Friday, September 19, 2014

The Battle

The battle for her, for the thousands of infinitesimal parts which combined to make her, was in full swing.  For several weeks she could feel it building, the pressurized energy mounting, doubling on itself in the course of thirty-six hours. The pulsing of her chest was like a metronome with spastic batteries.
She could not remember another time like this, if there had been one it was so long in the past as to make it non-existent. She knew now that she was oscillating between hell and clarity, and hell had a much stronger pull. It was the black hole, sucking her inwards with a relentless drive. Her mind, her limbs, the heart, her smile, her jaw and teeth, every part of her ached. 
Her heart was hard, lifted only momentarily by a soft touch or smile every now and then. Her mind, a constant deluge of thoughts and anxieties, leading her always downwards, further away from the people she almost stopped recognizing.
In the bursts of clarity, she could feel the movement of every muscle. She focused on every step across her kitchen, grabbing a glass of water in her hand, bringing it to her lips with careful slowness. In those moments she remembered what was nearly always in the background, disguised and disfigured by the daily rhythms of work and obligations. Through the fog she could move beautifully through a space, her attention moving both forwards and backwards.
But mostly she tumbled. Out into the black space where not a hand could reach her. Straight-jacketed in her own misery, she watched the passing world though a car window, the flashes of color and shapes, billboards, couples, conversations. As she saw it fade she was barely conscious of her own desperation, just the tears, the sting of heartache that descended quickly, firmly, coating her in its shell, a thick organic membrane that even those who loved her dared not get close, for her misery was transmittable and they knew to stay away, keeping up lively debates as she fell, further and deeper beside them.
She wondered if this was madness, if it was the natural state of her body.  Was she in the deepest hole or were there blacker lands still to find?
Could she climb? Did she want to? She was frightened most by that thought, the simple thought- did she want to make the effort to climb, to push herself upwards? What if she wanted to sink, what then?