Tuesday, February 21, 2012

In the Spotlight



    I feel the huddled masses that surround me, yearning to be free. Hell, we're yearning to be able to see. Darkness fills the spaces between the bodies of flesh and spirit. Pitch blackness, which matches the depth of depression that comes with this incessant waiting; hating every second of this seeming eternity.

    Memories are very vague. Wisps of a notion that all this muted emotion will dissapate. And we will be left with these sounds. Whimpers and wails, the scratching of nails on the blackboard of our very existences. The grinding and gnashing of teeth. Veiled ambivilance. And fear.
    Some fear of the darkness; others of the unknown.
    But all afraid of something.

    Did I do enough? That becomes the question most asked. Was I aware of the human consdition? Did I accept the permission to love and be loved, to help where I could? Would I have done it differently? Am I sorry for it now that I wait here? Maybe I'm just sorry that I am waiting here.

    A murmur begins. A rumble deep within the bowels of this forsaken place. I feel a push. I lean back into it. A prod; a poke. Closed fisted thrusts and open handed slaps. Groping and trampling. And then an ear-splitting clap of a single hand.

    Silence fell as thick as the blackness. And the wails began anew. Louder, more desperate they fill this void. It was followed by a voice.

    It reverberated within this congregation; and aggragate mix of love and hate and trust and vindictiveness. But at its sound, finality.

    No more pushes. No more shouts and wails. The only sense that came along was suddenly one of hope. And then came the light. Brighter than a thousand suns; a narrow beam concentrated on just a handful of faces. Familiarity did not enter into this sensation. It became a new feeling; a sense that the next moment contained
    every answer to the questions that perplexed and disheartened. The rays of light fell short of my face, and I felt the rush of bodies toward the beacon. Trampled and beaten down, I felt the darkness descend once more.

    The spotlight had shone on our despair for a brief eternity. Then came the grinding and gnash once more; save the wails for later.

    1. Wow, intensely written, drew me through the whole of it. Scary. I loved this... "Did I accept the permission to love and be loved..." nice, Walt. :)


    Two weeks ago an envelope arrived in the mail containing two tickets for tonight—my birthday. Jenny had mentioned months ago that a surprise would be coming for my birthday, to not plan anything. I hadn’t. (I didn’t tell her that I’d later found out The Band Perry, her favorite, would be playing in town—I didn’t want to ruin her surprise for me.)

    All day I stared at those tickets…trying to decide what to do.

    For four weeks – I have gone nowhere. I have secluded myself in my dorm room in hopes that time would heal. I haven’t been able to face anyone after Jenny died. I felt responsible. In my heart, I knew I wasn’t – the doctors say the aneurysm could not have been stopped. As she was collapsing, she was already gone. Anyone’s attempts to revive her would have had the same result. But the look in the eyes of every person I meet on campus – I can’t help but think they blame me for not doing enough.

    And all I can think about is holding her…her body still so warm in my arms…and thinking that surely it doesn’t end this way!

    But it did.

    I finally decided to go to the concert. Jenny had been so excited about it…I couldn’t let her down. Into my backpack I placed her picture, the teddy bear she gave me on New Years Eve, and the hoodie she had been wearing that day in the park (it still had her scent)…and I took Jenny with me.

    Somehow, the spotlight crisscrossing over the crowd settled on me during the song “If I Die Young.” I’m so glad I convinced her mom of satin and pearls—it’s what Jenny would have wanted, just like in the song. And the glow of that spotlight was the radiance of Jenny’s smile.

    I'm going to be ok.

    # # #

    Purely fiction.

    1. You REALLY have such a natural fiction flair, Paula. Impressed for sure. :)