Thursday, September 1, 2011

Ambush




It comes unbidden in the dead of the night, like an abrupt awakening from a dream, like getting pulled from the depths just as you made peace with drowning. Unlooked and uncalled for, yet powerful in its own turn. The image is seared into your head, what could have been that is now lost, perplexing your mind in ways the tangled sheets beneath you can never emulate. The olfactory experience is incised into your senses, as persistent and as tenacious as the sweat that has imbibed your bed: a wraith long thought to be exorcised, but it haunts and catches you unaware. The erratic drum beats that pound in your ears deafen you. You cannot hear yourself breathe, but you know you are. The experience, involuntary, has, after all, become part of the repetitive chore of living through each day, slaving through each night. 

Your throat, as dry as you are soaking wet, thirsts. The water container is covered with seven month's worth of dust, each speck an admonitory finger pointed towards you in malediction. You are guilty of sloth, of idleness, of jadedness, of resignation. Their voiceless cries out of outrage are lost, degenerating into a multitude of ellipses in the face of indifference. The door used to creak throatily months back, its jarring noise caused you to shudder one too many times before the loss of your patience spurred you to douse the rusty hinges in oil. Its opening and subsequent closing are now marked by a dull thud. The darkness need not be purged from the small living room, thank your four years of walking those six meters to the kitchen door.

Attempt number MMMCMXCIX is made to flick the kitchen's light's switch. Sometimes, you hit, most times you miss, and so fumble before letting your hands crawl towards the intended destination. With the door closed, you proceed to take a drink from her water dispenser. You once told your peers, and later on, your mother, that you called your landlady "the Wicked Witch," although sometimes you wondered whether "She of the Many Faces" is more apt. You grin at the thought, however, the dim fluorescent light veiled your playfulness with something more sinister. 

This isn't stealing. After all, the Landlady told you when you first stepped into the threshold of this house that you are welcome to get food and water whenever. You drink your fill and now find yourself staring at the yellow piss arcing through the air. It is as yellow as the beer you drank hours earlier. For reasons you cannot explain, you find yourself ensnared by its scent: the smell of inhibition's demise. There is a twisted sense of satisfaction over this display of perverse revelry in an olfactory stimulus. Had you been more sober, you would have abhorred this, but there is no one to judge you within the small confines of this lavatory, and thus you indulge.

Back in your bed, you find your stares met by the ceiling. Only your gaze, wayward in its wandering, is the only reminder of motion in your stillness. The gyres of your mind turn even as you mirror the inert night. The flare of your skin's dryness, as well as the spells of brazen acne that dared intrude the planes of your mortal shell could all be traced towards your lack of water intake. You are dehydrating, as what the Lost Monk told you. Perhaps it is only fitting for you to be so. The Tarot associates water with emotions, and this withering avatar of drought that you have become is a testament to what is slowly dwindling within you.

Other fears and paradoxes rise to confuse you even more, ghosts old and new that entice your addiction to over-thinking. Maybe you will learn to live with them, some could be banished. Perhaps, like smoking, you can reconcile with others enough to be as friends with them at need, only to mutually rebuke each other later on. It could be as your relationship with alcohol: erratic, quasi-cyclic, but enriching and rewarding and a balm for your being. It is now prudent to stop this rabble and succumb to the Dreaming, after all, this spell is transient. It will vanish in the morning, and perhaps leave hang-over in memoriam.

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