When you fall asleep in pain, strange things can happen in your brain. Memories warp and twist, faces morph and voices drift. Contorted limbs and frozen flesh, squandered loves repossess. Fingers twisted, gnarled and blue, tears and crippling despondency. His strangely chiseled body, arms wrapped around you, eyes all empathy and love. How is he so breathtakingly beautiful while everything hurts so much. Where did he come from?
And waking then, feeling dazed and shaky, force yourself out into the world. Bleary stumbling through streets and conversations that make no sense. He is gone. The winter feels decidedly colder when one cannot escape a sleep embrace.
Relying on predictability. Everyone and everything, always moving in a specific way, saying specific things. The things that one is supposed to say. Keep your head keep your head keep your head. This is how everything is meant to move along. This is how we all pretend we are not losing our minds on days when we know it is precarious. Blend in blend in blend in. And what if we don't. Stares. Disgust, maybe.
Strange little creatures restraining ourselves always. Don't cry, don't cry. Don't scream. Try not to touch anyone. Don't touch me. Withdraw.
And what if I implode and these thoughts are all that is left, scattered around who I used to be. Everyone sitting here on this city bus like zombies. Staring into their laps. Giving none of themselves to the world around them. Thinking of anywhere else. Imagining themselves out of this place.
It is too bright today for other humans or I am too dark. Some days are just suffocating beneath the casualties of our own shortsightedness. The fallout.
Except it's not in the losing. It can't be. Everyone loses.
Maybe it is in these dreams that stay with us through the day. These ones that come to us over and over in flashes of sound and colour, stealing us away from the light.
It is not in the losing. It is what we are left with, whatever remains.