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Category: Writing and Poetry

Happy Valentine's Day

There are times at which I feel I have the world at my hand, others when I feel I am lost to it.Ā 

I emerged at midday, groggy from a strange dream filled sleep that I could scarcely remember.Ā  Shame filled me at the form I'd been reduced to--ambling from my dorm with my banishment from erebus underlining my eyes in gray, dead indigo.Ā 

That night I left my dorm abruptly, overtaken by the whims of my subconscious unfettered by the reason of consciousness and heeded the summons of the night. I grabbed only my textbook of romantic literature, a flashlight and my radio as I walked briskly into the darkness, driven by a force incomprehensible and emboldened in my sleep deprived state. I entered a strange state, the edges of my experience blurring at the seams like the TV static quality of dreamscape. The cold and the dark against my feeble frame did not incite what it should have in me. I realized the extent to which my dreaming mind and waking hours had converged, leaving me a somnambulant shell belonging to neither dwelling. My detachment from reality too slow to be psychotic, instead better described as a fissure of consciousness, non-committance to any stimuli beyond my own mental plane. My cognition and reason remained intact, but I acted in the manner of a dreamer fleeing nightmare.Ā 

Ā A couple with a dog eyed me suspiciously as though they didn't also walk the night, though I supposed that was different than becoming lost to it. A fast walking, hooded youth was rarely a harbinger of good faith. I sped around a corner before they could reasonably assume that I posed risk to anyone beyond myself. A swing I could not see creaked eerily in the shade of a large oak from someone's lawn. I hastened my pace and reached the park, letting my flashlight cast forth the iridescence of the street sign. The stream nearby startled me and I realized I could not see very well, whether due to the brightness of the beam or my own eyesight, plagued by spots and an inarticulable lack of clarity one might experience in a dream. I spoke aloud to assuage my own restlessness, if anything. "would the night be kind to the lone traveler? Or does darkness reward the bold and imprudentĀ  in equal measure?"

There are many better places to read Wordsworth and Blake than a railway tunnel, I was sure. But I felt a deeply symbolic and layered compulsion to go underground. Even in my altered state I couldn't discern why I went. Whether the date on which my venture fell represented some subconscious urge to be embraced by the night and escape to it as one would a lover, whether I wanted to feel something to bridge the chasm between me and common experience and the rest of the world. My mind spoke to me in strange, cryptic ways as I walked in the dark. I was called forth, I was called home to the place that every human mind knows beyond waking. I returned to the night as though I belonged to it, though I knew not where my path would lead. Into the darkness I knew I had to go. I walked forth into the pitch black of the treeline, but before I ventured much further I stopped.Ā 

I couldn't directly say what it was that caused me to yield to the night. But I stopped, made semi-lucid by the lack of visibility and began to turn back, hardly showing my back to any one place for more than a moment. I asked myself over and over why I fled as it felt like an impiety to deny the beckoning darkness, but had no sufficient explanation to supply myself. I feared not death and danger was a distant construct that had no particular bearing over me aside from musings ofĀ  logical accordance. I felt no strict instinctual adherence to it. Before I knew it I had begun to spin, the soles of my converse grinding against the asphalt with each accursed rotation. I realized then that maybe the night spoke to me more than I believed it to, that I expected divine intervention to be more of a cacophony than a breeze whispered through rain-slick tree limbs articulated through me rather than from the lips of an angel. My strange thoughts held the music of loneliness as though tainted by the instrument of my being. Not long after I had begun to spin, I began to cry. In part it was the burden of grievance relinquished in the sanctity of privacy. Then came the gasped utterance ā€˜Thereā€™s something wrong with me, thereā€™s something really wrong with me.ā€Ā 

Once I breached the threshold of the park the dizzy spell ceased and I walked home with no particular urgency aside from that posed by neglected reading for tomorrow morning. Much more time had elapsed than I realized, but I was in no way unfamiliar with such a phenomenon. Just as quickly as it came, the grief and wildness within me retreated like Abaddon into the earth, swallowed up into the vast chasm between me and the living, the damned and awake.Ā 

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