BY JONATHAN JENA
She passed by empty streets, the desolate skeleton of the school common replaced by the scarcely palatable taste of stale, urban ether. Venomous to her was the soundlessness, the lack of course and cause that corroded the construct of her self-allurement. Lest for those around her, she was a shadow to whom she looked, every measure of beauty and decadence solely used to flatter the onlooker. She merely stood as tall as the world would allow her to; the lull was louder than thunder.
She traced her eyes upon her school as she walked about the barbered emerald blades. Her clothes were less than modest and her countenance less than assured, the unseen crack so subtlety that severed her external castle of crystal. She told herself that they loved her; she had to own that. She needed the safety- the faculty to walk and not to fall, to breathe and not to choke; but assurance could only take her so far.
Second block came and she stood on the platforms as a part of a whole, a chorus of performers. Alone she professed the words, as each one had, eyes seldom moved from the text pressed feet from each one’s faces. They looked up to the conductor for the tempo, for the ebbs and decays at the mercy of another; the body of serenaders slaves that embody freedom, cherubs that lack self-unshackled feathers to fly.
The school bell tolled and her heart fluttered softly, the resonant sound of a day’s worth of classes and the dozy patter of water atop the canopy of the school roof elapsed before her. She felt around her purse for her keys as she walked towards her parked sedan and touched the cool metal of the key- the uneven surface.
Another search for assurance…
The keys actuated the tumblers and released the hold on her car door as she crawled aboard and secured the car to a latent drone. She pulled out onto the street, her hands set as plaster casted around a mold as she felt them tremble. She just saw the road, the yellow bars that blurred as she passed them. She traveled the same roads she feared to walk alone but the absolute truth was that no metal frame could protect her from her weaknesses. Just as water would be present to come see the metal turn to rust, her own lack of power to flee from decay was what would be her end.
She was faced by the sound that made full every moment once hushed; the placement of her worth on measures so malleable. She found by the sound of calmness that she was at an apex, a place of ceaseless end and forever expanded constructs of worth and value that would never be met. Her heart knew and so she hurt, but her head could not flee her covetous need for the fallacy of safety.
She was hurt because she had enabled the ache, but she was fearful to act another way. Such was all she had known, to bend and to break, to endure, and to carry on far past what was seen as decent or respectable, a trade of self-honesty for the delusory canker of unsteady and unresolvable endearment. She spent her days at search for that key that would solve all of her problems.
Space, dreams, fears…
These conceptual demons danced to the symphony of soundlessness, to the contorted melody that encrusted the resonant walls of her skull. She was but a hero far, far away sent to slay the beasts of her own construct. She was weak, breakable and vulnerable to the fears that ran her because she ceded herself to the perusal of beauty, of wealth, of acceptance and lost the very center to whom her beauty revolved: herself. She proceeded to walk up the steps to her room as she traced her eyes upon the alabaster walls of her house. She closed her bedroom door and sprawled upon the bed to try to relax. The mass of blankets comforted her body but could not ease source of the hurt. Her eyes met a casted form of herself shone back to her by means of a wooden-framed pane.
She sees herself, her body, the mask she wears to keep safe from herself. Her head races and she stares there paralyzed, out of body from herself as she tastes the salted remnants of remorse sear onto her taste buds. “Everyone, c-can’t feel them—they can’t feel my hurt” she confessed, her speech shaky as she saw her broken copy choke back the same tears. Her room could not comfort her now, not the posters of Tokyo Hotel, a band she had adored, not her wardrobe, not the cocoon of her covers- all were products of the same fervor. “All my worth was spent to possess such worthless falsehoods…Why me…? Why now…?” she sputtered, as tears matted her cheeks. Her bawled up hands struck the sheets of her bed, as she tore her eyes away from the pane, all by a body that ached under the realness of the pane more than ever before. She felt more product than person as she bared the truth of her unrest, that fear that she knew she would have to face. She took a breath. “Myself” she confessed, as she looked at the pane of crystal, half-expected to mend at the utterance of her words. The crystal moved not, nor her form altered- but her heart was borne anew to hold the remedy, that by no means other than by days and abundance, could hope to stay karma’s curse of self-absorbed decay.