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- N. Metamorphosis

- N. Metamorphosis

A Chapter by chrysantheranium

Today you broke your legs dancing on the shoreline - that is to say, you were dancing in the shower, and your legs are not literally broken, you just don't exactly know how to dance... but that's beside the fact. Yes, you set sail in a bathroom today - you raised the sails and the anchor, you pushed the ship off the side of the docks, and you pushed past the rocky shores of your floorboard mind. Congratulations, Captain. Let's just hope that abandoned lighthouse doesn't cause any trouble on your way back.
Yes, there you are, blanking off in the shower, the snakes in your hair being pummeled down your shoulders and back by the crushing water, with your mind rushing at a million miles per hour. The river in your head only stops periodically, as if to take a break and rest, and then, out of nowhere, when you need it the least, the dam opens up again and out the thoughts pour, one after another, in the most intricate delta you've ever seen. So, what do you do when the water presses into the ocean, when the water levels begin to rise and flood your comfortable little town?

You set sail. You grab the last few strawberries and bright blue ice cream pops from the convenience store downtown, your ankles treading through the floodwater, and you pack your things. You leave a note in your parents' room, which is and always will be empty. You unsheathe your claws, you close up the coffee shop, and you ring that church bell one more time.

"Eureka," it chimes, screaming until its voice is too hoarse to echo. And that's what you hear the whole time as you push off; it's what you hear as you sail into the sunset and open waters.

Eureka, eureka... eureka...     eureka...                        eureka...                                             eureka...

This is what it feels like, the pressure of the heavy thoughts on your light head, the aching of your bones as you type, the honey sitting neatly on your eyelids, sticking them shut, as if the words you put down are a surprise to yourself that you'll always read but never appreciate. And then the ocean mist blasting against your face, the pulse of the water as you press your body through the surface's skin and finally meet your lips to the sky and your lungs to air, and you kiss it, yes you kiss it over and over, a sloppy little sailor's mess, because you've drowned in a drought within yourself for so, so many years. "Finally," you think. "Finally, an adventure!"

And although this feels so serene and still, although this feels so simple, in "reality" your mind is crushing, the walls are pressing in, and there you are, in a 1x1 square of white nothingness, your only company being yourself and a million thoughts...

You think of the images in the shower curtains, how in one fabric piece of art you see a pregnant woman and a snake of a man wrapped around her, and in another, you see your brother in a black hood and in his hands in his pockets, his eyes not only turned up towards the raining sky, but welcoming it. Open.

Your brother. Oh, what a dream you had last night. There you were with the lights turned off, the room as blue as it always is in dreams, as if it were completely underwater, and in he walks, in a moth-infested polo shirt and boxers, his eyes lifeless, his hands curled up underneath a blanket. He curls up on your desk - it was empty, though I do not know why - and within seconds he is asleep, curled up like a newborn on a cold, cold night. You offered to let him sleep on your bed, or to make him a comfortable spot on the floor. He opened his eyes and looked at you, but his eyes were so damped and greyed out that it seemed like he was still asleep - but surely enough, without a word, he closed his eyes again, and you were left alone at the bottom of the room's sea. Breathing. Drowning. Cold.

Isn't it funny? Your room used to be the coldest one in the house, but now it stays the warmest. No wonder you lock yourself in it so often. Drowning can be comfortable, if you make it.

You think about your room, and briefly remember one of your strangest minor fears - if a thief or killer were to break into the house, you're scared that they'd see your room and mistake you as a girl. What for, and why does it matter? You painted those walls white because you feel safe when the light bounces off the walls. You kept your shelves clean and covered in flowers because flowers remind you of poetry written in invisible ink. You surrounded yourself in your own artwork and gifts because you appreciate your friends and feel good when you find that you are reflected in what's surrounding you. So, why...? Why be scared of someone who doesn't care a lick for who you are actually getting your identity or name wrong? Why worry so much about the presentation of a room that is yours, and no one else's?

Grey. You want to be grey.

Not black or white, not pleasing one person or the other. You want to sit in the middle, "anchor yourself between two islands," as your past self would say. You want to please yourself more than you want to completely appease the surrounding parties, and yet, you cannot get yourself to sit still. Your mind, the machine without a working name, is bustling and coughing, pushing itself on when it should've succumbed to a coma long, long ago. You woke yourself up. Why? Why do it, why push on to be a metronome between two extremes, two opposites, when you could just give into your art and be... you?

That's the issue - yes, that's it. You want so many things. Too many things. You write so many ideas down that you forget the rest, or simply forget the details of everything you wrote and originally thought, "That's simple enough for me to remember." You tap your Medusa chin, your furrow your sunlit brows, you bite your scarred lip, you tremble when you breathe. No, you are not colorful. You are not grey. You are forever balancing between an act of black and white, of light and dark, of fire and ice, and you burn every time your eyes shift to the other side. You keep burning.

Yes, friend. You've seen Hell.

Hell is a room of waiting, of not knowing. A pitch black room with a blown fuse and nothing but memories shifting between the hands of the people that sit in a messy invisible line, shoulder to shoulder. Some cry and weep, some sleep it all away, some laugh and make jokes and tell stories. But then the door opens, someone leaves, another person enters - you'll never meet again. You'll never see them again. You'll never remember them. The memory is gone, both of them and their story - and you'll never know if that bustling, lively stranger that you cared for so deeply had reached peace.

A forever clock ticking, and you spend many centuries in thought, trying to remember what sound the clock makes. It puzzles you so much that you sit and stare into darkness in complete silence, your body shaking and rocking back and forth, your angry fists pounding your knees, and you keep asking, "What noise does it make? What noise does it make?" But you don't remember the name for the clock, either, so no one can help you. They just sit there and cry or shake, they sit there and repeat it back to you, as if your throats are caves and voices are echoes, for what else have you to say while waiting for the unknown? While waiting for something to happen that, you just might not know what it could be?

Eureka, eureka... eureka...     eureka...                        eureka...                                             eureka...

Oh, to be grey. How would it feel? You wish every day to be balanced, to be the middleground, a soldier's citadel. You wish to be someone that anyone can come to, and yet you close everyone off when they come close - not because you want to, or because you're scared. You just don't know how to let them in. You don't know how to be grey.

So there you go, running between black and white, hitting your head against two doors in hopes that one would open. There you go, running your thoughts and feelings dry, overwhelming yourself and pounding your fists against the broken screens and your head against the chipping walls. There you are, a pendulum on an empty desk at the bottom of the sea, forever back and forth but never still. Do you ever sleep?

You are heavy, and yet you run with light, broken legs. You run and dance and play in the water, holding your breath until you feel your heartbeat in your ears and then letting go until you nearly drown, and you draw in another breath, one big enough to get you to the other island, the other side. Your friends say you're clingy, so you stop showing any signs of affection - they do not remember you. Your friends say they wish you were more open, so you push over to the other island - you share too much, and they always remember you. Black, white, black, white, never ending, never sleeping, always thinking, migraine. Concussion City. You poor, poor little slice of Hell.

Metamorphosis. That, my friend, is what you are. Not grey, but black and white. Always changing. Never staying still.

You spend so long hiding in that cocoon, shifting, changing, trying to be the most beautiful grey you can possibly be, that everyone outside that's watching grows impatient. They leave, they poke the cocoon, they sigh and give up on you. They start to think you're dead.

And friend, if you weren't so busy being a mental metronome, you'd believe it too.

But you don't like the river in your head because it keeps you from thinking these thoughts, or simply turning them into poetry. You don't like the river in your head because it "hides" the black and white pendulum that keeps pulsing beneath. No, you do not write for others, you write to others. You write to yourself.

You think about that game that you witnessed by absolute chance. You were on your knees, nearly naked on the floor, painting a Cinco de Mayo poster for work, and you heard one line of poetry from the TV that caught your heart so off guard that it jumped and made your eyes hop up to meet the screen. "A Beginner's Guide," the screen seemed to scream, and voiceless, your mind screamed back, a trickle of rain pouring down on that once-deserted town. You watched the whole thing, you cried, you laughed, you smiled, you breathed out epiphanies with every idea that transferred to your head. And then, the pause at the end, the letter to the game "publisher," the one who picked his friend apart, piece by piece, just to figure out why his mind was in a drought...

You didn't relate to the creator anymore. No, despite the droughts, despite the creative hiatus, despite the everchanging black and white pendulum that worked beneath his fingers, it was not the creator that you related to. It was, in fact, the admirer.

And so you cried, your pendulum mind beating with a migraine of the sweetest flavor, your body shaking, your bones aching, your fingers begging you to write. But the drizzle of rain was over. You were left with only the bittersweet taste of a beginning.

You realized that you didn't want people to relate to your writing or art because of your mental state. In fact, you didn't want people to connect your work to your mental state at all. You want people to relate to your work because it's relateable, because they can relate to you and what you've experienced, what you have to say.

The easiest way to explain it is this: you like to share, but not unless you're sharing what's yours. You think about a memory lost long ago, where you will still an outgoing kid, still full of bright energy, and someone called out a cheer to you while you were at the first place in a running race. You got upset, flustered - your face grew red, your hands bunched up into fists, you were ready to strangle someone. And at the end of the race, when you had lost your place and finished last, you told your cheerleader, "Don't do that. Don't cheer for me like that." And they asked why, because they were being nice and supportive, and they truly were - but you were mad, you were mad but you didn't understand why, so you stormed off and lost yet another friend. You went from black to white.

That's what it is - a misinformed feeling of success, of pride. You like compliments, you love attention - but you do not want it until you yourself feel worthy of it, otherwise you see no value in your work, in yourself. You get one praise and you throw away a piece of unfinished artwork, an entire book full of hours of work and memories, you run over to the other side and you lose yourself. You don't want the black until you have the white, and vice versa - goddammit, you want balance. You want to stop being an idiom and to start existing as one, as one balanced being. You want to start being poetry and stop being a paradox.

Now, here you are. Finally out on sea, on open waters, and... you realize something, something quite puzzling.

Grey. The middleground between black and white, the voice in the back of your head that's begging you to stop slamming it against two different doors. If you keep running between two extremes, don't you, at some point, deserve a drought, a lack of rain and river, to give you that grey area where you can rest?

Eureka, eureka... eureka...     eureka...                        eureka...                                             eureka...

Your face drops, you frown in the most serene way. All this sunlight, and never a ray to shine down on the one thought to bring yourself out of it. Neverchanging. Never staying still. Just.. existing.

You drop the anchor in the middle of the sea, miles off the coast of your head, and you sit in the crow's nest, drinking in the blazing sunshine, enjoying the mist of the water.

And then, you do it. You jump.

The feeling of being at a breath's distance from death, but a death's distance from truly being and feeling alive - that is what it is, what it feels like, to have a Hell of a mind. That is what it is, what it feels like, to push through the surface's skin, to fill your lungs and exhale, to truly breathe in the essence of drowning.

That is what it is, what it feels like, to be grey.

© 2019 chrysantheranium

Author's Note

Ignore basic grammatical errors, as there are some rules that, as a writer, I don't care to abide by. I feel restricted when following these rules, and since I have such a hard time getting my thoughts across, I'd rather break a few rules than be grammatically "perfect."

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Dude, I wish I'd read this one first. Your voice is compelling and real, and though I might be a million years old, you stirred up ancient memories, some good, some bad. Please write more. This one is going in the favorites list, too.
You see, I understand gray better than most. The world has become a Boolean nightmare of black and white, wrong and right, a byproduct of quantum theory and the digital age.
Gray is obsolete and rapidly disappearing.

I see many young men and women tripping through life without a clue, without a meaningful thought deeper than a FB meme. Kudos.

Posted 4 Hours Ago

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Added on June 14, 2019
Last Updated on June 14, 2019
Tags: experimental, books, novels, will, testament, avant garde, spiritual, enlightening, thought provoking, thought, philosophy, memoir, personal, emotional, emotions, non fiction, human, poetry



"Answer." || | Eighteen-year-old male with an anchor tied to his teeth. I'm not very careful with my words, as I was never taught to be, but I promise to try and keep you afloat to the best of my abil.. more..