Fall 2017 - Spring 2018
You are given the entire world but it is not the gift you wanted. You wanted no gift at all. It is handed to you, by impossibly warm hands, in a package you did not order and were surprised to see your signature already stamped on. Inside, you find an infinitely unfolding cosmic map: proud planets and their loyal moons, bright stars embedded in the deep web of dark space, universes upon universes coiled tight in matrix. The map is expanding with every passing. Time too is bent within this box with all pasts and prospects, histories and futures tingling at the tips of your fingers but soon you realize how vast and exponentially developing it all is and cannot think but to give it back. The world wants you, but you do not want it. You’d rather remain as you are now than become another growing plant in its endless garden. You prefer stasis to dynamism. This is because trouble blooms when you do. But it is too late. You have already swallowed the seeds. You have already let the contents seep deep into your pores. The world is long, wide and asphyxiating. It is too much, too close, too near and all packed in so tight bits of you begin popping from every nook. You overgrow. You watch yourself sprout about in all wayward directions and try desperately to cull these weeds. You think to open your mouth to let out the pressure but can’t for what essence might spill from your lips or maybe the anger stuck in your teeth will dislodge. This would be bad. You like that anger and do not wish to part with it. Still, you must also smile otherwise how will they know you are, you are happy, you are happyyouarehappyyouarehappy. So you spit out as much of the world as you can. You think you might be able to voice your displeasure, too. You realize, though, that your tongue is plugged down by too many other words, words you think might be yours. Of this you’re not entirely sure. Just in case, you cut out your tongue. You erase whole dictionaries of what might be you so as to decide what can be you. At first the pain hurts but soon enough you’re drunk in it. You need moreneedmoreneedmore. You look down at the lines of your palms, hating them for their crookedness. You strike a match in one hand and bring it to the other, hoping to burn the paths to ash because touch is a road you never again want to walk upon. Now unable to feel, you think you’ve culled the weeds for good. Alas no, the world still tangles in your ever-growing hair. You take scissors to your scalp and cut it all off, making sure the roots are good and dead so that all the ifs and whens and buts and thems and yours and hers in your life can never again grow. You look at your bald self in the mirror. The dark stubble on your head looks like a forest of stumps. You wish you could cut down all the trees in your life because you never climb them for fear of what strange sights the views of their highest branches hold. You think you’ve finally done it. Yet again you’re wrong. The worst of the world still lies in the sting of your muscles and the ache of your bones from everywhere you always will be able to go, so you pour liquid cement over your feet, tie your legs together and your arms behind your back, lie on your belly and wait for stasis’ pretty kiss. But you realize, horribly, that you will never really know empty so long as the terrible master continues his reign atop your spine. Do it. Bang his castle, your skull, against the ground, again and again, until the lights dim in perfect unison and until your eyes no longer strain against the bright and until their sight is out and blackness is your only canvas. You want this forever, don’t you? Do it then. Bang. Do it until you no longer have to wonder what sights those trees might hold and until the world is a blip in your radar, bang, a bug on your windshield, bang. Do it until you think you’ve reached the vacant stasis you’ve lusted for bang, bang, bangbangbangbang. But, you are too greedy. You take too much. You give it all away. You are left empty of all, including emptiness. You will get nothing back, not even nothingness. And now you are left to wonder the worst of it: why did you not just accept the world when it was given to you?