I – Him
Somedays I wake up just so angry. Is it even anger? I’m not really sure anymore. I feel this burning pulse deep inside my heart. As if my blood is being pumped in a boiler and its searing through my arteries. It fades fast. As fast as it occurs. How long has it been like his? I’m no longer terribly sure at all. I had this dream once; well, many times, but this one I had was very strange. There was this wolf. First off, I should clarify, I was in this forest. In a clearing surrounded by trees. It was snowing, or was it raining? There was this little stream that cut right through the middle of the clearing splitting it in two. The wolf was lapping at it slowly and cautiously. The stream itself was a mere trickle, yet thicker where the wolf paid attention. I was about twenty meters from the wolf, trying my best not move, breathe or even exist.
It felt incredibly real, surreal even. The tension was palpable and I felt very unwell. I swear I had made no sound at all yet the wolf suddenly, however slowly, turned its head towards me. Staring right through me. Deep within, piercing through me as if it could see my very heart. It probably smelled my fear. It was over in an instant. The wolf disappeared and I could breathe again. Inhale, exhale.
I woke up, my bed was empty. Maybe it was her bed. Maybe it was no ones. I remembered watching her walk away. She walked straight ahead, turned left and I never saw her again. I felt like falling to pieces. Maybe I had started too. I was okay, I kept repeating that to myself in hopes I would believe it. I knew it was true but everything felt so fucking shattered. So cold and broken, lifeless. Not even cigarettes and whiskey took the edge off. It just made me vibrate empty. The coffee seemed to work, when enough of it was introduced.
I had that dream often though, about the wolf, and I lied to you. It wasn’t over just like that. It never just ends, nothing truly ever does. Never is it the case that the wolf just quietly disappears. Sometimes I just walk up before it lunges, and sometimes after. The times after I always wake drenched in sweat, pillow tear stained, hands shaking and muscles tense. Waking up afraid is horrifying. Waking up feeling like eyes are all over you and every move you make is judged and watched. It can tear you apart.
I knew this writer once. He was a good friend of mine, if not the only one. Very interesting man. We weren’t around each other for long but he had imparted wisdom I’d always adhere to. If a phone rings in your dream, don’t answer it. My dreams never have phones, just wolves, woods, winter and fear. Death is such an unappreciated concept. To fear death is to fear life yet to embrace death is not to to embrace life. So who’s lying? Is it death himself or the Angel who has yet to fall?
I’m no prophet or poet. I’m barely a writer, just a dreamer stuck in a clearing shaking and exposed. We’re all made too pretty, hiding behind masks reluctant to connect, hearing the whispers and rejecting the impulse. Let’s call it all bullshit but maybe I talk too much. Maybe it’s the talking myself in circles that’s too much. I don’t know though and who gives a fuck it’s just words, but I’m way off topic.
The wolf turns its head, makes eye contact with me and pierces every defence. It’s as though the wolf understands more about me than even I do. As if in that second, the wolf and I were joined together, two sides to the same coin. Which makes my head hurt, and makes it stranger. It seems so complex, yet for no real reason at all. I tried to see her again, I really tried. It was a winter day, when I had really begun to believe I’d lost myself, and I just wanted closure. Something, anything It didn’t make it easier at all. She felt thousands of miles away, but maybe she was much closer than I’d ever known.
I like to think I’m doing better now. It feels like it’s been years, or maybe only minutes, just to notice. To notice the changes, the vast differences and alterations inside. It’s always a fucking light switch isn’t it? At first it’s one way and then one day you realize it’s the other way entirely and you don’t even know how it switched? I don’t think that’s how love works, at least I don’t feel like it should. What I do know though is that the swirl of memories is dominating my mind in a chaotic clashing of contradicting accounts of varying perspectives. The wolf lunges, how the fuck did this happen?
Sometimes I get headaches. They’re pretty intense, but the worst when I’m writing. Which isn’t often lately. For the simple reason of lacking inspiration. When we’re all trapped in the same shitty existence it’s a wonder we even appreciate art, or think it can save anything. Maybe it won’t, but who really cares. The doctor tells the patient he cares when really the man doesn’t even know the boy.
We’re all lost, at least a little. Until we’re found in some superficial circumstance drowned out by seclusion. How does that happen anyway, is it as simple as a conversation with the right person saying and asking all the right things and you just know? Is it more complex to the effect that you journey your whole life to be disappointed and alone? Waiting for a hand to hold. Beating lonely doesn’t make you alone, it’s a side effect of weakness and never truly alone. Just absent when we choose to be. The wolfs jaw opens revealing jagged teeth.
Everybody dies. We all meet death eventually, one by one, in our gardens and gateways. Always and forever. Although gone but not forgotten, right? Do our lives become filled by ghosts of past and present, those both dead and alive. Those that are gone as well as forgotten? Do we all fade away like that for one another giving way to new faces to forget and new memories to dissolve. Does that happen to each other and then ourselves, like leaving familiar places. Packing up your things, loading up your car, starting the engine and moving forward. How do I do that anyway?
Does it become more worth it and exhilarating when you’re lying in the hot sun on the cool floor of your empty suite and she asks if you’re ready to go? How do you answer? I suppose we all know when the time comes and we all get there eventually. Even if we don’t know upon arrival we make it work somehow. I’m just tired of waiting. I feel the hot breath from the wolf bathing my throat.
At what point does a dream turn into a nightmare? When does fear make the undesirable shift into reality? Is it after your friends have abandoned you in the dark? Before that long road home where no ones face is familiar and your eyes don’t tell the truth of what they see? Is it betrayal that wakes us, giving us reason to run and a desire for discovery. Perhaps we never truly know until we’re supposed to.
I had become friends with a writer long ago, he was a great one with a beautiful mind. He killed himself. I never knew he’d needed me so badly, until I needed him. This is how it goes. Who do you need? Is needing anyone such a crime? I’d rather have a need inside for something or someone than never know what it’s like to desire. I need you. At least I think I do, thought I did. You need time. We all need time. Although time has a sister and here I sit praying for inspiration. With a gun in my hand and my best friend in my head.
The fear needs to go and that door needs to close. Picture this; you wake up in the morning after strangling your wife in your sleep, and you eat breakfast, go to work then back to bed with your bride. What changed you and brought you to the point of such darkness. Witchcraft? Fear? Depression? I’m not a doctor, yet then again neither are you. So do you get drugs to dull the pain and quiet the voices? Does it help? Or does it only quiet some of the voices to the point that even yours is mate and the whispers take over. Which window did they creep through, did you check them all? Of course you did, now back to sleep and dream a little dream of peace. I don’t even know which voice this is anymore. It’s all too blurry to tell, and the echoes down out my thoughts and confuse me even further.
The jagged teeth, hot rank breath, and my neck all meet at once. Clashing in an instant. The jaw clamps down and tears then there’s silence. It all stops. Everything freezes and in that moment the only thought in my head is “Well maybe now I can rest”. Then I wake up. Nothing has ever really happened to me that was out of the ordinary to warrant therapy. I don’t feel depressed anymore, there are no voices, the anger is gone, and the dream has finally stopped. The darkness as I had thought it was, seemed tamed. Yet my mind is still not here
I am still plagued with visions that I can’t get a grip on. I expose them in my writing as if to plot them down and chart some linear timeline that makes some sort of sense. Yet it constantly contradicts and overlaps itself in such ways that even to explain myself to anyone I know, would surely fall flat. Especially to you. I’ve never known how to really talk to you.
The greatest irony of my work is that theres nothing to show for it. It’s all in my head. I relive the same moments endlessly and wander through dreams into nightmares, and nightmares into dreams. Every face I see is a reflection of yours, and every person I meet a manifestation of fear. It just doesn’t have order. None of this does. Every story I come up with to create some sort of reality takes me to another strange place, alone and confused. I’d have walked away too if I was you.
The damage I’ve done haunts me ever too closely, like a shadow that never fades. The stinging sensation softened only by sleep gives way to the unimaginable depths of my mind. No freedom from fear, and no less is deserved. My attempts at connection have failed, and I see that now clearly. The cycle must break, be reset, rewound. My self written road map has led me nowhere closer to the salvation I seek, and even farther from you. Yet it still plays out the same. I wake up sweating, shaking and scared. My bed is empty. Maybe it’s her bed. Maybe it’s no ones. No matter who it belongs to, I find myself here, far too often