Unrest sits inside of me. Scratch that. Unrest riots inside of me.
Tonight I knelt face down in a shower hotter than a Sydney inner city summer day. My skin burned. I hate water. I hate heat. In as much I particularly hate hot water. It intimidates me and steals my breath from fear and a terrifying blaze in my lungs. I often dream nightmarish of drowning in an ocean deep with blood red boiling water.
Still. I figured I could burn away this cold feeling that freezes me from my heart to my skin. If this were frostbite I would be a darker pitch of black. Head to toe. Inside out. Charred flesh and bone, sewn over a fevered mind.
I knelt on the pads of my shins, feet flat out behind me, knees scratching the tub, chest heaving with my hands clasped desperately behind my head pushing down. **** up, face down, no grace in this morbid search for self comfort. Trying so hard to become undone. My forehead rested in searing water raining down; that puddled hot and ***** beneath at my mouth. I prayed for tears. I ached to open up. One bleeding stitch at a time. To bleed tears of salt water amongst the fresh. Just to myself. For me if not for anybody else. Alone. Uninhibited. A quiet fury unleashed.
I searched for my voice and willed it to cry out. Urged it to break open and spill, a mess of confusion could at least be cleaned up. Without that mess I was still just a disaster waiting to happen.
I answered myself with silence. The only noise I could make was a low, guttural, throaty whine. The sound murmured in the water, muffled. Wasted. Washed away. Just air and water. Leaving. Draining. Just. Gone.
Salt burnt in my throat. More heat. Tears stung at the back off my eyes so I opened them and let the water in so as to coax the water out.
Nothing. Nothing but heat and emptiness.
Scratch that. This is not emptiness. I know emptiness well. I remember the echo of nothing. I remember non existence and its dumb witted mercy. I recall the dull anesthetised blanket of apathy.
This. Is. Feeling. This is being full and riotous. This is toxic and seething.
Appendicitis yet burst.
Even a toxic spill can be cleared, a burnt forest regrown. Degenerative. I feel like I am both sinking and replete at once. Both burning and washed out. Scarlet bright and discoloured. Alive and exhausted.
I am a vacuum through which no sound can travel. Waves of compression travelling through matter. From particle to particle I travel silenced, with no substance through which to reach a listener.
I am not listening.
I am unsound.
Unrest and riotous.
Even as I write this
My face burns.
My body aches and quivers and my stomach turns over and over and over until I stand and reach for my tobacco and roll to smoke to abate this ache that is eating me.
I am a thousand words unsaid.
Five thousand tears yet spilled.
Words fall from my fingertips
But not from my lips.
I am the quiet in the storm.
Stilled, Stalled, Appalled by what can only come next.
This skin. Of mine. Is prickly and If I could just step out of it, for the sake of feeling settled, I would. I would stretch and unwind my mind then slowly furl back into myself, ironed out and calmed. Fresh stitches, less itches and the sense of having been free. From me.
Funnily enough, although I’m not really laughing, when the tears do come, when they bite at the corners of my eyes until I feel like my face is about to tear apart, a mess of salt and flesh, The darkness reaches out a cold and unforgiving hand and pushes down. Until the brackish brine reaches back into my throat, slides into my stomach, dragging with it that fleeting chance of reprieve. Then comes the sick. Then comes the smoke. Then comes the still and ever threatening silence.
I am a stranger to myself.
And this is not the first time.