The Delicate Balance of Terror 10

“You have to remember what it was like in 1948 to appreciate Nineteen Eighty-Four. Somebody in 1949 told me- that was the year the book came out- that Orwell had wanted to call it Nineteen Forty- Eight. But they wouldn’t let him.” Anthony Burgess

The television mirroring my thoughts flickers on and off, reminding me who I am. The light trickling from the screen forms a barrier of fog as my mind continues wandering past the images. Sometimes when I close my eyes, it becomes louder. Sometimes when I enter my brain, touching those forgotten memories which I swore to never forget, to never forget that peace…in one swipe of the hand, they disappear along with the wind. I remember the walk down the beach, as if it was ever real. The stars raining down into my eyes. The waves from the ocean, falling through my soul, tilting me forward. I saw the end there, staring up into the sun, I thought I knew all there ever was to know. Wrote it all out in my mind. When I went back to read it all, it no longer made any sense to me, maybe it never did. The television comes to life in a short flicker. I fall to the floor and I can no longer move. I can no longer watch the past.

-I saw something. I saw something in my eyes.

He descends the dark corridors and watches himself step through the moon.

-In those eyes I saw it, I saw what was always chasing me.

Her cries grew fainter as their cries grew louder. I remember all I stole. I have nothing to offer. We like to watch people fall apart.

-Well strap yourself along for the ride because here it is- but now he could hear what the children were trying to say, now he could feel them, now he knew that their story was his own. The old man with the beard shouts from above, it is time to come on in. He continues to watch his face grow older, as Her hand reaches out for him once again through the flames his hands approach the mirror. The moon shatters in two as her cries and her fingers running down the mirror etch shadows of blood and words he can no longer remember. The moon crashes to the Earth in a burst of light.

He touches the scar running down his face and remembers the life he once lived. Before the fog, and the fires. The fire overcomes him as cries emanating from the darkness reflect through his closed mouth. He touches his hand to the Earth, satisfied knowing he is heading in the right direction. The building expands and changes shape with every footstep towards it. He sees the conveyor belt and the children strapped to it as they flow into the building unable to move their feet. The full moon blinds him. He crosses a barely visible line in the sand. The fog evaporates before him as the spinning shadows ascend into the moonlit sky. The old man with the beard sits atop the hill with pages and pages of burnt paper crackling at his feet. The sun cries out in anguish resting on his shoulder. An eternity melts at his feet, as his footsteps track the blood and tears of his eternal return. His eyes mirror the world we thought we had as cracks form down the middle. The Detective touches his heart knowing, he has to fix this, sensing his mission he still couldn’t understand why he needed to travel to the past to experience the future.

The Delicate Balance of Terror 9

“…nearly the whole of the English Left has been driven to accept the Russian regime as “Socialist” while silently recognizing that its spirit and practice are quite alien to anything that is meant by “Socialism” in this country. Hence there has arisen a sort of schizophrenic manner of thinking, in which words like “democracy” can bear two irreconcilable meanings, and such things as concentration camps and mass deportations can be right and wrong simultaneously.” George Orwell

-The nail has never been hit quite so hard on the head…who are you…?

He looks at the computer screen, watching his face slowly contort into desperation. He closes his eyes and watches her reaching up for him, her muted cries for help cut deeply deep within him. The cats walk across the marble floor, moonlight reflecting from their eyes as her screams emanate from their open eyes-don’t close your eyes, don’t ever close your eyes Looking straight into his own eyes continues to become more difficult. He can’t remember what he was searching for here as he looks down on the blank page his hand is resting on. It were the minds he stole that made it no longer possible for him to experience rest. Haunting his every waking moment, he stared at himself falling apart and still could not understand why. He walked along those stars, never noticing the shadows not far behind but always seeing the cracks forming up ahead in his vision. His blood quakes from the anguished cries of those hands reaching up at his feet…

The dying desert sun washes over his eyes as he’s blinded by the fog which continues to distort his vision. He continues walking down the seemingly endless alleyway as the humming from the people follows at a similar pace. He feels a strange cold wind pushing him from behind, emanating from their constantly spinning bodies. He no longer has the ability to see if they are living or even what they’ve become. As he pushes away the thick green fog from his eyes he sees a building in the far distance and a barely visible flickering light. He continues on, knowing this must be where he’s headed. In the darkness the screams only seem like a faint wind blowing through everything, passing unnoticed. The building flickers in and out and he is not sure which way to turn. The blood of the sun from his eyes deters them from closing as he is once again lost, and he is nowhere. In a piercing cry of peace a fire lights his way up ahead, the burning warmth calms him as he slowly approaches the fire and the humming and the spinning winds instantly subside. In the shadows of the flames he is overcome with the life reborn, pulsing through his veins. A cry from a man unseen suddenly enters him and for a second he remembers everything

…sometimes I awaken trapped in the middle of a feverish dream. The dead, cold hands warming me, the ticking in my brain, the shadows hovering above me. I keep running but I can no longer turn behind me. Attached to my brain is a hose, attached to one of three holes in the wall. Maybe this is where it all ends, in a fiery inferno below all of us…there is a constant chatter coming from down the hallway. There is constant darkness covering my eyes, but I am safe, I am warm, at least that’s what they tell me. I don’t forget the moon here. I don’t forget when they come to take me away. I hold my bunny and never let go, but they still take me away. They still tell me it doesn’t hurt as they whisper it’s okay, it’s okay and all I remember is don’t worry, it’s okay. But I ran from you before, I always have to run. On a conveyor belt I am taken away, along with all our hopes and dreams, taken away with the wind by your cold gentle hands, wrapped around my mouth. It is all taken away from me when I’m told I’m not right. Do you remember when you said that? I’m not right, I’m crazy. In the night I close my eyes and I see the shadows and the moon, beating down upon my face and I feel your hands and I cry into the emptiness of the shadows surrounding me as it’s okay means something different here. And I touch my stomach as the eyes that always followed me in the darkness become something different here. They become the eyes of my own, staring out from that screen, reminding everyone don’t worry, they stick that in your arm to help.

The Delicate Balance of Terror 8

“Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime IS death. Now that he had recognized himself as a dead man it became important to stay alive as long as possible.” George Orwell

-What are you protecting?

-I told you I ask the questions.

In a flash The Interviewer flickers in and out.

-What are you…my…what are We protecting?


The Director fades into the shadows… everything falls apart

He watches the crack grow longer and splitting across the fish tank. The eyes are still watching him, penetrating into his but he can’t see their mouths. He feels their eyes, more than ever he can see what they are as they spin in circles staring out blankly he sees their life, even if they can no longer feel it. As they raise their hands to the sky in some sort of worship he cannot recognize, a small amount of fear begins to overwhelm him. A hum he cannot understand exits their mouths in a droning, sleep inducing pace. Water begins shooting from the cracks in the fish tank as the humming grows louder. A hand passes by his eyes as he sees himself in an alleyway with rain pouring down his hat. Still the humming continues and the faces follow not far behind. The invisible hand behind him directs him forward as he turns back and sees a greenish fog ascending from the ground below the humming people. They cannot see it, but he notices the fear in their eyes. a whisper from somewhere-they cannot see it, but they’re told it is there. And the desert washes over him and the bleeding sun and he is reminded of something that is instantly forgotten. As he puts his hand on the pavement below his feet, the pulse is gone, but the green fog surrounds his hands. He tips his hat as the fear grows stronger in their focused eyes, and the humming grows louder and is near impossible to understand but it’s their beating hearts that he still can see, it is what he came for. He places his hand in front of his mouth, but it is no longer there. In a scream something releases from his eyes, he falls to his knees and raises his hands up as the rain pours down on his fog covered hands

-Cut! Cut!

The Detective sees her, the long blond hair, her dying eyes, the red lipstick spread across her mouth, the Hollywood sign burning to the ground, the children reaching, crying out to the Earth. Blankness, shadows walk through him, fade from this

-Remember why you’re here

The blood of the sun awakens him.

-I don’t

There is a drilling coming from behind me. They are coming for me now. They’ve taken enough pictures, distracted enough thoughts, my story is old and it needs to end. There are hands reaching for me, voices I’ve long forgotten calling out for me, the tears of my mother and my sister are washing down my face as they fall from above. I don’t want to leave, please don’t take me away from here. Hands are reaching through the cracks in the wall as I have nowhere to turn.

The old man holds his lamp up, shining down from the mountain. He has a song to sing but he can’t remember the words. He has a story to write but no longer has a pen. He has dreams to film but there is no camera. His painting, the Last painting is finished in a mural spread across his mind. He hears their cries of pain and despair emanating from his blood and it’s all he needs to know. As long as their story is untold, as long as their song remains unsung, he must continue telling it, even if it ends in a blaze of fire. He touches his beating heart and cries out a song that only he can hear. There is nothing untouched by it.

The Delicate Balance of Terror 7

“If liberty means anything at all. it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” George Orwell

I awaken to water dripping down my face as I’m reminded of the words that destroyed me. Instinctively I reach out for them, reach out for the ones above me still snapping the pictures, still writing my story, telling me who I am. In a flash of shadows my mother and my sister appear still holding my burning words, I touch my stomach and see their large empty eyes, chaining me to the idea of my own existence.

– Can you tell me what this word means to you? What does love mean to you?


I see The Movement slowly ascending the hill in the far distance as the man with the beard is furiously writing. The Movement is flickering in and out along with their candles, in and out of the shadows and fog becoming a slow flickering cloud moving along with the wind. I can no longer see them, but their presence does not disappear. The man with the beard appears to feel them, as in the middle of his furious pace, the words sing to his ears,

Now I understand what you tried to say to me

And how you suffered for your sanity

They would not listen, they did not know how,

perhaps they’ll listen now*

In a slow fury the words he’s writing continue falling to the ground in a pile of ashes, flickering along with The Movement, entering the beat of his heart as he whispers, resist.

-Not sure the words exist anymore.

-Someone is taking the words? What does it mean to you?

-Your sentences are taking the words, telling me I’m crazy is taking the words, telling me who I am is taking the words. I am not you, will never be-

-What does love mean to you?

The Detective is in a large room, a Japanese restaurant where the tables are covered in white cloth, the entire back wall is a giant fish tank. There is a wind up lizard toy on the table shooting out sparks as it moves. A waiter stands in front of him, writing in his notepad even though The Detective isn’t saying a word. He places his hand over the candle in the middle of the table and glances around the room. There is not one person in the room whose eyes are not upon him. He watches a crack form running down the front of the fish tank as the lizard toy walks off the edge of the table. He clutches his stomach and closes his eyes.

-No separation…existing as one

*Don McLean

The Delicate Balance of Terror 6

“His mother’s memory tore at his heart because she had died loving him…Today there were fear, hatred, and pain, but no dignity of emotion, or deep or complex sorrows. All this he seemed to see in the large eyes of his mother and his sister, looking up at him through the green water, hundreds of fathoms down and still sinking.” George Orwell

My eyes adjust to the darkness as I touch for just a moment what I once was, the words melt in my hands into a pile of ash. Up on the hill, the man with the beard at his feet, continues writing. The flickering at the bottom of the hill below him, continues unbeknownst to him. The Movement enters the building, swept up in a wave they can no longer let go of. The building changes shape as they enter. Now there are windows and a light coming through as the man continues writing above, his words singing through the air although no one is listening. The Movement exits the building unsure where to go next as the shadows are once again floating overhead and are attaching to the planes along with the rainbows and the light exiting the buildings windows. The man continues writing faster and faster, but there is no catching up. His hand waves over a flickering candle and for the first time I can read his words, don’t forget, don’t ever forget…my mother, my sister, my eyes grow wide…”the mutability of the past” the pain, that’s why I’m here, the tweezers are in my hand…in a whisper you can take it away, you can remove the pain and I approach them as they hold my poem laughing as my heart is torn in two, laughing at the words that would define my life. The words that helped me to remember…how can we just sit by and watch, how can we sit back and watch people die, and buy things conceived with their invisible blood ossified into plastic? The words released themselves into the wind as I am carried along with it, a flash, hands reaching into my skull and I…

-What did you learn…when you filmed yourself?

-I was just doing your job for you.

-You almost never came back.

-Came back where?…

…as he looks out upon the wastes of the world, The Detective falls to his knees and scoops up water into his mouth. How could they have forgotten how to live here? There is an insecure unsafe feeling entering him. He remembers he does not know where here is. He calmly places his hand on the desert land as the pulse becomes him, and he tips his hat to the sun and continues on walking.

-I wanted to know what I was.

In the middle of the vast desert, he sees a dying dog howling up to the sun, He places his hand on her beating heart, instantly remembering why he’s here.

-And what are you?

There is a vast labyrinthine building in the distance, seemingly where the sun ends. The dog lets out another cry, and the yelping is roaring from The Detectives own mouth. And he hears the music in the background and he can see the flickering cutting through the darkness. The Detective once again places his hand upon the pulse of the Earth, as it pulses through his beating heart and the cries are no longer separate from his. The shadows float over his head, reaching down in an attempt to attach themselves. He looks up as the tears of the sun in pink orange droplets fall from his eyes…

-Love, just love man, your worst nightmare.

The Delicate Balance of Terror 5

“He was a lonely ghost uttering a truth that nobody would ever hear. But so long as he uttered it, in some obscure way the continuity was not broken.” George Orwell

The sky was dark, almost reddish orange and the sun looked like it was bleeding down the sky. In the melting sun as if painted across the sky were the words, ” We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.” And I no longer know if the tears I shed are from our dying world, or from my life that died so long ago. On my knees I reach up to the sky and my answer comes along with the jack boots pounding in succession, echoing across the Earth in every direction. I touch my stomach as I feel it again, I feel the pores of my skin breathe the dying air, the blood from the sun melts down into my eyes, the rattling and the tinkering and in a flash…I need help…the pounding gets closer and I see the torches and the judgmental eyes and that look, that cold, hard, empty look and they Know what I am but I don’t have a clue. They surround me and they are pointing at me as I touch my heart and remember. The crying grows louder because the box was broken and they can’t watch anything. The building no longer has shadows releasing from it and I know something is wrong and the screaming and the pounding enter my mind as the circle grows bigger around me and the tears from the sun now block my sight. I touch my stomach and close my eyes and there you are, still holding her hand as you let out a smile and the only sound I can hear is the wind and my beating heart.

-Why did you decide to make a movie about two children committing suicide?

-To protest the war, they committed suicide in protest of the Vietnam War.

-Yes but-

-They gave their lives to protest all that is wrong with our society and they were ignored, that’s why, to give them the voice they never had.

-But none of your movies before this-

-I know, American Mercenary didn’t start an antiwar movement(laughs)…I don’t know, something in the wind I got swept up with, no answer for you really

…and I fall into that glass house where they took me to see. And I saw the dead words, empty sentences of scenes I did not yet know how to express. The pain I felt from all across the universe, unable to let out a whimper and I knew then I failed them, but I would never give up. I promised that, and I promised patience, when her dark voice spoke to me through the night. I always knew I’d be here, seeing this, feeling this, expressing the blood falling from the sky and in the darkness way out by that dark impenetrable building I saw flickering light and I saw quiet, calm as the words overtook me as that building didn’t seem all that impenetrable anymore. In a chant heard around the universe I heard, “All we are saying, is give peace a chance.” And in a flash a movement was created, The Movement as equally as impenetrable as that building, because once we learn how to feel what peace feels like, there’s nothing that can tear us apart, besides our own minds.

The Delicate Balance of Terror 4

“The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but that it was impossible to avoid joining in.” George Orwell

A light shines on my face as I close my eyes. -Why are you here?

-Where am I?

I’m tired, tired and trapped here, it feels like I’m trapped in a science fiction movie and I have to crawl myself out. But crawl into what? I always knew it would be like this, I was born for this, we all were. And we just need to stand up.

-The movie, we need to know why…

-Why, I’m The Director, that’s why…why…why…

“Because we see that people just won’t do and say what they feel and you can’t just tell someone to. It seems that people are only touched by death and maybe people will be touched enough to look into their lives and if just one person is touched enough to do something constructive and peaceful with their life then maybe our death was worth it. Why-because we love our fellow man enough to sacrifice our lives so that they will try to find the ecstasy in just being alive.” Love and peace, Craig Badiali

-That’s why.

The light again blinds my sight and I hear rumblings I cannot decipher them. Through my blindness I’m taken back to that house, all made of glass, even the pipes that carried my blood filled vomit to its destination. And the new eyes they placed upon my own, lenses that dissolved into me and I thought now maybe I could see everything. I walk through the restaurant, the entire back wall is a fish tank, walking through words I had written so long ago. It’s now all alive in front of me and I know what to do, because I’ve been here before.

-Why? Can you answer that for me? Why? And in a flash of darkness, The Interviewer disappears…

I fell here, weeping for all I remembered and reaching out for all I forgot, but in the blink of an eye, it all disappeared. An electric pulse overcomes me as I continue falling with no end in sight. There is a shadow hovering over me. Each time I look at it, it seems to grow bigger, following the movement of my eyes, I can’t look past it. It pulses out of my stomach, like a puff of black smoke, it becomes a veil I look through. Water drips down my forehead as I remember, I am trapped here, at the bottom of a well, and the whole world is watching from above.

Pounding of boots can be heard slowly approaching, I am not scared. My lips mumble words I can no longer understand, and my heart beats along to a song I can no longer hear. And they keep on assembling and they keep attaching them to the shadows over head and the cries grow louder…the only words I can understand, why…why my heart knew, it could see the chains breaking from our wrists and his hand, their eyes looking so deep into each other there was no separation and the wish, the love, the only thing they had to give to possibly change this, their hands tightened in each others grasp, and they instantly knew that living truth is the only thing that could stop the boots from approaching.

-Why? This is my redemption song…our redemption song and all we need to do is listen to the beat.

The Delicate Balance of Terror 3

“Sanity was statistical. It was merely a question of learning to think as they thought.” George Orwell

My feet were no longer my own. They will not move under my control. They become a number, attached to the conveyor belt they were no longer separate from, just another item shuffling along to its destination. The truth which was promised me doesn’t exist here. I see empty eyes being filled with shadows and light, split right down the middle. Ears being filled with mumbling nonsense and mouths being filled with endless nonsensical chatter. The hope that was sold to me disintegrates into light filled floating dust accumulating around me. I only hear echoes of something, of voices babbling within my mind, telling me what to do and how to be and what to hold and how to close my eyes while they’re still opened, how to open my eyes and no longer see. And in a flash I forget exactly what I am standing on.

The old man is still writing as he whispers my way and even his words now die in a puff of smoke. They can’t take this! He screams, pointing at his heart. A part of me dies within his struggle, my silence awakens a spark in his eyes. Don’t forget your voice here, you can’t forget your voice! But all I can do is watch as the flames overcome his body and he disappears into the shadows. And I watch the planes buzzing overhead filling up with bombs, their only real truth, floating shadows released from the screaming Earth attaching to each instrument of death. There are no tears here, only blank covered faces, empty eyes, chaining me to the seat which appears below me as I watch ideas flow by. Shards of darkness, repeating themselves, I close my eyes, but they are still open. I cry but nothing comes out as images and words scatter around my head, they mean less and less.

The shadow in front of the room is waving a wand as the empty robotic eyes around the room follow the wand waving at nothing and at seemingly random times, I watch a body, attached to those eyes float up through the air, securing itself to the planes flying above. In between the mumbling and the shadows above me and the chains wrapped around me which I couldn’t touch; and sometimes thought might not even be there, I remember what I once was. The leaves twirl down from the ceiling, orange, brown, remembering what fall felt like and here I am falling, as the voices and the lights remind me of what I am. I reach for the doll, the bear that gives me comfort, the one I could never let go. The cold I felt as I clutched him was the only comfort I knew. And the shadows flew by over head and we would immediately take shelter. Sometimes we couldn’t even see them, but we still knew, we could feel them crawling up our skin. They left fire in their tracks, suffocating, blinding fire. A fire that was no longer even frightening, just tiring, so tiring and I forgot how to breathe here.

The old man, as a vision from my mind screams out to me as I see him running in a trail of fire. And he shows me how they closed their eyes in that car on the hill, dreaming of a better world. And how they held hands. How they thought this was the only way they could make a difference. Where were they? On that hill. I needed to find them I needed to stop them, but maybe they did achieve the only thing they really wanted to. I am here talking about them. I am here and there is nothing I can do anymore but fight this thing. The old man reminds me in his trail of fire, the only thing I can do is never let those flames get too close. I close my eyes and I am both of them and there is a smile on their faces and there is something living there that gets released, something that we can all feel if we could see. I wish I didn’t because here I am in the darkness, everyone with an opinion digging deep down into me, telling me what I am. I only know one thing here, but it’s enough, a lot ain’t right here and this fire and these bombs that never stop falling, the smoke everywhere and the shadows hanging over us, this ain’t right. There is a buzz and a flash and I am there in that car, on that hill, choking on the smoke as the two of them hold hands in a peaceful act of love in the midst of suffocating death. And I dissolve into a letter floating down with the fall leaves, a letter to us all that we’ll never read, but will always be there.

The Delicate Balance of Terror 2

“How could you communicate with the future? It was of its nature impossible. Either the future would resemble the present in which case it would not listen to him, or it would be different from it, and his predicament would be meaningless.” George Orwell

My finger followed those words across the page the first time they entered my consciousness. There was never a time they weren’t there. In a flash of light I knew why I was down here, trapped amongst shadows. First smoke, a man in the far distance at a table writing pages falling to the ground as they erupt in fire. The man continues on unphased, his white beard, dragging at his feet, the history of his words burning at his feet as he continues adding page after page…

I hear screams erupting from the ground beneath me as I run my finger down the mirror which materializes before me. Something falls from the sky as the screams erupt from the blood flowing through my arm, the square says to be happy. The toaster that makes my breakfast in the morning also made what’s falling from the sky. I’m not suppose to know it, but I feel it, they make me feel it. I touch the mirror again, reversing every one of my experiences, traveling to and through time, it was the mirror…and I am trapped in a vision.

A reverse memory of her, the dark eyes, I touch the mirror of her as she screams, and splits in two.  And that book, upon opening, which shed so much darkness, and so much light, and such a powerful vision, a vision so powerful, it’s future reality became all but inevitable….how to communicate when you’ve forgotten what you are? There is a hand at my back, I look up at the moon and I remember traveling through darkness. The first light I see seems to be a camera followed by noise and screams and I lie here, at the bottom of a well, water dripping on my forehead. The first quiet I’ve felt in a long time.

Something was buzzing above my head and the buzzing never stopped. I couldn’t tell anymore if it was part of my own thoughts. My hand reaches for the mirror as I see a line in the sand. I see a time when I remembered for the first time, when I forgot my name for the first time. When the mole growing on my face held me back from becoming one of them, and I scratched until it was gone, until I could taste the blood in my mouth and as I was reborn into the shadows they are, I remembered, and I forgot and I became everything.

And the cries I had no ability to calm, escaping from the mouth of the stuffed bear I held in my hands. The bear that protected me when the shadows would come at night. Would whisper in my ear it’s okay. Don’t tell anyone, they won’t listen anyway. The bear told me maybe one day it would be okay if only I learned how to listen. I close my eyes but still the shadows don’t disappear.

I looked down an infinite hall of mirrors, and I saw you somewhere amongst them, your dark hand waves in front of my eyes but I wasn’t afraid.  As a card removed from a deck, you appeared before me and I instantly knew, I saw a way, and since then, I let my heart lead.  I continued on and the pain was overwhelming as everything was repeatedly reflected upon me. And the whirring started again, and your hand waves by once again, but I am still clutching that book and watching all of the demons, and all of the shards of light escape as I drop the book and it falls open to a page I don’t recognize, and words which overtake me as I see a large rectangular structure appear. This must be where they build truth. There is a conveyor belt in the distance, figures appearing on it slowly being carried into their new home. I look down at my feet as I travel along that conveyor belt, with the black smoke rising from the building and the shadows floating up along with the smoke. The man hands me a page, as I hold it in my hands, everything I’ve ever forgotten enters my mind and I look down at the page as it erupts in fire and falls at my feet…abandon all hope ye…who…enter here

The Delicate Balance of Terror 1

“It was not by making yourself heard but by staying sane that you carried on the human heritage.” George Orwell

       There is something slowly beginning to breathe once again in the corner, covered in shadows as shards of light begin to escape. Inside this prison I’ve built with my own eyes, my heart beats elsewhere as I begin to see through the walls. I clutch my head and can’t let go of the only thing I have.  A whirring begins echoing in my mind as light appears and disappears in rhythm. There is a beat, a song to all of this. The memories come flooding back, the tinkering, the slow manipulation of what use to be mine, taken away with a pair of tweezers from a long forgotten memory.  Slowly, even here, trapped amongst my nightmares, do the words begin to form on my lips…and I remember the rhythm.

  The shadows thicken as I close my eyes.  There are boots stomping in the distance, slowly getting closer.  I feel the shadows wrap around my heart.  The air is heavy and dark as are the eyes which never stop following me. There is a flash as my thoughts slip away and I look out the window reminded of where I am. Watching everything die, watching people meekly circling , trapped in an invisible maze. Caught in a game with no exit.  I always thought it would be this way, these thoughts followed me and I could never shake them from my mind.  This darkness is sweltering around me, every time I open my eyes. Did we ever think that shaking hands would be a subversive act? We’re taught from birth to fear each other, fear everything, but did we ever think there would be a recommended distance to stay away from each other? All it takes is numbers falling from the sky, robots parroting  what another one said to infinity, and fear of everything, to forget the beating heart that gives us life…lost my train of…the shadows aren’t coming from the outside, they are coming from within

       I remember when I was told what to do, I always asked why? I remember when I saw someone without food to eat I asked why? And I asked why we were afraid of people struggling, people who didn’t quite make it the way we did. And I asked why we stared at a box as it poured fear into us every minute of the day and sent us the bill. Why we watched numbers as they piled up and graphs we couldn’t understand and statistics speeding by our eyes as we accept the chains that must inevitably be tied around us to keep us safe as all of these nonsensical numbers piled up. And I asked why most of all, when they told us whoever had the most paper pieces, stood head and shoulders above us. But I forget those words down here, I even forgot how I got down here. Some say publicity, some say I was pushed and some say it was an accident, but I’m not sure it matters all that much. I am down here, as the world is dying, at least that’s what they are telling us, yet somehow I’m finding life more and more amongst these hidden shadows, these silenced voices, their cries can no longer be hidden, no longer distorted, they cry out in silence as their pain becomes mine.

      In every flash of light I see the walls, the generic lighting, my screams and the tinkering hands and the calm movement that went with each slice, taking away all the memories I’ve ever had. There is one they could never take away, could never own, flowing along with the voices of the shadows, crying out from down below here. I shout into the darkness, remember who you are, remember what’s inside of you, for there are no chains that can hold this back. And my heart beats a little faster as I hear the boots getting closer as they trample on all of the shadows in their wake. And I can only run, it is the only thing I can still remember how to do down here. I keep running, and I can never stop, never look back because there is always someone, something, keeping score.