Sometimes, it really hurts to exist.
Ouch. It pricks you, you see. You walk outside, and the world stabs you from all directions.
The noise. The colours. The people. Each a little prick, until you’re spurting blood like a walking, bullet-holed barrel. Ow.
Every look, every glance, a dagger of potential sharpness.
It hurts. It hurts. I bleed, but silently, and the blood is invisible, evanescent as air. My smile is my Band-Aid. It covers up everything I don’t want people to see.
Anxiety floods my system like poison every time I face the world. It hurts.
I want to be alone. I crave it. I want to live in my mind, in shadows, beneath rocks, in wells, the underbellies of clouds, in tree houses, suspended on a spider web, silent, glittering, watching, unseen.
As a child, I never wanted to live in a luxury mansion, decked out with state-of-the-art facilities and a big, gleaming artificial pool.
I dreamed of living in a library.
Just a library.
A quiet, ancient, wooden room, filled with shelves upon shelves of books. Their spines would be reds, greens and blues, and traced in gilt. There would be a chair, a casement window, a fireplace, and I would sit in that armchair and read and write in leather bound book until the sun went down.
It would be so quiet. So lovely and quiet. Only the expectant exhale of the books, those marvelous books, waiting to be read, for them to draw pictures in my mind, bleed ink into my veins. I wanted to become the books. I wanted to tease out my soul like an elastic DNA strand, twine it with the words, the pages, and be one with the stories.
Perhaps there would be a cat. I think I’d like that. A nice, tabby cat. It would curl up on my lap and purr.
And so it would be. Day after day, year after year. Watching the grass and trees fade from green to autumnal colours, to shed their leafy heads, watch snowflakes spin past my window. That is my dream. That is my haven. That is what I would wish for, if a genie were ever to pirouette out of the mouth of a bottle and grant me the fabled three wishes.
There would be no pain there. Just stories, and warmth. Nature and animals. Peace. Wonder. Words. Art. Beauty.
I want it so badly I could scream. But I know no-one would care even if I yelled my head off. Because we suffer alone. So, in the meantime, I nurse my wounds. I cry my silent tears. I rip off my face in private. I tease out my blood vessels and try to braid them into a flesh rope that can help me escape my tower. In the meantime, all I say, scream, think or feel is…