Imagine. He once put so much faith into this.
He had counted on it. He had wanted it. He had stayed up late chasing it, and had looked for it in every movement of the Earth.
The birds once sang its praises, and butterflies would kiss it softly onto his flesh. He could hear it in the hum of the bumblebee as it hovered near his ear. He felt it as the darkness gave way to the first glimpses of light above the horizon as he felt the day’s first wave of warmth caress his soul. He had searched for this, he had wanted this, and now he sat alone staring at the walls around him wondering what he had actually been looking for.
Right now such a thing seemed like a silly notion. He had felt it, but now in its absence it was as if nothing had vanished. He looked at the picture that brought him to this place, and felt ashamed at what he had done. He had put faith in this, in this picture, and now he wanted an escape from the ideas it had brought him. Gone were the glorious affirmations of light. Gone were the touching protestations of desire. He was left to wonder why, and as he simply shrugged and as a butterfly landed on the back of his neck…
…he felt nothing.
He wondered out loud which had been the lie. Was it this, the absence of light? Or was it that, the wonderful moments of intense pleasure that brought him to the heights of ecstasy? Whichever it was, right now he felt lied to. Either this was a lie or that was a lie, but a lie was being told to him regardless. He could feel his fists clench and jaw tighten at the suggestion. He could feel the familiar shiver race down his spine as his body said “Prepare” even as his mind stayed focused on the present moment. He closed his soft eyes tightly and uttered a now-familiar prayer while his heart searched for an answer. He then slowly opened his eyes; his gaze now fixed and intense even as his heart was not sure that this is right.
Indecision. It would not matter. The winter was coming and he must be ready. The fire now found in his eyes reflected the fire that renewed itself in his heart. With a calm determination he marched forward, toward the dark path laid before him. He could see the outline of the trees that created the doorway into the unknown, but nothing beyond it. Ah, the unknown. He would crush this fear and move inward toward the blackness. He could feel that temperature drop with each step onward as he ignored the warm sun on his back while embracing the chill that now touched his bare chest.
When had he become naked?
He had no idea. Somewhere between here and there he had lost every stitch of the veil that once hid him from others. Oddly, he felt no shame, no fear. His Eve could have been there and she would see him as he was the day he was born. He would look at the apple in her hand and growl, “Not this time.” He knew her game and he knew his place in the story.
“Lure me in with that body, those words, that gentle touch and then condemn me to wretchedness.”
It was a familiar one, they had replayed it often. He looked at her as pure Love looks at its child, but felt no bond. She had broken that with her distance, her listening to the serpents of her mind as though he was a toy to be played with. He would suffer for her and when the winter chill came he would suffer for her more. Such was the beauty of the summer sun that the winter only became colder, more grey. He would long for the songbirds of the spring and the heat of the sun upon his face. Oh, how he despised the ice forming on his brow, the cracking of his lips from the winter’s wind. He knew her summer, and he longed for it but it was hers and she wasn’t offering it anymore.
She held the apple out to him. The summer called to him as tears formed in his eyes. He could feel the stirring in his manhood as his heart began to sing. He looked back at the place he once sat, where he first saw the sunrise. He heard the butterflies beg him back. He saw the flowers, the trees and the grass that gave him such hope in a spring eternal. He noticed the footprints that got him here and returned his gaze to her.
There was no anger in his statement. The tenseness in his jaw and in his fists fought off the flood of desire and Love he felt for her. He hid the tears that flowed freely in his mind.
“I’ve got work to do.”
Work. He looked at the Path of the Unknown ahead of him. He’d be damned if he knew where it was taking him or why he needed to go there but go there he would. He wondered if she would walk with him there, but as her lecture began he knew that the cold shards of glass she now hurled at him were nothing he wanted to take with him. Besides, she had her own path to walk. He had no use for her distance. He saw no value in the boxes she had built. He wanted nothing to do with the place she had built for him. He wanted something more, and that was to take this love he felt for her and experience it with no limitations, no boundaries. To do that he would have to leave her here to her boxes and her boundaries and walk beyond them.
The Path didn’t look so dark anymore. He turned, and without hesitation took the first step into the Unknown. He could not look behind him and he could not see in front of him. Were he stood now was all he had. There were no walls, no rules, nothing to bind him. His bare feet betrayed a solid surface that radiated strength through his feet and up his spine. His fists clenched no more as his jaw relaxed. There were no threats here.
It’s amazing what you can see when you stop looking with eyes that lie to you. It’s amazing what you can hear when you stop listening to a song that made sense “once upon a time.” It’s clarity that you find when you stop looking through panes of glass made for you by others. His steady gait suggested there was no blindness at all. He could not see, but he was not blind. He just let go and his feet suredly took him there.
It was there where the Light struck him squarely in the forehead.
In the daze he swore he heard footsteps. Was it her? Had she followed him to this place? A part of him laughed at the idea as another part of him prayed it was her. He just let it go and waited. And waited. And waited.
Finally done with the folly, he closed his eyes and listened. There was nothing but the sound of his own breath and the low moan he involuntarily shed as a wave of emotion crashed into him. Dropping to a knee he sobbed uncontrollably. He was unloved. He was uncared for. He was alone in a vast sea of blackness. In the grips of despair he screamed at the demons torturing him. He will kill them. He would beat them into the very ground he stood on. He would never allow them in, and he would never let them take him to a place he dared not go. As the dark beasts assaulted him he fought them with everything he had.
He finally collapsed on the floor.
Bruised, battered and exhausted he just laid there, the sweat pouring out of his bare skin like a geyser that had finally had enough. In his exhaustion he muttered “Fuck you…take me if you can” with all the strength he could muster. The dark bastards were gone, having either been beaten by his determined hand or having retreated to fight another day. He laid there trying to collect his thoughts and his strength in order to escape this place.
He then felt a hand on his thigh. He looked there, but in the darkness could see nothing. He could feel her lips taking his cock in her mouth. He allowed his head to slump to the ground as she eagerly took him on. “What are you doing?” he asked quietly in his exhaustion.
“Taking care of you,” was her reply. It was not his Eve, his Lover. He grabbed her head and twisted his body away from her at the same time.
“Get off of me wench” was all he could muster in the darkness. This was not what he needed. There was no “care” in her eager mouth. There was no music in the stiffness he felt there.
“I’m done with stuff like this.”
There was nothing there to receive his answer. No goddess to ease his desire. No woman to tend to his wounds. Fuck them…he had no use for the boxes they brought with their tenderness. He didn’t even question whether the woman was a dream or his Eve testing him once again. He simply didn’t care.
With all the strength he could find he picked himself up off the ground. He felt he had a long way to go before he would rest. He did not question, he simply allowed his feet to move and he followed them. Unwarily, he continued onward. He was ready for whatever would come at him from wherever it would come. He felt a presence in this, not in that, and felt no fear in this moment. Onward he would go, and Now would be his guide.
He smiled, and for the first time he felt ready to live.
Editor: Brianna Bemel
Like elephant Literary Journal on Facebook.
hot on elephant
Elephant Journal’s Holiday Gift Guide 636 shares A letter to the Anger that refuses to Leave Me. 600 shares Waylon’s favorite Ethical Gifts. 13 shares Learn Social Media, Writing, Editing & Journalism Ethics with elephantjournal.com. 1 share The Real Reason so many Long-term Relationships Fail Sexually. 994 shares Trevor Noah just won my Respect. 2,567 shares Year of the Fire Rooster 2017: What to Expect. 994 shares Why a Year of No Dating was the Best Thing I ever did for Myself. 7,612 shares These Tweets (and Retweets) actually Happened. 1,391 share How to Say Goodbye to that almost-great Love. 1,665 share