What the fuck. What the fuck?
I'm finally outside that godforsaken school. But I can't go to that rehabilitation centre. I just can't. I can't be just another happy-go-lucky shopper consuming their life away. I can't just not feel all these feelings that I know I need to feel.
I have to get out. No matter what.
I leave the school, and start walking down the empty alleyways towards a random direction. I'm not going home. I can't go home. And I can't go back to school either. The price is too high.
I don't know where I'm going. I'm probably going nowhere. I'll probably wander and waste away in these streets until the day I die. The thought fills me with apprehension. I know that it's a tough life ahead of me. A blazing, burning, freezing, hungry, thirsty, desperate life in front of me. With nothing but the clothes on my back and my own resourcefulness. It's going to be hard. Beyond hard.
But still, I'm not as afraid as I should be. A type of courage, a type of strength and resolve wells up inside my chest, radiates throughout my body. It warms me. Pushes me forwards. And I know that I can do it. With this strange sort of courage, with this illogical sense of strength, I can take on any adversity and misery and I can stay strong and keep pushing through it.
I keep walking. And walking. And walking and walking and walking. And the city screams around me. But in my exhaustion and my cold, it doesn't feel quite so grating anymore. It feels like a beast I must fight. A beast I must hide from. A beast I must go straight into the belly of if I am to preserve myself. It feels like a beast I can take on.
I keep walking in a random direction. And the world seems to sing around me. It feels like finally, finally, finally I am entering freedom. A terrible sort of freedom, with nothing and no-one on my side. Nothing and no-one to take care of me. Nothing but unending need. But it feels like freedom nonetheless. And I welcome it with bended knee and raised up head and open arms.
I walk down random alleyways, turning and curving and bending and twisting my path whenever I feel like it. The point is to create a trail that the police cannot follow. A trail that no-one can follow. The point is to end up somewhere without anyone knowing where I ended up. Not even myself.
I feel connected to the quickly-dipping temperatures around me. As if I am a part of the weather cycle itself. I feel connected to the slowly-darkening sky around me. As if I am a part of the nocturnal-diurnal cycle itself. There isn't any nature in this city. Not really. Just trees and bushes and flowers that are adorned with gaudy baubles. That are fenced in and kept far away from their wild homelands. That are hung for display in horrific styles. But still, there are parts of nature in the city nonetheless. There is the weather, the air, the sunlight, the cold, the heat, the darkness, the sky. I feel as if this nature is cutting into me and infusing me with itself and I am melting into it until we are one and the same.
It's an utterly glorious sensation, as painful as it is.
I have never felt this way before in my life. Part of me wants to never feel this way again. To be comfortable and to bask in my comfort. But the stronger, surer part of me revels in this feeling. In the constant flowingness of being left out in the elements. Of being utterly free to take me wherever my feet take me. Part of me wants to never give it up, these feelings and these experiences.
And I will never give them up. I promise myself that I won't. Even when the early winter sinks down towards midwinter, and I'm freezing, and I'm dying. I promise myself that I won't give up this feeling. I won't give up this oneness with the tiny pieces of nature I can access. I won't give up this bravery.
Even when thirst burns in my throat, reminding me that I have a body and that I can feel pain, that I can feel unimaginable violence. Still, I won't give up. I won't let weakness overcome me. I won't look for comfort when I could instead have glory.
When hunger gnaws at my gut and my chest. And I feel like I have died already. I feel like a ghost in torture. Still I will keep going. I'll keep going through the hunger and I will let myself feel it and I will let myself feel real.
The press of the future laid out ahead of me is sitting like a stone in my chest. Terrible. Terrifying. Tremendous. But it's also soaring like an ink-feathered and beautiful raven through the electric blue of twilight. Free. Mystical. Promising.
All around me I can feel magic. My life feels like magic. My heart feels like magic. In a way it has never felt before. I am a free person now. Completely free to be who I am. To be who I'm meant to be.
Sure, I will be in pain. I will be in immense pain. But there will be no-one there to tell me what to do. There will be no-one there to tell me what to want. What to work towards. Who to be. How to exist.
I will simply let my emotions carry me wherever they will and I will think and feel whatever thoughts and feelings flow through my mind.
I think of my parents. How they never saw me. Not for who I was anyways. How they loved me for who they wanted me to be. Who they thought I could've been if I tried hard enough. For who I never wanted to be. They saw me as the idealized version of the perfect girl and as a lazy, impetuous brat both at the same time.
I won't miss them. Not really. I think maybe I should. I think maybe I eventually will. When the days go by and by and I am left with only myself for company. I might come to realize that they held a place in my heart that cannot be filled.
I still will not go back.
I don't care if I miss them. My freedom is more important. My ability to be who my heart calls out for me to be is more important. More important than any pain. Including the pain of grief.
I wonder if hunger and thirst and heat and cold will eventually crush my resolve. I wonder if they will cause me to turn back and rush home, into the waiting arms of the rehabilitation centre.
I wonder if this bravery that I'm feeling won't last.
I vow to make it last. Even if this feeling of infallible resilience doesn't stay, even if I find it harder and harder to hold on, I will cling to any shreds of strength that I have and use them to keep myself together. I have to use them to keep myself from going back. Even if it's a desperate struggle, I must fight for my personhood.
The night is dark around me now. I have been walking for hours. But I must keep walking. I must make myself untraceable. I must walk until my very feet bleed and I can find somewhere safe to collapse.
I'm not tired. Not even a little bit. I wonder at myself. How? How am I not tired yet? How are my feet almost as light as they were when I first started this journey? I think maybe my fear is fuelling me. My fear any my hope, and whatever strange, marvellous emotions are in this intoxicating mixture.
I don't feel hunger and I feel it both at the same time. My insides feel empty. Aching. But not aching in a way that hurts. Simply aching in a way that is simply there. I feel detached from it. Detached and muted, as feelings swirl through my heart.
Thirst, too has not come yet. I wonder why. Is it because of the cold? Is it because I have not eaten? Is it because of all the excitement of the day?
No matter. I can deal with the hunger and thirst when it finally comes. And by deal with I mean willfully ignore.
I wonder if all the built-up hunger and thirst will eventually break through whatever dam is keeping them at bay and crash over me like a terrible tsunami. I wonder how horrible the pain will be when it finally comes. How unendurable.
However unendurable it is I will simply have to endure it.
I think about the history I learned in school. About the people who had been taken through the desert without food or water. How they had eventually died of exhaustion and need.
I feel a strange sense of camaraderie with these people. We are one and the same. Walking. Walking. Walking until we die. They are my comrades. But at the same time we are different. They didn't choose such a torturous life and death. I did.
I feel the wind blow over my body, sending tingles of chill through me. The wind caresses me like a lover. Like a child. Like a mother. When I die - and I will die - when I die, it will be in the wind's arms. It might even be by the wind's hand. It will be so beautiful. So perfect. So right.
I'll be surrounded by something that loves me. Finally. After years upon years upon years upon years of of being lost and empty. After years of being wandering and alone. Years of having no family, no friends, no-one. Of dashing my heart against the cold, sterile walls of the hallways that made up my world.
If I am loved enough to be killed by something, then that's the ultimate love. It's the ultimate form of intimacy. It's the ultimate form of setting someone free. The ultimate caress. The ultimate embrace.
I wonder why I'm thinking such morbid thoughts. But I know why. I easily know. It's because death is all that's in store for me right now. Death and the ultimate freedom it brings, and the smaller freedom stretched out before me until then.
I wonder if I'll be as accepting of death when it finally does come. I tell myself that I have to be. I have to take it. There is no getting out of this. Not alive. And I have to hold on however I can.
I have to keep going.
Above me the sky is brightening to a dark electric blue. The first signs of impending dawn. I keep walking, my steps staking out a twisting track through it all. And I keep my head tilted upwards, looking at the sky. The sky is beautiful. No, that's not right. Beautiful is not the right word. The sky sparks with this energy, with this realness, with this glow of life that other things do not have.
I feel as if I'm feeling the sky more than looking at it. I feel as if I'm melting into it, almost. Like the lines between myself and the sky are being erased until I am annihilated into the endless expanse of life above me.
The sky turns soft purple, the clouds glowing pink. And then eventually it's the light blue that it always is. I keep on watching it. I keep on walking. I'm feeling the barest edges of tiredness linger about me now, but I'm still not tired yet. The air is frigid but I can only feel the barest edges of its sharpness. I do not know when I will collapse but when I do it won't be pretty.
I have no idea which part of the city I'm in now. I just know that I have to keep going. This is good, though. If I have no idea where I am, that means that the police or whatever other authorities are looking for me also have no idea where I am. It means I'm safe. Well, not really safe. But as close to safe as I can be.
I wonder if I will have the strength to keep walking when I am starved and death is near me. I think I will. The people in the desert were able to keep on walking until they died. And they were all normal people like me. I will have to will myself on.
The longer I stay in one place the likelier it will be that the authorities find me.
I think of school. I feel great now that I'll never see it again. School always left a bad taste in my mouth. And it wasn't the learning that was hard. It was the people. The atmosphere. The oppression that was woven into the very building itself. It won't be pressing down into me any longer. All it is now is a memory that will become lighter and lighter as my soul starts leaving my body.
I wonder if my soul is already leaving my body now. I've gone a day without food or water. A day without sleep or rest. A day out in this coldness. That must be enough to get me started. Started in the process of dying.
I wonder again why I am so keen to die. But as always, the answer is right there. It's the only path for me. The only path to freedom.
A slumber did my spirit feel. I had no human fears. She was a thing that could not feel, the touch of human years. She has no motion now, no force. She neither hears nor sees. Rolled round in earth's diurnal course. With rocks, and dirt, and trees.
I say that poem to myself over and over and over again. Until it feels like a part of me, like a very intrinsic part of me, is one with the poem. Not with the words of the poem. No. Not with the way it flows and rhymes. I couldn't care less about the way it flows and rhymes. I am taking into myself instead the message of the poem. The peace and the oneness brought by death.
It's a rather simple idea really. An idea born of the knowledge of what death really is. An idea born of feeling the wind blowing against your body. It's an idea anyone could have, if they bother to look within themselves. Not that anyone bothers to look within themselves. But still, if they did have that idea, they would find a sense of peace.
I wonder. I've never, ever had anyone to share my ideas with. I've never had anyone I could show even a shred of honesty to. It tears me up inside. It leaves me feeling lost, lost, lost and washed out and hollow. My life would be so much better if I had someone, anyone, to share it with. But I would have to cut and sand and grate myself in order to fit into the perfect mold that I'd have to be in in order to have friends.
I take a deep breath and I walk on through the daytime. The winter sun offers barely any warmth. But I am so wrapped up in - is it adrenaline? - that I barely feel it.
I wonder if God is helping me. Not that I believe in God. No-one does. We all just believe in science. But I've read about God before. And it's a beautiful idea. I always really wanted to believe in it. Believe that some force was out there, latently powerful, helping us in secret ways.
Though I guess the God I believe in is not the God that the history people believed in. Their God was an extension of their national pride. Was an extension of their status quo. Was the thing that kept it all in place.
My God is the opposite of that.
I have no proof that They exist but I don't know why I believe in Them so much. Right now in the midst of eternity stretched out before me I believe in Them more than ever.
I smile softly and look up towards the sky. A few fluffy clouds have gathered. The sky is sad along with me. The sky is happy along with me. The sky is waiting along with me.
I feel the magic within me. It twists and rises and dances. I feel the way that it almost transforms me. I am stronger than I used to be. I am braver than I used to be. I am better than I used to be. I was just as bad as the others before, really. I thought I was better than them because I knew I longed for more. But I did nothing with that longing. Just like all of them did. Now. Now I am changing myself. Now I am changing my life. Now the longing comes to life and to truth within me.
I walk. And I walk. And I walk on. And I don't feel tired. And I don't feel tired. And the hunger grows within me, grows until it arches cavernous. But I only feel the barest, waving edges of it. The thirst grows within me but through my numbed senses all I can feel is a heaviness. My hands and feet start to go numb. But I don't care.
The sky grows dark and then it grows bright and then it grows dark and then it grows bright as it arches above me. I feel the cycles of day and night move around me and move through me. I feel like I am part of the cycle, with my constantly moving feet.
But, after uncounted days, I suddenly feel exhausted. The exhaustion that comes over me is unlike any exhaustion that I have ever felt before. My bones, my soul, my consciousness, everything, it's all collapsing. I don't want to go home. Hell no. I still have the strength that I promised myself I would have. But I need to rest. I feel dizzy, feel like collapsing, and I need to rest.
So I find a bunch of garbage bags beside the stone buildings that line the alley. And I arrange them over and around me so that I can still breathe but I am not seen. It smells terrible. But I don't care. I drop down into the welcoming blackness of sleep on the cold, rough ground.
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