to its origins far away, a place which she imagined as being small and quiet, near nothing and removed from everything, though close by is a cabin, in a clearing within an evergreen forest, the air minted, sharp and clean, perfumed by the greenish blue tones of camphor and rosemary, her thin figure bent over the paper where she drew things just as she knew them to be.
Here was a portrait of a child, out in the cold, banished from the house while inside his mother and father argued violently. He stood in the middle of the yard as a gentle snow fell on to the bare skin of his outstretched arms, his naked toes tightening on the blades of grass which remained steadfast to where they pierced through the frozen soil. The shouting continued and he grew colder as he grew older, shivering now as the afternoon gave way to evening.
She sat by the river and she thought about what might come next—if there was a possibility for a correction, if she would ever again feel less disturbed. She sensed that this place did not think kindly of her presence, or perhaps she simply was not suited for it, that herself as a conception had somehow become misaligned with all of that which encompassed her. They were dividing, she concluded: She was not wanted here and thus she must be separated from it. She felt herself being removed and she found herself outside, standing there as an evening awoke, the world cast in a shaded blue which was interrupted only by the soft warmth behind the windows in the house which now stood before her, a flickering orange glow obscured only slightly by the falling snow.
She turned back to the river and stepped into a small wooden boat which had been tied to a post near to where she had been seated, its chipped and peeling red paint giving it the appearance of a battered and abandoned thing, a thing for which she felt a certain empathy as she climbed in amongst two broken oars, the boat swaying eagerly beneath her, as if it were pleased to have been given purpose once more.
After finding her balance, she fumbled with the simple knot which secured the boat, her fingers creaking and stubborn with cold. Once the boat was freed, she pushed away from the shore out into the river, out to where the wind catches her, its gusts pulling her into their embrace. She is propelled away from there, against the flow of the river, the crests of waves breaking against the weight of her thoughts as she moves between them, up and away from there, tossed to and fro until a secluded solace is presented to her, the hidden air still and calm, a place which had been awaiting her with hushed breath. The small boat slips out from view into the darkness behind her—behind her where a small stream runs between her feet on its way towards something far off and forgotten.
Before her the sun rises tall and strong from behind mountaintops, its new light spilling warmth into the valley, down where a clearing breaks itself free from the forest and a small cabin is revealed. The fondest feelings flood forth and a sensation of furtherance washes over her mind like turpentine. Without quarrel or question she draws herself upon a path, the paper unfurling before her as she scrawls, herself skipping mirthfully with the dizziness of maypole merriment, unbridled by the frenzy of a hope born, herself desperately clutching to each peaceful moment as it passes, herself now herself as an entirely separated thing—a difference quite distinctive from all of that which she was so recently shorn.
I awoke to the shrill of a whistle alerting all to an arrival. Soon after I am stepping from the train into this next place with its entirety new to me; it feels unfamiliar, though not altogether foreign, a shapeless haze of perfumed tobacco hanging stubbornly in the air between the befuddlement of rushed faces.
Like a dusty chapel, this station, with peppered light peering in through high windows and I stare up at them in unexpected reverence whilst exiting the train. Within my distraction I have lost my footing, and I stumble from the thin stairs which reach down from the carriage to the platform, and now I am amidst the tickled gasp and hushed japery of strangers, themselves having witnessed my misstep, their amusement causing me to blush with ripened embarrassment from my splayed and toppled state.
I sense the cheeriness I had been feeling drain from me, like a rain’s rivulet through a grate, my gleefulness at having arrived slips deep into the darkness of a sewer, an ebullience now fouled and washed away, and I pick myself up from the ground, brushing whatever grime from a hem, fearing that this is not a place for me.
Already, without a purposed word or deed, I am shamed. There is no correction to be had, no second attempt to be made, as mocking jeers echo in my head like startled cracks of thunder, my heart straining from beneath its pace, and sorrow has found its place within me once more. I apologize to the blurred air and I climb the stairs, returning to my compartment where I await the whistle to shriek news of my departure, the train slowly moving from the station as if reluctant to carry me. I apologize once more, perhaps we are just tired, and I sadly gaze into the morning’s gauziness from behind the teary pane of a window dipped in dew.
She had been requested by an other to provide accompaniment to their own dawdle—not hers—and this fraught invitation came to her as an interruption, an intrusion, a foreignness which gave immediate pollution to what had thus far been an altogether vexing day. Already she had been contaminated by hours spent useless, herself arched and strained, fraying, head in hands, her fingers bled from the tips which could muster neither properness nor clarity in the cacophony which billowed from her riotously burning brain.
As she processed the request carefully, each letter slipping anxiously into the next until a gap’s breadth gave a word its breath, she became consumed by a certain dread: A fear growing and clawing, snarling, a crawling thing which caused her skin to itch, and she threw it all to the ground which surrounds her thin-boned chair, the wickered cheapness of it creaking as her arms flailed, herself now pushing it from her with a stockinged toe as she leaned the remainder of her body away from it, repelled as if it were a rotted fetid thing, pushing it out of sight, refusing it with a nausea, shuddering in revulsion—she pushed it beneath a tall, solid, imposing pendulum clock which informed her that she had but three hours to find remedy and ready herself, three hours from now as stated in this request for accompaniment with which she must find herself in composed compliance.
She bandaged her fingertips and returned to her plight, plucking at taught thoughts which refused her sobbing plea for a loosening, themselves elusive and misshapen, herself painted in the scalding tones of richest frustration as she attempted to cleave these stubborn conceptions from the ungiving rigidity of her mind. Once she had formalized nothingness into a worthwhile presentation, a uselessness projected indeed, she removed herself from herself and returned to her fret, now with mere minutes before her wearisome obligation was to be met with and defined, her own dread tangled into its denotation and therefore any conceptualization of it as an actuality had become distorted, mangled, obscured from her completely.
In a moment she departed and became inwardly recalcitrant whilst outwardly engaged and she felt herself become detached from herself and replaced by a false thing, a puppet controlled not by strings dangling from her own bandaged fingers but by these foulest conditions as set by an other—even these notions which she knew herself to find noisome she would nod to in feigned agreement, herself shocked at her self from afar, her true self imprisoned and forced to witness her own sharded behavior from a distance, with eyes held open by toothpicks, a mouth sewn shut, eardrums attuned with precision by trumpets inserted, her body shackled in position, in audience, captive and unwilling, compelled to absorb herself as a fractured abstraction, a contortion, this entirely false thing propelled only by a desire for acceptance, an agreeableness, not to shout out with an honest protestation, not to bark down that inanity, this stupidity, to mock forcefully that small-thought idiocy.
Yet this dread had misled her for what she truly desired was not to be found participating with it at all, to not be there at all: She wished to run wildly from there, to return quickly to sanctuary and sureness. Though above it all, above all of it, she wished to have never felt the need to flee at all, to have instead remained with herself where she knew her self to be a fine thing, propped up with properness, herself satisfied with her view: A view that when viewed from within this room was forever close by, a nearness which gave her comfort in its allowance for her to conceive of it completely as it existed in the small space before her—she could embrace it and it knew her, these patterns on the wall. Though even when she choked and sputtered when within herself, dragging her sunken fingernails along the floorboards until they became shorn, her hair torn from follicle as a formula for a calming, she remained herself by herself, a thing known and understood, a limited being constrained for her well-being, quantified with defects replete, from this moment to the next, quiet, oh! “Dearest separated silence, wherever you hide and however disquieted, please allow yourself to be revealed to me within quickened time.”
(It is dictated that these encounters are a means for progress, that to endure them is to be found on a path towards some manner of adjustment or realignment, that such experiences allow one to be less traumatized as they become normalized, that at some unbeknownst far-off point this tremendous pain will become just bearable enough for one to smile half-truthfully when requests for accompaniment are made. To her this simply reads as a recipe for resentment and she closes the book entirely, surely she is quite damaged enough as it is, surely she can find enough to do on her own without undoing herself completely.)
There are artifacts and they persist with dourness. Contaminants. A sourest malodorousness which wafts through subsequent hours. It has been three days since she played at accompaniment, since she complied with those deleterious requests made of her, since she became apart from her self and watched helplessly as she went about another performance without her self, herself an idiot and an embarrassment, herself altogether unwillingly another whilst an other unwittingly encouraged her decline. She repairs herself gently, stitching together that which has been torn asunder, her own sense of safety now punctuated by a fragility, she feels that she must remain upended so that she shall remember precisely what it is that causes her the requirement of a mending. This is the lesson she learns, the truth of it. Not a sense of sensible acclimation or a sprightly reward for a trauma endured, never that, the silliness of its thought as purposeful prescription: Instead she gains a reinforcement in her determination to remain apart from it, to let it be on its own while she does the same, an allowance for her to be exactly that which she is: A thing which only she shall know, a being without being, herself at ease within her self by being without, without being at all she shall be allowed to be, and for her that is all she could ever hope to have.
She returns to a warmed, welcomed placement and she finds her fingers healed, themselves without any indication of having been forsaken, themselves with an apparent willingness to pepper and herself with an odd form of happiness begins: “It is strange,” she remarks to the marks upon paper, “it had been my intention to describe that circumstance with a certain clarity, to bring conversation to this perturbation. However, it would inevitably be just as meaningless, just as opaque and alien, because these are not experiences shared — an ease in understanding does not await idly by. Though to evoke consternation and disorientation does service just as well, as one’s discomposed undoing is all that I meant to describe.”
The morning has brought with it a certain malady, a calamitous sense of catastrophe which enters with such abruptness and then slows—like a plague passing over the day, it arrives with a sudden cruelness before its absorption is reduced to a cantankerous crawl, itself enveloping all with a dimness, a shroud of vagueness, everything becoming obscured and fraught beneath it, a smothering, minutes gasping for even the smallest breath before slipping out of sight, frantic, the day disappearing as a springtime panic sprouts to replace it.
An unsettled stillness creeps in, those movements towards a momentary sameness are now relegated to a memory as it begins again, a repetitious scorn loops and winds itself around the day, a suffocation complete as those scattered fragments compete for their position within said replacement. This had never been her plan, she would have never considered it: An orchestration without instrumentation, a symbolic cymbal crashing to punctuate a collapse, a string strung from which an afternoon shall be hung as a drum snares its unsung demise. She had awoken with such hope, this day spread before her as a parade provided and adorned with morsels like a picnic blanket in the shade, a meadow’s vastness the only boundary to the possibilities of today: Herself shall become the only limitation, herself forever in the way.
Hooray! She is sent scattering and shall soon discover herself shivering in corners contaminated, her frustration with her own obscuration scrawled on her forehead in abstractions: Numerals inscribed upon the chattering teeth of a mouth which chants soulful benedictions for the sole benefit of None, the ignorance of those roosted in rafters spitting splinters into her defiled existence, dots, dashes—codes spelling out well-wished pleas to those now found toppling from the crown of a Dandelion’s dismantling1.
These provoked hours feel as if they are built upon a burden, a foundation without structure, its execution scaffolded by a lash found lacking. These damaged moments are nothing novel and she recognizes them clearly–however clever they may be—her perspective warps inside a view distorted and she harbors an inability to right herself when she is found left without it, crippled and discarded upon a shore of little remorse, tiny guilts speckle the beach of her regrets—breathless, weary, she drags herself across the sand to where her furtherance must stand as a statuesque remembrance to forlorn memories forever planted in the way of her progression.
She finds herself at a door once more, defending an exit or an entrance, an escape revealed as her only hope for destination. She lies there at a loss—panting—her inabilities have left her able. This was never what she had wanted, although what she had wanted was nothing more: Herself as a different sort of difference, herself apart in an entirely different way. She has no excuse, this day became unraveled before she had time to notice the thread’s departure, a bobbin abandoned by that spool unwound, a stitch in time remains unsewed while nine lives remain unsown and her own self remains unwritten, unknown.
“Drat,” she whispers to a Nothingness adored, “now that ending has never been farther from having ever been begun and therefore I shall end up finding myself beginning again tomorrow, for that ending has never been farther from having ever been begun and I shall end up having to start it all over again.”
1 The parentheses envelop that which is unbeknownst to determine emptiness, their sloping selves paired to provide precisely what had been missing to that which they shall now query. Tall and leaning they prompt in unison, peering down into what may be proven to be a void, bracketing a potential, with a punctuated facelessness they construct an expression and from either side they ponder: “Are you here? Are you but anything at all? Or are you little more than a nullified token for nothingness, an emptiness symbolized by its own absence, an entity without value resting restlessly in this small vacancy we’ve provided? Do you even exist, even if it is with a most peculiar sort of persistence?”
Tracing her mind over fragments of thought, she imagines herself exiting herself; not entirely though substantially, herself hurtling along a road towards a place to which she has never been—and this must be every one of them, undoubtedly, as she has heretofore persisted without placement. She feels a rush through her hair, the dryness of a desert air blanching the skin of her face as she goes, tear ducts sealed shut by dust, the soft scent of lavender blushing her brow, antigenic pollen wisping within brushed winds, the light of day disappearing behind the pulsed line of a forest endless, and before long soft drops begin to rain upon an elusive plot.
“I am imagining things.” She shakes her head vigorously and a disturbance of specked flies lifts into the air lazily from nearby perches, looping stupidly, three or four of them, before each settles on something meaningless once more, wings tucked up neatly behind themselves, waiting without wonder. Never “Why?” asks the fly.
Her eyes remain closed, adhered by a crackling, and the dampness settles in; mold creeping from crevices, black spots grow angrily and expand into blankets, walls seeping with the moistened fragrances of sickened rot as she begins to sob. There is a pocket at her waist, itself stitched into her dress like an afterthought: It begins and it dips, it angles in quickly and reverses course, up and then at an end—sewn. There is a gap between beginnings and this is where she pushes in the misplaced bits, memories stowed, fragments found lost on paths, those discarded pieces, tarnished trinkets which gleam, her dreams. She now removes them one by one from her pocket and places them on the ground around her, herself sitting there amidst them, a banished thing, counting her spoils, one by one, she goes.
There was a time when she ducked through gaps in fences for adventure; a time when she cared deeply for another one in particular. She is stained, marked, each moment a reflection. These experiences of a past flow into one another, they no longer hold definition—yet she remembers them, picks at them, senses each as a wound unhealed: Taxidermic memories stuffed plump with falsity, atrophied on a mantelpiece, their appearance but a suggestion of some long-lost reality.
She returns these things to her pocket and she does so without permission, not that there was any to be had. She sighs and wipes away the remnants of tears, dusty streaks, her hand reaching to retrieve a fragment of chalk from an old cigar box: She knows its place without seeing it, it will always be there. Yearning to draw a picture on the wall nearest her, she twists herself from her seated position so that she is now on her knees, darned socks now dirty, and she begins to put together a scene using her prison as a canvas, her unease as an easel. She draws herself drawing herself looking through a window to a winding road, it leads away from here, crooked in its route, between trees and lies and doubt onto wherever it may go, her mind tracing these fragments of thought as if she were with them, herself now nothing but a memory of herself as she hurtles along her own absence towards a place of which she shall never know.
It feels dark within her room, even with the lightbulb delicately projecting its softness upon her from where it hangs, not quite from the center of the ceiling, it hangs nearer to a corner where it finds itself encircled by a globe of worn rice paper, its bamboo frame broken in places, fragments poking through, the incandescent bulb a nucleus, the light slowing as it moves towards her. The light falls gently and all appears warm and soothed, yet she senses the darkness lurking in corners, itself a constant, pulling at her heels, murmuring, and she remains unsure. She is not frightened though she feels vulnerable, her footing is not certain and so she steps gingerly around the expanse of her mind, a fractured sense of understanding creaks beneath her pace. She is aware of herself as a separated thing and she looks up at the bulb and stares at it through its protective paper, admiring its stillness as it hangs there, a beacon, a source of stability in a place that remains upturned.
The sun is rising from its envious place of hiding beyond the horizon, casting the beginnings of its presence onto the panels of a curtain which shields her window. She remains sequestered behind the heavy draped fabric from that which passes outside her room, the smiling faces aglow with friendly thoughts of others, those who walk by without sensing the desperation contained within what they pass, the solitary anguish hidden from them by the frivolous pattern printed upon the curtain’s face, a pattern she selected purposefully, and she remembers the ancient dusty odor of a far-off factory which flowed forth when she first pulled the curtain’s panels from their packaging, themselves adorned with large complicated shapes, circular tangled knots of a similar size arranged almost haphazardly, though with an order to their placement which could be discerned if one gazed upon them long enough, the vacant space between the objects had become her vastness, her view, the printed orbs dangling in parched space, an interruption to a void, and she almost expected a sparrow to alight upon one of them as she stared at what hung there.
The glow from behind her curtains grew brighter and she considered ruefully the darkness within the space which she now dwelled, like mud at her ankles, herself mired and slow, and from outside her window she could imagine the world glistening as all of its movements began, the day awakening and readying itself, and she felt a longing as these curtains hid her from a rising symphony, the silhouettes of twinkling instruments cast tall by the sun as it rose behind them all.
She is finding it difficult to ignore that which has begun and so she moves a chair to the window, placing it mindfully before cautiously pulling aside one of the curtain’s panels, affixing it open with a slapdash shoestring knotted to a peg, itself having once been screwed into the wall alongside the window’s frame. She sits carefully so that she is almost hidden behind a corner of the now-exposed window, herself peering out from hunched eyes, her hands clasped between her knees. She is positioned forwardly on the chair and can feel it beneath her, wooden and firm, though she is barely balanced upon its edge, teetering, as if a single breath could topple her completely, a whispered secret only partially heard as she lay splayed on the floor, her world upended once more. Though she sat perched and still, remaining, her eyes following squirrels as they darted then paused, fluffed tails twitching, scattering again, searching, noses beneath leaves, headless rodents scratching at the earth, their secrets buried deep within a soil chilled, her secret having departed, half-heard, a misunderstanding, and she is on the floor once more.
She pulls a hand from between her knees and traces a spiral into the condensation which has collected on the windowpane. The droplets of water parting easily as her finger passes between them, the circles growing as rivulets form from it, escaping patterns of water running down from her fingertip as it glides still, winding out from the center of the pane, though it is not the center truly, nearer a corner, where the origin of her spiral has become obscured. She winds her finger around until it meets the frame of the window, its chipped paint curling up from what had been disguised beneath, an arched dermis pulling away from its host as if repulsed, curled and trying, and she notices that the blank whiteness of the top layer had been hiding a multitude of colors below, reds and greens peer out from divots and dents, their own eyes adjusting to the light flowing in from the window, layers of a painted past now born anew and witnessed as a delighted discovery, themselves having provided color to this room when inhabited by strangers, ghostly bodies which moved through her space with a pleasantness, cheered smiles and tinkling voices, lovers with fingers entwined, friendships bound tightly without quarrel.
She picks at the paint and grows saddened, memories which are not hers flood her completely and she chokes, drowning in them, they crash over her and she tumbles from her chair, grasping at the curtain as she falls, herself now crumpled on the floor with the window once more obscured, herself in here and behind it, the bulb swings serenely above her after having been set to motion by the rush of the curtain’s fabric as it was released from its peg. She lays and considers her position, watching as the bulb swings from its cord, a pendulum without pit or purpose, it shall never become nearer to her than it is now, and she aches as its travel slows and she stares, herself lost in its radiance, the floorboards feel cold and the air leaden, the slithy darkness permeates again as the swing of the bulb ceases, incandescent phosphorescence her only friend, and she lays still, unsure and unsound, the whine of unseen machines the only thing which keeps her from silence.
And so the tumult begins anew and it restlessly churns itself alongside the rising dawn. This place has grown so bitter towards her, its anger leaking and seeping from the walls around her, a ceiling ceaseless in its creak and floorboards adrift in this sea of a misery provoked.
The day prior had proven kindly, but if for a moment, maybe more. She had meandered and her meandering was met with a friendliness as she absorbed the subtle warmth of the lazily setting sun, its fractured presence peering at her from between leaves turning, a glistening through what had become golden, the chatter from the trees which rose around her affording her conversation as she passed beneath them, her head in the clouds which drifted aimlessly above them all, themselves gathered into a small memory, herself clutching it tightly as she now faced the day as it stretched threateningly before her.
There had been an encounter which occurred on the day after or perhaps the day after that, one which had also proved kindly, yet in a different way entirely. She sought help and she was greeted with benevolence, herself traveling along seemingly deserted streets to get there, the trees desperately clasping to their leaves with a futility, saddened to see them go, one by one falling softly, herself once again amidst leaves alighting, herself passing though them to be met with an advisory guidance. She sighed as she grew nearer, a sensation arising of herself shrinking within her experience. She arrived and she was small and she had difficulty climbing the stairs which ascended towards an entrance, herself now tiny before disappearing completely through the doors of her destination.
She used the encounter as a means for practice, a mechanism for experimentation, placing herself in a position of vulnerability so that she might embrace this opportunity for honesty: Putting herself into this place as the minuscule thing that she was, a small problem sitting patiently before her advisor, herself dressed up prettily in a solution which she herself could not see, asking for it to be explained to her and described, an answer not fashionable but functional, the patched cloth which enveloped her showed evidence of wear, herself repaired, sitting there feeling mended and understood. There is sharp light and there is swift motion and there is a certainty in contract. She stands to leave and has grown taller, there she is again, stitched back up again, and a dulled needle is returned to its plump cushion as she threads her way through serpentine hallways towards the outdoors once more.
And so the tumult shall inevitably begin anew and it will restlessly churn itself alongside these rising dawns, themselves growing forever fewer. This place is bitter and the hostility projected upon her feels trite and then boring, its anger still leaking and seeping from the walls around her, a ceiling ceaseless in its creak and floorboards adrift in this sea of a misery provoked, though a harbor now rises from the horizon and she spies refuge, herself diving into the water to swim towards it, herself now buoyant and able, if only for a moment, and then for a moment more.
There wells within her a peculiar exasperation. She rocks back and forth as an antagonizing desperation makes attempts at the discovery of a means for an entrance, though for once she deftly defies its intentions. This day shall not fall victim to it, not another one in a slow succession of deflated aspirations, each having awakened with a certain vim only to find itself kicked and beaten, in a gutter discarded, feverish tears mixed with fetid soil to create a foul slurry of a despair sorrowed.
She rocks back and forth and it does not get better, and there is no victory in such senselessness, this anxiousness, this repetition, and so she quickens and so she catches herself to the clutch of a stillness abrupt. She takes a deep breath and feels herself tightening, the knock upon the door growing louder and more incessant, a ringing commences, her mind fills with the obnoxiousness of a droning, the dandy disorder of it ricocheting around the room within which she currently finds herself imprisoned, this place can never be as nice as that which shall assuredly replace it shortly, this place forever stupid with the abhorrence it has provoked.
She selects difference from a menu of sameness and is startled by how delicate it feels, just how different it really is and not just by name: That she be allowed an alternative is a blessing and she remains fortunate, no matter how unfortunate she really is. This is a disguise, this difference. It is costume behind which she weeps, a cheerfulness for all to witness, herself grateful and gleaming, herself battered and broken, the mask having been caught by the wind and torn from her, she stumbles and she gasps and she now watches from behind bleary eyes as the mask wafts playfully in the gusts of it, a counterfeit visage has left her exposed with its departure, a façade, a feint, all of it now floating beyond her, all of that pretension and posturing now revealed as pointless whilst it drowns colorfully and without grace in those creeping rivers beyond.
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 overwhelmingâhow 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.