Speaking of my psyche…
So some while ago I was having problems; depression can make it hard to connect with people. Long story short, I had, what I now call, my muse and when she left I had a hard time dealing with it. I started to write this piece, called “knight”, which basically involved me talking to the women who have been important to me – well, the version of those women in my head. They spoke what was true as I knew it. It was like a weird form of therapy, but it really doesn’t help that much.
Brief guide to the following: I speak with ‘single quotes’, the imaginary women I’m talking to speak with “double quotes”. I only speak with one at a time, but two are present in the text. The first is my first love (which I mention), she leaves the scene near the end and then the muse shows up briefly. Her story did not go well and was excised long ago (I was upset and angry and, even if she never saw it, she didn’t deserve the treatment I gave her). A third woman is mentioned a couple times around where “Do you need a hero?”; while she wasn’t given a role the subject is a dear friend of mine.
Something of a warning: this is, essentially, a peak into the thoughts of a depressed and broken hearted man. It’s not happy and, to some, may be considered whinging. Read at your own peril.
The desert is vast; an apparent endless sea of sand stretching however far the eye can see: It can’t see far.
On a hillock I lay, staring at the sun. I feel the heat pressing down on my skin and the grittiness of the earth below pressing up. The sun burns into my retinas, casting light and dark shadows across my vision.
‘I loved you, you know.’ My mind is adrift; unfocused in the light. ‘I loved you for years, but you didn’t know it, did you?’
One of the shadows in my eyes moves away. “And what do you feel now?”
‘I still love you. I think I always will, but it’s, you know, different.’ I shift my head and try to focus my eyes on the shadow that seems more solid than others. ‘You don’t look like that, you know.’
‘Your hair isn’t that long, or that dark, and your face is different.’
‘Just different…’ Fragments of half remembered images flash through my mind. ‘And you don’t dress like that… anymore. Or maybe never, I don’t know.’
“Is that important?”
‘I thought you loved me too. No, that’s not it, why would you have? I thought you could have. I wanted you to, obviously.’ I turn my head away from the vision from the past, back to the blinding glare of the sun. ‘I imagined a future together. I was… ambitious.’
“It’s not wrong to be ambitious.”
‘No, the ambition wasn’t wrong, but the implementation.’ I sigh and feel the cracks on my tongue: it feels like forever since water passed my lips. ‘I can’t get it right. I wanted to be supportive. It seemed like you were going through a hard time and I wanted to be there for you, a friend. I was so worried about pushing you away, loosing you again, you were so ephemeral.’ I stretch my hand out as if to grab the sun. ‘But that wasn’t the problem; I pressured you to be more than you were willing, or able to be. I tried to make sacrifices, to be more accommodating, but I think that just made things worse for you.’ I watch my fingers move as I reach toward my heavenly goal. ‘I think you didn’t want to hurt me, but in the long run it just made it hurt more.’
‘It’s not your fault, it’s mine. First loves are the hardest, right?’ She turned her head and looked out over the horizon. ‘I was told that I should be your hero: to rescue you from the bad spot you had found yourself in, but does anyone really need a hero? Or do you just need the confidence to save yourself?’
‘I don’t have much confidence left at all anymore; it seems that no matter how much I try I will always fail. I know something’s wrong – something I’m doing – but no one will tell me what that is. It is hard to remain confident in the face of ever-present defeat.’
“Do you need a hero?”
‘Maybe. Probably. Sometimes I think she might want to be mine, but I’m not sure she really understands. Everyone can only understand other people through the lens of their own lives. I can’t fully understand you, she can’t fully understand me. It would probably be nice if someone could swoop in and be everything I need them to be, but that’s not very likely.’
“It’s not going to happen.”
‘Cape. Domino mask. God, it sounds like a fetish video.’ I ran my fingers through my hair; combing out sand. ‘So there I went, tilting at windmills, trying to win your heart, and all that time you would just have preferred I wasn’t in your life.’
“I didn’t want to hurt you.”
‘No, but you forged a new life for yourself and I wasn’t in it, but then, it seems, few people were. You once told me you were jealous of her.’
‘But I never understood why. The only person who could stop you from doing what you wanted to was you, so I can only conclude you just didn’t want to.’
“I don’t know.”
‘You wouldn’t, would you. Even after creeps and into children I tried to be there for you, didn’t I? Offer you support or advice, and just try to be your friend, but that wasn’t good enough for you either.’
I sat in silence for what felt like eternity. I opened my eyes and surveyed the desolation. ‘Gone again, like last time and all before.’
“Where’d she go?”
‘Away, to where I can’t follow.’
“Why don’t you go away too, to where she can’t go?”
‘And where would that be? How would I get there? Will you show me the way?’
“Perhaps some of it, if you accept me.”
‘Your end is no different than her’s.’
“The journey is different. And the lessons learned.”