Saturday, August 12, 2006

A Short Story: Part II

A hand moves across a foggy bathroom mirror, wiping the condensation from its surface. From behind the hand, through streaks and mist, two dark eyes emerge. A face comes into view and occupies the mirror. This was his face; this was his mirror. His vision was still blurry, so he began to rub them with his fists. The harder and longer he rubbed, the more itchy and dry his eyes burned. His firey eyes opened once more to see his mirror revealing a face. It was a face that was not unlike memories of his own, except the bright eyes he once knew where puffy and sagged with dark bags below them. The face he saw was a bit more weathered than he had remembered and was shaded with dense, coarse stubble. This was his face. Slowly, his gaze turned solid and detached. Memories flooded his head and played like a grand Theatre across the steamy mirror. A curious feeling had once again taken hold of him; it was a feeling that he had been struggling with for some time. Only now, in such a detached, subconscious state did he have time to analyze it whatsoever. It hit him immediately: He could remember who he was and had been, but had know knowledge of who he was now.

Donald remembered what had occurred earlier in the week. After dicovering two strings protruding from his arms he had cut them. This had led to several turns of events which were ultimately disastrous for Donald's social/economic status, but was that his life? Later on in the week, he had discovered two other strings, each leading out of his thighs and up into the ceiling. Where the strings led beyond that was not known to Donald. However, after much thought, he had resolved to cut them also, and he did. It was a truly frightening experience and he had not known what to make of it. In just a few days his life had completely changed. But he had noticed that it had been the first time he had actually felt anything since he was young, and that he wasn't chained down to somewhere he didn't want to be. He thought to himself of how we all have a dream of where we want to be, but how most of us never get there because somewhere along the way we become enveloped in our societal "responsibilities" and are completely crippled by economic circumstance. Donald had seen his strings and cut them... and there was no such other liberating experience that he had ever felt that could measure up to it. It was a burden off of his shoulders and a breath of fresh air. He now had his entire life infront of him. Donald had ended a torturous chapter of his life that seemed would go on forever and had started fresh, with a new sheet of blank paper.

Then Donald remembered the pain. He felt no fear, but only pain of past events and how many years he had spent rummaging through the remnants of his completely systematized life. He had actually taken a bite of what was being fed to him; a big, meaty piece. But there was no juice in this bite... there was no sweet flavor or aroma that made what he had been forever chewing on pleasurable. It was sour and dry and rotten. So rather than holding it in and keeping it down like so many others had needlessly done before him, he spat it out. Donald spat it back into the faces of his faceless oppressors.

The memories continued to play. Looking back on who he had been, he felt great distress and sorrow. All the needless fighting and hurt that resulted played back before his eyes. He thought of what he would be like in thirty years- an old man, with wife and children, sitting at the head and helm of every table and family endeavor. Still, he felt no fear. Donal envisioned a dark cemetary and an open grave. The grave was not empty, but bottomless. The headstone read "Poor, poor Donald. Never really alive, never really dead... until now."

He snapped suddenly out of his daze and looked around wildly. He began whispering, “Do not accept your anger… do not accept others’ hatred…” His voice grew louder. “Do not accept the social distortion, do not accept the dead end…” Louder still, his voice rose to a wild scream. “Do not live to die, or on your knees! Do not eat what they’re feeding you! Better yet, never buy what they’re selling you!” Now he was screaming. “Do NOT accept the system! Do NOT bow your head and swallow hard on your shame! Do NOT accept the idea that we cannot rise to great heights at any point and any time, because then and only then do you deny yourself the right to life! DO NOT ACCEPT TYRANNY! DO NOT ACCEPT BARELY SURVIVING SO THAT OTHERS MAY BE RICH! DO NOT ACCEPT COMPLACENCY! DO NOT ACCEPT THE SYSTEM! DO NOT ACCEPT THE SYSTEM! DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THEIR HOUSES AND JOBS ARE ALL THAT LIFE HAS TO OFFER! DO NOT FALL FOR THEIR “PEACE”! DO NOT LET THEM FOOL YOU! DON’T DIE BEFORE YOU’VE EVER EVEN LIVED! DON’T BECOME THE STEREOTYPE, THE ZOMBIE, THE LIVING DEAD! DON’T LISTEN WHEN THEY SPEAK, DON’T LOOK WHEN THEY’RE NEAR! AND THEY’RE ALWAYS NEAR!! DO NOT DENY YOURSELF THE RIGHT TO LIFE! DO NOT ACCEPT…do not accept…. do not settle…” His voice had been strained and now began to decrescendoe into a pant. His eyes were no longer firey, but filled with tears.

The following morning he was gone. His family had no idea of his whereabouts and he left no trace behind, save one hand-written note placed neatly on his pillow. It read as follows:

“If you listen only to the voices of others and not often enough to the one within, you’ll live to lay down. But one day, you’ll figure out that you have legs. And then, you’ll realize that you’ve got wings. When that day comes, don’t be afraid to fly away. See your chains and break them, before it’s too late.”

Leave your grave.


Blogger Satori said...

Like the short story ... thought provoking!!

12:59 PM  

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