The Darkness

I recall almost nothing the days and nights where the darkness stretches its black wings, touching everything around me moody. It seems to envelope me suddenly, from behind, from the side. I seldom see it coming. All I remember is the feeling of shame and a disconcerting sensation that I have lost something. They do not understand, and sometimes neither do I. Why am I like this? Everyone has their flaws; mine just seem intractable, unsexy.

Maybe it would have been easier if I was, say, a womanizer, or a workaholic. Living in our current society, I would get away with these, they would be brushed off as admirable, The Marks of the Alpha Male. Those are trendy problems. But not these; the anger and angst that lie in my heart. At what? Myself? The sorry state of the world? The absurdity of life itself? What exactly?

They put it down to the booze, but I know better, and so do one or two confidantes, tumultuous kindred souls. It is existential, the anger, the impatience and dissatisfaction with myself and all that is around me, and I never feel it as strongly as I do during those stormy moments. The meltdowns and outbursts make for funny stories and great memories. I admit, I feel a twinge of pride at being spoken of, even in this way, even this dubiously. A most human insecurity assuaged (a need for recognition) and the questions that are never asked killed before they are even alive.

“Why are you so angry?”, “What is it that bothers you?”, “Is there anything I can do to help?”, “Talk to me…”.

No one asks any of these. A silent echoing of Pandora’s Box, perhaps? You dare not open it! And who can blame them? They have put it down to youthful indiscretions, most likely. The really lucid explosions I keep to myself and within these pages, but sometimes they slip out, like a heavy glass slicked with condensation drawing too fast a line to the concrete floor. And all is forgiven because, ha ha, si you know how he gets, ha ha haaa. Ha ha ha indeed. In my mind I make up silly jokes to cover up the anxieties;

I stay a bit emotionally messed up on purpose because girls dig that, the dark mysterious guy with violence quietly boiling just beneath the surface.

or

Sometimes I do silly stunts like climbing trees because I’m looking for attention and I want to blame someone else for my troubles when I’m forced to come down and behave like an adult. This whole personal responsibility thing is just too much work.

Hidden, deflected, perfectly executed as always, and none is the wiser. No one has ever asked why. I guess I will be doing this for a while to come. I see the looks, the mixture of concern and loss and the look of the incredulous. Silently,

What has happened to you? What is wrong with you?

Shortly, too shortly, it is all forgotten, the rage and the vitriol directed at no one, at nothing, at everyone, at everything. But mostly at myself. Life, even mine, does not often make sense. Yet, here I am, here you are, mostly because we do not know what else we can do. We are stuck with ourselves.

Lermontov asks ballet dancer Victoria Page why she dances.

Page: Why do you want to live?

Lermontov: Well I don’t know exactly why, but I must.

Page: That’s my answer too. ~ The Red Shoes.

So it is with life. This life, at least. In the silence, after the tears have burned hot and cleansing, in the light when the beast has been pushed back into the shadows, when the darkness has gone into the darkness, I walk again, laugh again, and silently wait for it to come back. And it always comes back. I look forward to dancing with it now. It is only a matter of time before I can match it step for step.

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