There is bloated brooding thing that walks behind me eyes, that hides behind my flesh from shocks – it’s had its share already – that shelters below my forebrain. The creature has been there for years and years, or maybe only days stretched out to seem like years. It sees the flaw first, the thorn before the bud, losing in front of finding, betraying ahead of trusting, hurting over loving. It isn’t wrong.
Rapacious yet patient, the creature is trapped in a cage of bone, a prison walled with fears and disappointments, losses, small sadnesses, and revolting things. It practices a cold, convincing calculus; it knows the optimist’s mathematics simply do not work: they are neither rigorous, nor thorough, nor honest enough. It sees clearly, but its math is flawed too.
Cunning, it treats the world like a riddle – one it’s solved it a hundred thousand times, but never had the strength to carry to its conclusion.
It is angry at all that is faithless and false – angrier still that every bit of untruth has found its way inside. Angry at all the people who saw its shames (accurately if unkindly). Angry at all the ones who could have helped but didn’t. Angry at being found wanting. Angry at the unaccepted sacrifice. Angry at the sin that lieth at the door.
I see it some mornings, solid and substantial, peering out from behind my eyes, hating me steadily. Whenever I have hurt, it bled. I forget; it does not. Worse, it knows I want to leave it behind. It knows I think it steals: my energy, my blood, my life. I feel like a spring pushed tight, crying for release, ready to do appalling or amazing things – striking still, even if a little late.
You need me, it whispers alone in the night. We are the same, you and I, it says in the mornings. It might be right; but both of us know at midday it will disappear like shreds of fog and patches of dew.