Updated: Feb 10
I can see myself five years from now almost as clearly as I can see the nails on my fingers or the moles on my arms. I am me, give or take 10 pounds, but I am different. Deep on a chemical, microscopic, and subatomic level, I have changed. 1,825 days is what it will take me to get from here to there. I am shining from the inside, a humanoid tumbled stone hiding opal that refracts light in a prism of colors. Stick a maple tap between my ribs and I will ooze out thick blood the color of honey and happiness, the taste of which will be as sweet as candy with no cavities left behind. When I speak, wind-chimes sing, and flowers grow; my laughter creates gemstones. My touch evokes the feeling of a cooling spring, my fingers run over skin like the currents of a rock bed creek that stems from a mountain top lake of wonder. My presence alone can light up a room for I am a supernova made of stardust and sunbeams. I bring about a sense of elation and personify pleasure. I am a butterfly floating on the strawberry waves of unadulterated love. I am made of your wildest dreams. My partner’s arms are around me and I wear them like the gold bracelets of ancient royalty standing tall outside of gilded castles. Their love seeps into my soul through my back as they hold me tight, as if I am a precious gift and I feel that I am made of diamonds in place of glass. No longer will I break or shatter, but I will withstand and protect. I will let others see into me and drink from the fountain of my untainted soul so that, they too, might experience what it is like to be so light. To feel the wind brush against their faces like a swift kiss from a secret lover. To have the sun give them warmth without ever burning. To have the moon whisper her secrets and have the stars carry them down. To feel the euphoria of love and the mania of desire. They, too, will envy me in the way I have envied them for I have become who they once were and shed the shackles of who-and what-I once was.
1,825 days must pass between the version of myself I long for and the person I currently am. An unmoving husk, devoid of all feeling, numb to any external stimuli. My body is here in this bed, the mattress cradling my body as it has for the last three weeks, only releasing me for brief bathroom trips and microwaved macaroni and cheese. I eat only to fuel my body as I have grown to find comfort in the dull pangs of my empty and malnourished stomach. The grime that covers my body coats me like a fine dust, the tangy smell of onions accompanies the dampness of my armpits underneath my tattered sweatshirt. The dusty sweetness of decay fills my mouth, the smell of my body rotting from the inside out escapes with every choked-out scream or sob. I lay in the valley between dirty cups and dirty clothes and I know, if I gather the strength to stand, the grainy feeling of cat litter trapped in the fibers of a carpet will cut into the bottoms of my feet. I am disgusting, that is the thought that never ceases its cycle. You are disgusting. Worthless. Talentless. Made for nothing but this moment. The thoughts drain me, and I have only the energy to stare at the wall, into the nothingness that consumes me, as the weight of my soul drowns me from the inside. My unlocked phone dings with hundreds of ignored notifications; the obligatory texts from mom, “How are you doing? Remember to stay hydrated.” the friends trying to be helpful, “Found this article I thought you’d like! Here’s my cat in a Halloween costume to help you smile.” The calls from work, “Where are you? We cannot excuse this many absences. Provide medical documentation or we will have to release you from this position on the grounds of job abandonment.”
I find myself wondering how many people this episode will take from me this time and the anger inside of me rages, a fire burning through homes built of straw. I see myself as a snake, eyes glowing red as sunlit rubies, steam erupting from between my teeth as I prepare to burn down the place inside of me where my self-doubt dwells. How many sleepless nights and tear-soaked pillows? How many aspirations and opportunities will this sickness rip from my hands so that I might continue to be the lover fated for ruin; is there an end in sight for me other than death? For now, there will be no shining star. There is only the ghost of who I was and all that I fear I will continue to be. For the next 1,825 days, I will fight through my suffering, my desperation, my deep-rooted desire to steep in my misery as if I were tea leaves in boiling water. My eyes burn with the strain of constant staring and sting with unshed tears; the medication bottles laying within my sight tell me that what I have seen for myself is possible. All it takes is courage, they say. I force out a laugh. My courage lives behind castle walls, buried deep within a forgotten cave of my soul. Outside those walls, there is laughter. There is the feeling of flying. The joy of dreams coming true and the sound of a child’s laughter. For me, in this moment, these castle walls emit only the sound of steel against steel; two swords slamming into each other again and again as my brain and my heart fight for control of my kingdom. One, sick and imbalanced, the other, head strong and stubborn. Only time, 1,825 days, will tell which one will survive.
Will I become the supernova I long to be or will I continue to rot into nothing?
Written by Alexis Aumagamanaia