The silence here is dead. The atmosphere is so drenched in its oppression that the echo of nothingness seeps into the soul like some wretched decay. The absence of life thrives - birthed from the blackened hatred of man’s collective heart. To linger, to gaze too long at the object throbbing at the center of this hell is to bring misery. And yet, there it hangs, absorbed in the vanity of its arrogance, smirking with the knowledge that I will pause. A moment of hesitation; a moment of curiosity; a moment to draw one to ruin.
Here is not full of visible darkness. Somewhere behind me glares unnatural yellow from a bulb. Here is not festering with a stench to churn your appetite. No. The air is heavy with the scents of cleanliness - medicine, bleach. No, here resides the master of temptations. Here rests the perfect fusion of ideal and science - a demise crafted so heinously that its unbearable truth would crystallize the blood in your veins.
My feet are leaden anchors holding me solid where I stand.
A solitary quiver prickling the underside of my breastbone pleads with me to avert my eyes but is overwhelmed by an unearthly sensation slithering up my spine. It decides to settle like liquid heat at the base of my skull. The subtle sound of blood flowing in a steady trickle to my brain sparks an acute awareness in my conscious mind of my being human here; malleable; prey to deception.
Can any one man resist his urges toward discovery? Impossible. Even with the unmistakable understanding that attempting the unthinkable will bring me to self-destruction, the need to have questions answered - the agonizing need to have the truth revealed - propels me forward. Countless centuries have been wasted to the pursuit of this singular blip of revelation. Lust is what drives me now - an insatiable hunger to know. What would happen if I left this box? A twisted sense of humor, perhaps, tugs at this spot between my eyes spurring my thoughts toward unattainable actions all in the vain pursuit of justice. Nourishing the deprivation of self-discovery precedes all instinct, all subconscious warning clanging in my head, and all religious heeding that ever attempted to brainwash the primitive nature of my humanistic soul.
We enjoy each other’s company, the object and I. I have ventured to the edge, to the nearest possible point of its presence, and I sway. There is an unstated dance between us - one for me physically as my body is pulled in accordance with the ebb and flow of the pulsing sensation that ripples through the buttery atmosphere assaulting me as though in warning and wooing; and, one of spirituality as my consciousness battles for dominance while my subconscious yields in desired subservience to the master’s soft, unspoken lures.
I know what would happen.
And though the muscles in my chest suddenly feel constricted, the apparent reaction of fear or anxiety melts away as easily as it appeared. In the same manner in which an age-old lullaby eases a child into slumber, a wall about my resistance sinks to ashes. In a moment of weakness - the only moment in a man’s life that would define him - I reach out. I toy with the notion that it would be possible, even worth the while. Trembling fingers outstretch as though lifted by unseen forces drifting closer to the object’s heat. Will it burn me?
Something like terror seizes hold my heart when my index finger brushes the inner side of cool glass.
Chilled reality overflows freezing the very same atmosphere here that swelled with heat just mere seconds ago. The object will soon melt into stars taking with itself the key to my escape. A residue of filmy haze fades away as I turn. I am once again face to face with the unpleasant realities of my situation. A consistent hum of conditioned air rustles the pages of an opened book perched on the corner of my desk. It should have toppled over by now into the bottomless cave disguised as a trashcan just a couple feet below. The ragged thing amuses me. I had created a childish game where I count the times I will see the moon before it finally capitulates to my glares and tips over.
To my left, the bed. Its creator never had the intentions to design it for comfort. The wretched piece of unloved metal groans under my weight no matter how much the mattress would attempt to smother its complaints. But I have learned to forgive the bed’s indiscretions because it continues to give me a place to sleep, and so I do, not satisfactorily, but in bits of dreams scattered like memories.
I find myself having moved to rest my back. It is essentially too early to lie down and struggle to fall asleep, so I sit, worrying myself over today’s lapse from sanity. Though there is no clock in here to tell me of the time, I know that I had stood there for hours. The dull throb behind my eyes proves it to me, and the undeniable fact that an orange glow had replaced the brilliant white orb of the sun. It will soon be dark, and the automated light that buzzes its artificial rays over my notebook and abandoned pen will shut off to wash me in darkness.
The color red pools on the side of my finger nail. I taste iron and realize that I had been chewing again. Biting my nails is such a disgusting habit, but I do not really bite anymore. I had resigned myself to chew at the sore pieces on my thumbs till they grow numb. It allows for a coherent flow of thought - a pleasure that will not come effortlessly. As the discomforting illusion of escaping this hellish place clings to the puddle of heat in the back of my head, I hear a faint click.
Silence is drawn to the darkness. It weighs upon my shoulders. I have often let my imagination form a creature of sorts during the nights when I lie awake surrounded by the opaque blanket of black that permeates the walls and my skin like a mist one would feel standing atop a cliff with waves crashing some feet beneath your toes. This creature has hands larger than my face and he presses against my chest till breath comes to me as shallow inhales. I have heard him laugh. On nights when even the air conditioner grows quiet, his raspy chuckles tickle my ears...