I tread a dark forest, my feet sinking into the earth, treading the leaves which were worn by the ongoing storm. I remember, the rain was in a downpour, bending the tree branches and weighing me down with every momentous step I took. I doted, I thought.
"one day...," I had said. "One day." That much I can remember of the day.
Life wasn't soft on me, it was rough, hard, grating, palpitating for my soul. I got battered, absolutely. the grain of my being ceased. I was different. I don't feel human.
I was born in a resplendent place- the mornings dull, the afternoons crushing, and the evenings somberly cold and my name is Rosel.
I spent time thinking, pondering, maybe wasting too much time. I had a parent. They told me often to not think too much, that thinking...thinking too much can be bad. I didn't understand. I still don't.
I didn't have many friends in life. I also never had many hopes either. Not having many friends and not having hopes go hand in hand sometimes I guess.
There was a crack though, a crack of light that beckoned far from my own life, but still, I could see it. There are a lot of "thoughs" and "howevers." The moment was only another example.
I woke up first, I always have to wake up to the job I had to be a part of. I talked to a lot of people as a part of my job. Why, I wondered, but don't ask why. I brushed my teeth, got dressed, and started off to work, driving, carousing the land above. I never ate breakfast.
Between shelter and the workplace, everything remained wet, damp, like a fog had been infused and never let to dry. The soil, the trees, the veins of the leaves, the buildings that lay sparsely across. They were never let to dry because rain always fell everyday, the surreptitious clouds remained close knit, and the humidity ever consuming, lying all that was cast under sodden and dropping.
The clouds had become a venerable, mundane part of the life. They've been there since the beginning and when the beginning was, maybe the end. In a sense, the clouds just belonged. At first I loathed the clouds, how they repressed a free life, but whenever I looked at the clouds, they were still, stolid. Only rains were their answer.
When I got out of the car, I had stepped into a puddle first. I felt exultant, full of energy, shortly followed by a sardonic sadness. The umbrella I hoisted was wary, and had started to buckle from the years. When I walked inside I realized I hadn't gotten to my workplace. I had gone instead to a shelter. There I met the man that was of an aura of inviting warmth.
He introduced himself as Melvin. He had a conscientious fortitude to him, one that assuaged fear and dried out the dampness of the world. Just as the the fog of the rains, like a gas rapidly expanding, billowing and encompassing everything, he had done the same unto me. His appearance was a silent enclosing air , harmless at first sight. At once his presence in its incipience began as a swift crescendo beckoning from lands beyond the clouds. In the next , his spirit spoke quietly like the sound of a soft, graceful, timid touch of a flower petal the moment it touches the floor. The trembles of his soul that once fissured the lands could now only ripple the still-water of a cup in a monotonous rhythm. The aura of his image once so salient an addition, had now become a part of the scenery the clouds overlooked.
From that day onward, Melvin and I had become great friends. He was my first.
One day I told Melvin how the frigid air scathes my skin. That was when Melvin invited me to stay with him where he had
heating and food, but really I wanted to be there with Melvin for Melvin.
When I arrived to his house I thought to myself he had invited me here to his home. Even though I was welcomed, my presence felt perturbing to the atmosphere. There was something that wasn't meant to be nearby, two things that could not meet.
I saw when I entered the front door there were only two pairs of shoes: the worn sneakers of the faded blue he usually wears, and sandals of beige. I had never seen Melvin wear those sandals. They looked fresh out of the box. There were no pictures;only peeling dark green paint tapered off on the walls.
The silence was broken shortly after entering.
I asked, "This is where you live?"
"The place before you is my home. What do you think?" said Melvin.
"The home lacks warmth. The aura is awfully dreary. People get sick from the dampness."
"That sounds like your home."
"I thought so."
"Here, I made you something."
"What is it?" All I stared at was empty air between his hands.
"Oh...nothing. Absolutely nothing," replied Melvin.
I never came to his home after that occasion.
In the following days Melvin told me about how much he cared for me. There was a charm, an intangible warmth to his love. I was touched. I had never experienced such love. Such love, an intangible, frustrating love that almost overwhelmed me. He was so close yet I could not feel it, the true love, the true satisfaction.
I could tell him about the days I died inside, the troubles of the rain, the pouring, bitter, smothering rain. Melvin was a good friend. Melvin, the good friend. The only friend. Harmonious at first but only so long could the veins run.
Before long I had become infatuated with him. Melvin evaded me, feared me. I guess the life was too isolated. A mixture of emotion, a tumultuous tribulation of turmoil was living inside of me like a parasite, feeding on my already withered soul. The swaggering air of ephemeral exultation only to be followed by a lingering craving and destructive inplacable need. I only ever wanted more and at some point it had to end. And it did.
I stopped going to Melvin at some point. In simple ways I slowly detached from the enigmatic conundrum. At some point I stopped looking him in the eyes. I only saw him four times a week to two times a week, then one day a month, then one day a year, one everlasting day a year, one everlasting day a year that never ended just as the rains never ended.
I lost track of time. Life only continued. Somehow I learned that Melvin had changed. I stopped going to see him. It was so sudden but in only a few doting ellipses something had changed. There was no conclusion, only thought, but no thinking. I received a message from Melvin. I don't know what the communication meant. I ignored it, never took a second thought about ignoring it either.
Melvin was burnt to a crisp. He was a burn victim. He was ugly. I had read the message. I was horrified by him, not at what happened to him, but his essence itself. It had become dirtied, putrid, tainted but not by the burning. His burning was the reflection of his being.
I managed to go up to his hospital room but steps away from opening his door, I heard him calling out my name, in a restrained whisper-meek, brittle, languid like the passing waves as they wash over the shoreline, foaming and then receding. I wanted to be adamant about my decision to see him but in the mercurial moment I had suddenly become timorous and loathing of Melvin. I could not bear to see him as the waves suddenly crashed on the craggy rocks beneath the soaring hilltop. That was the last day I came to see him.
Ever since that moment everything drones on incessantly, like a repeated note. (Sound of note being repeated plays). In the vaccuum of my space, that's the only thing I listen to. Over and over again. I'm above the surface, dangling in free form and I feel nothing, and the world feels desolate. There is no tinge or breadth of life that sways in the air. There is no hue.
There's an ominous figure, an apparition of a pale, hollow figure, almost effeminate in my dreams nowadays. I feel like waking up yet with every mental urge I cannot will it. The dream always starts the same way. First, I wake up in my room. I am weightless, as gravity no longer applies and I float steadily to the ceiling and I cannot go down. I make my way outside the door of my bedroom to the center hallway, where as I float helpless, I look at the apparition. I think "This is it. The end."
What does a dream have to do with anything. Maybe it's the karma, the bad deeds come to me, consuming my soul. I'm having these dreams consume my thoughts, in larger frequency they occur each week.
Then came the end. In a moment of desperation I wanted change, so I went out into the rain for the first time in a long time without my umbrella. I ran aimlessly until I came to the forest, treading leaves smoldered by the heavy rains. Strange, I thought. The feel of rain on my face was a sensation not long felt but here I am again, seeking something intangible. Was it Melvin, was it the dreams, was it anything?
I came to rest at a tree, now far away from the shelter, far away from the workplace, far away. The rains began to subdue my conscience, they were unrelenting. In that moment I closed my eyes.
And there was Melvin again, brushing my hair, softly, lightly, with such a delicateness, taking off any dandruff or stray hairs. A single tear streaked down my face.