Death of a Florist

•November 17, 2012 • 4 Comments

I have been pondering this day the story of a girl and the literal character she played with in an intense intertwining of reality and an imaginary world …

It was a girl who played World of Warcraft, and didn’t kill anything. She just picked flowers … and more flowers, for hours on end. Eventually, she reached the highest character level the game had to offer, doing it in perhaps the most difficult and absorbing way possible.

That resonated with me, no end. For 8 years, enmeshed in a sad artificial world; no matter how it changes around me, day after day I seek the flowers, at her command. I have no other focus, no other interactions … just that endless stroll down the garden path, where it always seems someone is going to say something, but then they never do. They never do …

The silence is maddening. Enraging. It is a willful yet impotent fury, as I wander endlessly, lost in servitude to a girl I barely claim to know anymore. Indeed, it seems she has heard the siren song of ‘another life’ and put down the controller.

Now was a time to share fears,
And grow angry,
That others were fearful.
Small noises become a roar,
As one looks to another,
And is scared,
And gets angry,
It gets old.
But now the worst noise,
The sound of loneliness.

These armfuls of useless flowers I have collected … My entire existence spent trying to live my life and my assigned role. Now the game is done, and the days are new. What can I do with them, when all I know is to pick pointless posies for someone who cares about me as a player would their character. No more.

Take this as a cautionary tale; the world will lie to you.

Love is not worth dying for. Love is honest, not possessive. Love is a two way street, between two human beings. It may never be equal, but it can be kind, and giving, and just the sweetest damn rose you ever beheld. It is not to be found in devotion to one who is literally limited by their perceptions as to who may love them, and how, and when. It is found in quite the opposite. It seeks, and is sought; yet it retains an air of playfulness.

I know this, because I once sat at the controls for a different, more painful (far more honest and involved) affair. I watched, and could not let go, despite what it was costing each of us. Now I find myself hung likewise for the fool.

But at least when that game was played, the love was genuine, and much, and honest for the best part (and even some of the worst) It was a game where even a lonely flower maiden could wield a sword, and challenge the monsters that seem omnipresent in the scenery of any angry, stressful situation. To face down the trolls living beneath yesterday’s bridge, and put them to sword and fire.

I dream of those days, and that character I was allowed to play. What a stark contrast to now …

Time becomes pregnant with promise,
Gently the black fades,
To a purple blanket,
Illuminating the clouds overhead.

Where did I leave my sword? I have no idea where I am headed; but this next adventure, well, it will be written by me. For me. If I feel like picking flowers, I shall. If I feel like raining down thunderous wrath on those who would seek to drain my life energy, then I shall do so, with a great sense of relief.

Whatever I do next, fail or not … I will own it. And those flowers, well, they can sit there until someone comes who wants to walk with me and pick them.


much to say, nothing to mean

•November 8, 2012 • 1 Comment

And so here we are.

Another night, another nothing. Deserving of posterity? Doubtful.

Able to withstand the force of will I would exert towards any endeavour of personal importance? No chance.

So then, why are we here? What purpose can this have if it has already been declared nothing more than a flexing of the ego? Or is that perhaps enough, to draw on this precious time we have together so that one may search the forlorn night for he, himself, whilst the other despairs the departure of sense?

Of course not. Don’t be silly. But the promise of what may unfold should this quester discover that which he seeks? Likewise unworthy, in view of both the remoteness that he will, and moreso in view of what it must, after all, be. If it were anything of value to anyone, would it be available in such a self-indulgent fashion? Would it lend itself so freely, vomited up as so much mental detritus, expressed as, perhaps, a psychological bowel movement? Not even deserving of consideration!

Why then? Why this, and why now? An overt fondness of question marks, perchance? An extension of daily self-regulation, a ritualisation of the mores to which one might so fervently cleave at any suggestion of social contact?

Or has it merely come to such an awful state, that one can find no refuge other than the written word, the poor man’s spoken word. Surely a fear of voicing what one will could not lead to such grandiose pretence, such ardent silence? And if it did, would that be a comment on the speaker or that which was being spoken – or either, at all?

Enough of such questions. This unwillingness to emote, this lengthy discourse of dalliance, was what lead to this atrocious impasse in the first place!

So, in keeping with this newly established tradition of circumvention and avoidance, let us begin this sorry diatribe with a typically opaque ramble.

What is this, this land of shadows, this place where fearsome beasts of uncertain proportion and ponderous intent, may wander so freely? For wont of a better term, let us act simply (a stark contravention to the previous, no? Dreadful to unravel, this length to which one will go to avoid getting to the point . . .) in the naming, and call it merely the Shadowlands. After all, a shadow has some bare substance to it, some suggestion of that which it represents (no matter how it may distort said originator), and the concept of ‘land’ suggests some solidity, some marking of boundaries, some idea of ‘here’ and ‘there’, of ‘us’ and ‘them’ (‘Them’ even?).

And there, guidance ends. Beyond this, all is conjecture. All have abandoned ye who enter here.

Objects that stood firm and immutable while the sun still burned overhead become hideous parodies, discarding familiarity in favour of suggestion; freed of certainty, they appear in configurations that should never be, taunting, haunting, whispering. Is any of this to be trusted? Can one reach new understandings that would otherwise remain unattainable in this questionable environment? Or is it all merely shadow play, so to speak. Can one have a nightmare without transmuting perfectly mundane objects? Maybe. It is supposed to be less terrifying to confront that which has a name. What other use for this naming business, than to establish some basic element of control, some sense of place. And so begins the trouble.

Run, little rabbit, run! If not the fox you hear, certainly the wolf you imagine! What large teeth you have, conscience of mine. Imaginary ills seeking genuine redress, pressing closely against the quiet petitioners of what may well be, all serving to drown out any notions of effectiveness, any thoughts of action.

Conversations that have never occurred, cutting to the quick. Confrontations that may never be, inflicting grievous harm with their mere suggestion; the possibility that they may somehow find their clutching way into existence a dreadful shiver. What life this, lived in fear of one’s own reflection?


•October 9, 2012 • 1 Comment

Likely, this post will stand alone; perhaps others may follow. Time will tell.

Perhaps you are familiar with the expression ‘the elephant in the room’. It is often used in relation to the family and friends of drug addicts, abusers and others who have a problem both inescapable and seemingly too large to confront. It refers to the efforts people make to ignore that giant, glaring problem that no-one wants to have to examine …  the excuses, the lies, the quiet little chats about ‘complicated’ and ‘sensitive’ and ‘you must understand, (x) doesn’t mean to be like that’.

Whenever a certain friend (light of my life, centre of my world … destroyer of my self) comes to visit, I see a herd of elephants squeezing through the door behind her. Unfortunately, when she leaves, they remain behind.

They are crowding me out of what little personal space I have left, these damn elephants in the room. They are eating me out of emotional house and home, keeping me awake nights with their trumpeting and stomping. 

I try to reason with them, but of course, that is worse than foolish; akin, in a sense, to trying to stop a speeding bus by standing in front of it and asking it to stop. I try to shut them out, but I am just me, and they are so many, and so large. And of course, I try to run away … but those giant beasts are deceptively fast on their feet. Such a mess they make with their leavings … small mountains of broken dreams, betrayed hopes, empty promises; how can I possibly clean this up?

I think of all the years I spent tending the herd along with the rest, making excuses with the rest, even as I did my level best to pretend these damnable creatures did not exist. I think of all the times I got trampled, and chose to blame myself … anything to avoid seeing the obvious, knowing that if I looked, I would never be able to look away again … and the person to whom these shadowy pachyderms rightly belong will never be able to accept ownership of even the smallest of them. 

Like all who have been through the experience of trying to manage such a menagerie, the greatest sting is that false promise of hope: ‘I will change’. 

Knowing it to be impossible, believing it anyway. Wanting with all my heart for this little one to break free of her shackles, seeing that it can never happen.

There is a herd of elephants in the room, trampling my heart, crushing my soul … and I don’t know what to do.