Prose Fragment

He could feel his insides crumple, just as they had done every other time, as if each vital organ was imploding in on itself and then exploding outward.  For others, they might just feel it in their heart, or maybe a throbbing in their head, but for him it was an all body experience.  Only his legs seemed immune, if only to carry him from point A to point B on autopilot, because his mind certainly was not capable of much more at this point.

He wanted to climb into the shadows in the darkest part of his heart, to find the cruelest, meanest, most primal hurtful thoughts and bring them up to cause suffering – because that’s what he was feeling now and he wanted others to share in it, revel and bask in it.  There was a frightening edge to him when things went this way.  Publicly, he became very reserved, quiet, unemotional.  If his heart was going to be crushed like aluminum foil, then he would crush everything that attaches itself to the heart.  His face took on an immovable mask that was impossible to mistake for anything than what it meant… leave me alone.  And woe to those who were oblivious to the clear signals.  In fact, woe to everyone.

You’re such a good friend for being so patient.  That’s what she said.  “And what has patience gotten me?” he thought. “Jack shit.” He wished he had screamed it at her.  But, like always, he didn’t think of what to say until five minutes later.  No, all he had mustered was a non-commital, “Yeah.”  He wasn’t patient.. far from it.  He was a gurgling, squirming, undulating pile of impatience, but he hid it well.  He’d go off and curse and scream and write when and where no one could hear him or read what he wrote.  It kept him marginally sane.  But now, whatever.

It had broken him. All the fragmented bits and pieces had finally ground their way through his psyche and collected at the base of his neck.  Alone, he was no longer in control of his nervous system.  Instead, he shimmied and jerked like some spastic dancer achieving an ecstatic state.  And the string of profanity that escaped his usually guarded lips was legendarily obscene.  The small details of the room flew through the air, propelled by anger and frustration, to damage the wall or themselves or skitter across the wood floor.  Then he could return to the world with his chilling placidity intact.

Every time.  Every fucking time!  It was as if he could never remember how this felt, this darkness.  It never mattered how deep he went, when he was in the middle of something intriguing his reality turned off and something else took over.  Something terrible.  Hope.  He cursed it violently now, but he had embraced it as a friend just days before.  Stupidly, like an amnesiac from his own experience.

The worst part was the emptiness.  He wallowed in it, felt it envelop him like a quilt, and he longed for it enough to want to stay there for a long time.  A place without worry or interest or joy (because all that was was a high place from which to plummet wildly) or hope.  There it was again.  Can’t escape that persistent bastard child of happiness and anxiety.

Shit.  There he sat in the middle of the room strewn with debris.  His frustration spent, replaced with a throbbing bitterness.  The last thing she said was, We need to catch up soon.  Sure.  That wasn’t going to happen. Her life was full, she moved on, and hell, when was the last time she had called or written or initiated contact?  Never, that’s when.  Oh, he was in full-on self-pity at this point.  And it made him feel like a terrible person.  And it made him feel superior.  And it made him feel like a martyr.  And it made him feel like an ass.

Tomorrow.  Tomorrow I’m going to do something constructive, he said to no one who mattered.  Enough of this.  It’s time to do something.




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