Following the weather and avoiding treacherous storms is not easy. Especially when the ravenous hailing, lightning, and thunder was exciting. Devastating, but fulfilling.
Every hero has a complex
A wrong that they did
That nearly destroyed them
Nearly took him to the brink of death and insanity
It’s a complex
A force that he cannot control
It pushes him to be good because he has to fight
He has to fight for it
He cannot stop
Even if he wanted
Because the complex
And tells him what to do
It reminds him of who he was
And he must fight to forget it
He must fight to make up for it
To buy back time
To offset the scale with good
A seemingly Endless endeavor
That’s the complex of the hero.
He cannot stop
He will never stop
Even if it ends him
He must die as he lived
And he is a failure
He cannot focus on doing what he needs to do
What the world tells him to do
He must do as a hero does because he is in pain
He must numb the pain with good
It’s his drug
And thus the hero is a junkie, deep inside
And he knows that
He marvels at himself
But deep down he will never forget that pain
No matter what good he does
Or the excitement that comes with his work
He is a slave to a complex
It’s a red book on the shelf that was covered in dust until very recently. Old dust particles still lie in between the pages and in the cracks of the spine. The surface must have been cleaned many times, since, the letters of the spine can only just be made out to say “Histories” by Herodotus.
A young woman sits at a wooden desk in a candle lit room stroking the red spine. The embossed golden letters indent quite deeply. ‘The very same letters must have have glittered some time ago,’ she thought while crinkling her nose which had just sucked in the decades old dust from the air.
“Oh bless me,” she said after a sneeze. The woman of twenty-three had just been (without any reasonable explanation, that to a careful observer could be mistaken for madness) flipping through the red book and muttering to herself, frantic about its contents. It looked as if she were conducting a trial of a peculiar system.
You see every time she took up writing in the margins, she would find her words of wisdom written in Herodotus’ word on the opposite page. The phenomena was frightening — the late great Herodotus’ seemed to be annotating her ideas.
The woman scribbled and scribbled all she knew hoping it would eventually reveal if the ink was enchanted or was written of chance. After one final stream of consciousness — the woman’s eyes quickly darted to the opposite page. Her hand brushed over the words of a thousand years prior in disbelief. “It cannot be,” she said aloud. It would seem that after writing more of her secrets and wisdoms, her words had all been written in the text once again.
Finally, taking hold of book, with an ungodly aggression she tore the spine in half and then in quarters. Over the course of the clock cycling many times over, paper shrapnel littered upon the floor. Some paper she threw away, others she shredded, and some she doused with fire.
She stared as the word “Histories” began to blacken in the flames. After the black enclosed the rusty red cover, white ashes appeared, which made the whole concoction look puffy. She threw gasoline for good measure and watched as the ink deposed itself of memory.
Exhausted: she put on red lipstick and went off to bed. Upon waking up the next day an uncanny thought seemed to fall into her skull: “Herodotus was no more.” As the saying goes, some trees have a destiny in ash, others in ritual.
Dear My Stranger,
I was at the train station when – –”Evan?” I said, in disbelief. I was a sixteen when I saw you last. We haven’t spoken since then. “Oh hey,” My Stranger said. And as I looked at you I didn’t see anything. I had a vague melody playing in my head that was so distant, I was almost certain that it didn’t exist.
Of all the questions there may be, one crosses my mind as I write this, “Did you ever imagine we would be meeting like this?” It’s less of a question, and more of a statement. There’s just almost nothing to add. We are so familiar with one another, and yet so estranged. We don’t need or want anymore, nor do we wish it were different. It just is, and yet, we cannot say it never was.
Allow me to return to that moment where our eyes met on the train platform: we were like old friends who knew we didn’t necessarily care to run into one another. There was an understanding – it was a telepathic nod about the passing of time. Look at us, look where we are, look how close we stand. Despite all the history there was no awkwardness between us. Is it because we have been familiar before? Even so, what could that matter now? Or perhaps, it was the complete and total irrelevance we now pose to one another. That nothing could cause anxiety because nothing of you bears on me. No part of me remains with you. All that’s left is that melody; and as I said, I am not certain that it’s really being played in the background. I might be imagining it, supposing the near-deaf notes into existence.
I vaguely remember experiencing the surge of love for the first time – it made me mad and happy. It was cruel and joyful. And now what is left is that melody, and I can barely hear it. You see, dear Evan, My Stranger, love doesn’t live here anymore. I don’t know where it went, maybe it healed. Maybe I buried it. But I couldn’t have buried it. We only bury memories that are worthwhile to return to. While our memories were worthwhile, there is no purpose to return to them. It’s as if they are no longer ours. I would say they are gone, but how could they be if I also hear the distant hum of that melody at an octave lower than a whisper?
I have understood from this moment that the “loss” humans feel when love ends is but a vice of wanting guarantees of forever. We are blessed if love graces us a little longer than a moment. To believe that anything should be longer than it was is a misunderstanding of how the world works, and what life actually offers. It seems to me now we are all trying to escape the inevitable since we humans are addicted to love. Whether we mourn or long for love, it’s all metaphysical materialism. Our heart throbs like a parasite impatiently waiting to latch on to the familiar or to the unknown. I also realize now that there is never a “loss” of love. One cannot lose anything of love because it was never earned, or owned. It just was.
You said seven years ago, “I don’t want to lose our friendship.” We felt so close to each other that the thought of screwing up our relationship was scary. It’s so odd looking back now. Since we are no longer friends, and we are both okay. We can see now that there was never anything to be afraid of.
So back to you, My Stranger. At the end of our small talk you and I walk towards different train cars. The bell rings and the train lurches as it pulls us in the same direction. It is all so peculiar as I sit here and you are at most 100 feet away, since we have already waved goodbye.
I’m certain that the melody stopped when I said, “It was great to see you.”
And it truly was. Goodbye now.
The best writer is true, genuine, transparent. He gives a piece of himself to the reader that he doesn’t want out there. He allows himself to be judged, scrutinized, and to be disgusted by what he shows of himself. The self; no one else would know if nobody knew who he was. But if nobody knows who a writer is, then he doesn’t have a self, anyway.
The choice is a two-pronged sword. Shall I socially ostracize myself, or shall I be virtually unknown?
Today I plucked a purple flower
I walked with it
And then threw it away
To the dirt
The hyssopos landed so perfectly straight
As if reconnected to the ground again
That’s when an eerie thought struck me:
‘The purple flower is staring at me’
“Why?” it asked
I was intrigued.
So I picked it back up again
I carried it along my way
At home I placed it into a cup with water
And I take care for something
That doesn’t belong to me
Yet, I feel,
As if were mine
The plant is purple.
Yet, sometimes the petal tips
Were brushed red,
‘An illusion,’ I thought
As I am –
Flesh and blood.
The hyssopos needs sunshine
And I cannot offer the sun
Yet I feel as if the sun were mine.
Gustav Klumpt ‘Lady in Gold’
See it at the Neue Gallerie in New York City
Am I sitting in a tin can
Far above the world
Planet Earth is blue
And there’s nothing I can do”
– Space Oddity by David Bowie
What is falling 180 mph to the ground
In a lifetime?
An antidote for quicksand.
What’s the difference between
Diving through air or through water?
It’s a question that doesn’t deserve an answer.
Because any answer would be forced.
Sometimes answers don’t exist.
It just is.
It is just.