I saw myself sitting on my knees, hunched over, clinging to a pile of rugs beneath me. Precisely three. Each rug was much like the other; slightly different in shape, but all of the same tone and texture.
One by one, each was pulled away from underneath me…
My dad came and stole the first rug. I hardly expected it to have been snatched away. In my innocence, I thought I could somehow seek comfort there. Somehow I thought, I could feel it’s warmth for the remainder of my life not knowing much of the past, nor the future. With its displacement soon arose great fear. My mind started to alarmingly ring. What if all my other rugs are taken too? What if I have nothing soft left to lie on anymore? And what if all I feel is the bare emptiness of the ground below me? An emptiness, in which I am nothing? Inherently nothing…?
I clung to each rug that followed in dire fear of unanswered questions. In dire fear of all unknown.
A few years thereafter, another rug I had grasped was snatched from underneath my base by T–. He did so in such an insidious way, I hardly expected it to have happened either. He had such invisibly cold hands that he told me were warm – a series of lies masquerading as truth. When T—’s rug went missing, I fell in much the same way as when my first rug was taken. Except this time, I fell to a position I had already felt so keenly, and so now, fell much more intensely. Doubly hunched over and in pain. A feeling of dejection and despair so intense from having already carried a previous stain; a previous memory.
The next rug I encountered, I thought to be real. Actually, I thought it to be the most genuine I had ever encountered in the universe. It had seemingly inexhaustible warmth. I could hardly help but cling in ecstasy, though also in hidden agony, in cognizance of how transient all my other rugs had been. Finally, perhaps I had a home for me to lay my head upon? A home which would grant me stable rest? But here too, I was mistaken. Like each rug that came before, this rug was indeed transitory and full of uncertainty. Perhaps more soft, perhaps more real, perhaps more warm and embracing – but he too had to go. After all, he was another rug I had clung to; an attachment like all the rest.
When this particular rug was pulled, I was so terrified of soon touching the ground below me, that my body contracted in a frenzied, desperate agony. I tried so hard to make whatever warmth remain; strenuously clenching with all my might to staple it down in place. However, as hard as I did pull to hang on, an unknown force pulled away at a greater intensity. I found myself in a tug of war I could not win and sooner or later, the weight of my frustrations gave in. Mournfully, I failed to control its inevitable movement. My last remaining rug, yes, he too, went away.
And so I had nothing left beneath me…
The cold floor exposed bare was the hard reality with which existence presented me. In the past, I had tried to search for other rugs to hide in. I thought to myself that other rugs would do, that perhaps I just needed a different few. I clung to some alternate variations; some made of others’ skin; half-hearted relations or validations, some of money, others of drugs or work or pastimes and pleasure. Despite all my attempts however, I could not evade the emptiness of the floor beneath me. I had felt it repeatedly with my own body. Its coldness had visibly scraped and scarred me. And I knew; each rug I had clung to was a cover-up so transient. Despite their initial warmth; each stood porous now – exposing the cold, and digging holes in any of my attempts not to feel what lied beneath.
Upon these realisations, the floor which held me and my previous rugs soon started collapsing. With its fall, I was taken into an empty, dark abyss; seemingly endless and all-enclosing. Seemingly perpetual.
Mid-fall I was so catastrophically uncertain, I wanted to close my eyes and no longer wake. I berated myself for continuing to be conscious and pleaded for existence to **** me in my sleep. How dare I still be alive while falling in such suffering and sadness, I lamented.
I lacked the courage to feel the thud of my final landing and its location.
From past experience, I was almost certain that what lied beneath was infinite pain; dark abandonment of course, for miles without end.
To be continued (as I learn how)…
A short story I thought of on the train after a painful break-up, months ago.
On a side note: I had tried a few times to articulate a happy ending, one in which I was able to transcend my dark night of the soul. I had a vague structure in mind, but I just wasn’t feeling what I was writing. I realised that I couldn’t really write the ending sufficiently; at least not until I’ve had more permanent experiences of being more free of the ego.