devils_solitude: (death)
[personal profile] devils_solitude

What happens when the reality you have always known turns out to be nothing more than an elaborate fantasy? An illusion conjured up by the wistful longing buried inside you, refusing to let go of a time long gone?

Sometimes I sit and wonder: where have all the good days gone? Evaporated into the still humid summer air, gone; yet an ephemeral shadow lingers, a whisper of the past. It haunts you; every single memory still cloaked in a brilliant coat of colour, the breath of wind grazing the goose bumps of your flesh and most of all, the intensity of emotions erupting once more from a crevice you never knew existed, flowing through the entirety of your body, tingling as they touch your quivering fingers and toes. Then they disappear, leaving only the faintest trace of yearning at the back of your mouth, slowly fading, but never completely, as the days go by.

Each memory is like a jigsaw piece, unique irreplaceable fragments you collect in exchange for time. They shape and determine who, and what you are, saving you from being just another passerby in the sea of faceless souls. Every new piece reveals a little more of yourself: are you an extrovert, do you prefer spring or autumn, how much sugar you’d want in a cup of coffee. Seemingly simple and mundane everyday habits and traits you’d take for granted all crystallised in these pieces, reinforcing, reminding you of who you are; an unofficial guide as to how you will, and perhaps should lead your life.

But what happens if, let’s say a random girl you’ve plucked off the street, realises one day that she is not the one writing the guide, but rather following the unspoken rules written by someone who she’d acknowledge today as a stranger? Perhaps once upon a time, that stranger was not so different from her, or rather she was not so different from the stranger. For some reason she is unable to comprehend, and doubts she’ll ever be able to, as to why their paths deviated; from walking alongside one another, to their paths crisscrossing, by chance or otherwise, with such instances being increasingly rare, only occurring because either fate had longed for them, or by an increasingly deliberate encounter. Yet she never realises that her legs continue to carry her to the path on which she was not meant to follow, as though within her lived a compass which was attracted by the other, unconsciously coaxing her to revisit the familiar path which too, seemed oddly foreign to her. She likened it to a chance meeting with a close friend she had lost contact with, the mutual understanding between them still binding, although now the proximity brings with it not only comfort, but anxiety.

How can one leave, a path, the only path you’d known all your life, behind you, and accept that perhaps the image you’d inferred from the puzzle pieces you were given was that of something else? It’s as though someone had torn apart the very fabric of your identity, telling you that what you’ve believed for as long as you can remember is nothing more than the forced materialisation of your heart’s desires? That deep inside you, you are unable to accept that certain things can only remain in the past, immortalised not in your actions and behaviour, but in the recesses of your memories. It agonises you, knowing that despite what you and other people believe, your heart is still weak; unable, unwilling to acknowledge that you are no longer the person you were back then. And that you will never be again; a wish that even the heavens will not grant, or have no power to do so.

The realisation is a painful one; as though someone had ripped the very essence of your soul out, leaving being a gaping chasm which you are uncertain can ever be filled once more. The world you have always known has shattered, and you are thrust into an alien world completely naked; stripped of everything you had once considered yours, and essentially you. The energy, life has been completely drained from your shell; your mind is clouded, almost as if a cruel prankster had decided to slip into your drink a potent hallucinogenic drug, inducing a myriad of psychedelic hallucinations as you view the world through a kaleidoscope. It disorientates you, leaves you wandering aimlessly down the streets, hustled along by the unceasing flow of people, identifiable only by the clothes on their backs, nothing more.

It’s like staring into a mirror, only to realize that it’s not your reflection, but that of a stranger’s. A stranger with the same face, hair, voice and material possessions. This is the stranger whom you’d thought you were, and perhaps was once upon a time, and try with every inch of your being to be. From somewhere in her eyes, you get a sense of déjà vu, a warm tingling in your heart, teasing you, wanting you to reach out and grab it; yet when you do, it coyly evades your grasp, leaving you frustrated as the tip of your finger barely manages to caress it before it disappears. Such allure feeds the temptation within you; the want, the need for you to reinforce what you are, and think yourself to be; carefully nurturing your beliefs, creating the instinct for you to return to its embrace, preferring its protective hold to the intimidating prospects of change.

Her spell is not easily broken, needing repeated painful torturous doses of accumulated experience before a clouded mind is able to see once more. That’s how, somewhere along the line, when my dreams still lived alongside my reality, I’ve woken up from the fantasy which I had fervently believed to have once been, or at least a part of me. The first few steps are always the hardest, with your mind and body screaming to return to the safety and comfort of the life they’d once known. But one day, they will grow to accept this new world, finally conceding that time has created an impermeable barrier between that world and this, realising that after crossing the border where reality becomes fantasy, there is no turning back.

Now I walk in a world where the colours are a little less vivid; where the warmth of the sun is a little less comforting; where the song of a nightingale is a little less sweet; where life moves a little faster, a little more routine, like that of a movie reel forever stuck on replay.

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May 2017

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