Every so often, nights will come where I lay wide awake gripped in fear. Tonight I lose countless hours to nothing else but the fear of feeling. Tonight, the fear is so strong that I pray to whatever higher power might exist, and I beg not to feel. The things I would give up, the things I would sacrifice in this moment, if only I didn’t have to feel.
I find myself negotiating with the higher powers. Bargaining. I’ll swap out the ecstasy of love to never again feel the bone crushing pain that comes when someone lets your heart bleed out. It feels more like making a deal with the devil. Why is it more often a someone, than a something? People are hell. Paradise and hell. That’s what people are made of.
At least give me a heart of stone. I want to reach inside and disconnect the wires in me. I want to cut them with a certainty that they will never be rejoined again. That they won’t come back to life and scare the living hell out of me. Out of everyone around me. That a sly lover won’t come along and twist them back into place, convinced that it is their right of passage. It’s hard not to let people climb the vine of my veins and find where they end and where they begin, because they don’t have to look very far. I was never any good at hide and seek. They know I will surrender. I am weak. They know I trust too much to realise I am just a competition for them, until it’s too late and all is said and done. They are thieves. They feed off the power it brings them. They’re not interested in the prize. How easily they walk away while I stand here clutching my exposed mess of wires. Ashamed once again.
(Illustration by Monique Potter)