Things always pile down on you when you don't want them to. At your wit's end, with the razor blade to your neck, sweat pooling down your back, you think "I can't do this shit anymore" and that's when it happens. Things don't clear up. You don't get a(more) new job and lose 20 pounds and find the love of your life.
No, you sink lower and lower. So low that any thought of the future becomes like a fantasy and all you can contemplate is the pain, this awful hurting pain inside you that writhes like a beast. You are filled with tears and gumption and scars and a million little invisible demons that claw at you moment by moment, day by day.
Here is what I know: one day that pain drowns you so deep that you feel quite certain you are about to die. The next day it is ever so lighter. There but evaporating. That up and down, the push and pull drives you fucking crazy because how can a person live with these feelings that veer so wildly. But they are also what keeps you here.
If you didn't have that one day where things are a little bit less hard then nothing else would matter. The pain would win out, black ink over red blood over white specters of the past. And the ugly truth is that sometimes, for no real reason, the pain wins. Sometimes those series of days are too jumbled and the off days too light and the pain to devouring.
Sometimes you lose. Sometimes you crawl into a hole and try as you might, you cannot crawl out. But that is not always the case. Sometimes those good days increase and the pain subsides to something you used to know. (less)
Sitting under the makeshift shelter provided sort of a comforting room. The fire quickly warmed the area, in spite of the cool winter threatening to overcome the night. I sat, humming quietly a song to myself that I had learned to sing before "The Tot". Although I was so(more) focused on returning to him it wouldn't stop me from thinking about the local terrors that had managed to claw their way into the path of the living.
It all originated in Germany. You know, all of us kind of assumed that creepy things went on over there anyways. Well, that was kind of a lie. I had multiple friends from Germany, whom I had made the acquaintance of when they were an exchange student at my school. But, that was out of the question. Anyways, it was almost as cliche as the movies- a virus out break, people walking around eating each other, you know, the usual. Except, the bite didn't turn you. No, this disease was an airborne virus. Most of the people were afflicted, but some, like me avoided the disease. However, those who were inherently infected, were crazy. More crazy than me. They would run around, screaming, biting, ripping, like they wanted to eat you alive.
Those invisible demons were nothing compared to what I was after though. No, he would suffer for the boat, and the odd floating about. I was much more of a threat to him than the diseased. I was vengeance incarnated as the devil himself. Prepare for punishment.
My lover and I talk about the “windows” of our souls. It’s pillow talk, but the best kind of pillow talk. Instead of a constant refrain of “I love you” or You’re the best thing that ever happened to me,” I prefer the “windows of our souls” being open to(more) one another as the best kind of intimacy.
Don’t get me wrong I love hearing that I’m the best thing that has ever happened to her because nobody in 40 years of loving has ever said that to me. But opening the windows of our souls is, to me a much deeper intimacy .
I believe the great Sufi poet Rumi alluded to these open windows and I recently heard this idea musically expressed in an album by a group named Ruby who sing, “Between our hearts there’s a shutter that we can open where no walls remain.”
To be that open with someone, to want to risk the vulnerability that this kind of total openness demands is a true gift. I want to give this gift and I truly believe she has given me this gift. That has never happened before. Usually I want to keep at least a little part of me sealed off. I might need it for later, right? Like for protection. But with this woman I don’t think I will need that protection.
And one thing that life and relationships have taught me is that love, as warm as it can be cannot get through the brick walls we construct to protect our tender hearts.
You remember that first year of a new relationship where everything is going fabulously well until she says something that hurts, so you start mixing the cement. Then another zinger comes perhaps in the(less)
In December, the fog rolls in and stays. January is when Souji starts seeing the shadows.
The first one was shapeless; they'd seen countless numbers of them in the TV world, shadows that had not yet coalesced into their true forms. It's hard to make out in the fog, but(more) Souji is fairly sure he sees it, a black blob of matter with tiny yellow eyes, quivering in the glow of a streetlamp in the shopping district. He tugs on Yosuke's sleeve, hesitant to take his eyes from the creature, but Yosuke doesn't respond right away, lost in the music he's blasting from his headphones. Souji turns and waves a hand in front of Yosuke's face; that gets his attention, and he pulls the headphones off his ears. "What?"
When Souji turns back, the shadow is gone.
If it had been an isolated incident, Souji might have been able to forget it. But it keeps happening, both while he is alone and in the company of others, and every time the shadow disappears before anyone else can see it.
In February, Naoto invites him to walk home with her, and despite the fact that she makes him uneasy now, he can't find an excuse to say no. They're passing by the gazebo when he sees it; it's fully formed this time, a Raven, its wings flapping slowly through the fog. "Do you see that?" Souji hisses, and she turns to look immediately.
"See what?" she asks.
As far as Souji can tell, she's staring directly at it. His blood runs cold. "You really don't see it?"
"It's only the gazebo," Naoto says, turning back to him with a concerned expression. "Are you quite well, senpai?"
Souji rubs his hands over his eyes, blinks, looks again. The shadow doesn't disappear.(less)