© 2017 City of Broken Dreams
It used to be that when my eyes would crack open at the insistence of the harsh morning light, my arm would instinctively shoot out across to the other side of the mattress like a striking cobra. My fingers would dance and crawl on the surface of the fitted bed sheet: a handicapped, five-digit tarantula, yearning and searching for something sentimental and warm-blooded to pounce and feed upon. But of course, there was never anything there. Nothing but a shadow, a cool puddle of darkness, a manifestation of the absence of warmth and light, right there on the bed beside me.
I used to try to fill the icy void with something, anything—something to touch, something to hold onto. But the Law of Conservation of Mass dictates that matter cannot be created or destroyed; thus, there was never anything tangible that I could create—to reach for, to grasp a hold of. And so I relied upon the reconstruction of memory: carefully crafted, yet fundamentally flawed memories specifically designed to validate and legitimize the longing and melancholy that plagued me like a psychic pestilence.
I believed in the memories, they were my last salvation. They were so very beautiful to behold as they violently and vividly splattered against the blank mental canvas of my broken mind, playing on repeat like on one long, continuous tragic film loop. Allowing the persistence of memory was like getting to relive the memories all over again.
The memories—oh how they learned to kiss me so; they made me so goddamn hard and wet that I never wanted to ever let them go. But when I created the memories, I created them with teeth. And eventually, the memories began to nip at my flesh, they began to make me bleed. Until ultimately, even the memories had to become ghosts.
But the thing is—and this here is my last confession—the memories weren’t even real. Yes, it’s so very sad but true: the memories were never real to begin with. They were just phantasms—sad little figments of my imagination conjured by a certain kind of solitary madness, nurtured and amplified tenfold through a myriad array of different addictive and self-destructive devices.
Blonde hair, green eyes; scarlet hair, blue eyes; raven black hair,
oblivion eyes: they were all just lies. Lies, lies, and more lies.
And what a dangerous revelation to have: to finally realize that what I once so desperately held onto—what once braced me up from collapsing beneath the weight of my own pathetic existence—was nothing more than an empty grand delusion of fervent melancholia.
In the aftermath of such a sobering and painful epiphany, there was really only one thing left for me to do: to allow myself to be torn apart by the violence of my own dreams.
And so the wolf inside me returned.
Night after night the fever dreams would come. And with the dreams, the wolf inside me wasn’t too far behind. I beckoned and lured the wolf right to my door. I would lie in bed each night, entangled and imprisoned by my own sweat-soaked bed sheets, naked and so very exposed. The wolf bared its fang, the wolf gnashed its teeth. And while the dreams revealed to me all my desires, unfulfilled, the wolf would feed. The wolf tore me apart from the inside out. The wolf devoured every last ounce of my psychic flesh until my insides became a graveyard.
I am still
alive. But I am also very different now.
Yes, I can still feel pain; yes, I can still be killed. But I no longer hurt on the inside—or even long to be hurt like I once did, not so long ago. In fact, I can no longer feel anything at all. I’ve become a hollow man—a hollowed out husk of a human being, a fading ghost inside the shell.
Each day my eyes still crack open at the insistence of the harsh morning light. But when I look to the bedroom window, I no longer see a bleak world veiled by the thick slats of faux wood blinds. Instead, I just see 3 a.m. television static being played on a window-sized screen where the window used to be.
My hand still reaches across to the other side of the bed, but it no longer searches for something to grasp, for something to hold onto. My fingers still touch the shadows, slipping into the pool of darkness that has gathered in the absence of warmth and light that lies besides me like a lover that I’ve never known. And so I let the frigid touch of the void dance upon my fingertips, allowing it to sooth my fevered skin, until finally, it becomes so very cold that eventually my whole hand goes numb.