Papillon

S

Waiting for the ghosts to come, the hours pass slowly. Pacing the floor, with bodies outlined in chalk, the rain outside is ceaseless. Those who have gone before, wanting so desperately to come back. On windswept nights when a glass of wine is waiting to be drunk, and no one else is around, they call from across the void. Everyone wants to be found. I do what I can, but I have a strong dislike for others. My kind annoy me, immensely. If I had my way, I’d be as far removed from them as possible. Shipwrecked on some island, or locked up in a prison cell long forgotten like Papillon, free of the burden of trying to fit in. Yet despite my lonesome ways, I still yearn for the touch of someone who cares. It’s human nature I guess. Even the dead feel it. All those insects, chirping invisibly on the corner of every lonely street up and down the land. All their empty prayers, drifting up into the stratosphere, evaporating into nothing. There doesn’t have to be a god for there to be ghosts, nor for there to be demons. Demons are secrets, dirty truths just waiting to be picked apart. To be free of guilt. To open up your arms, and to allow the sun to burn away sin. To gaze at your navel, and to finally understand yourself. It’s a shameful thing, but shame is what we are. Don’t lie, be honest. All these fragments. All these lost thoughts from looking out the window one stormy night in January. Maybe they should remain lost, but somehow, I feel compelled to capture them. What purpose they serve isn’t known. What possible good they could bring me, uncertain. Maybe it’s all in vain. Yet somehow, I don’t think so. As the rain pours and a train rumbles along in the unseen distance, I sit there with the dead dancing around me, joyful of my company when no one else was willing. One day, I’ll be dancing with them too, searching for someone to cling to in the lonely hours, someone who’ll show a little compassion. The circle of what we are. Banality, futility. A little love, a little hope. Discovering what it means to be on the outside, I close my eyes and smile as they carry me towards a better way of being.

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