iceToday, I’m sharing a very personal piece of creative non-fiction with you. Y’all have read some of my poetry, and this is in a similar vein: I wrote it after a period of deep depression, and this was the only way to express how I felt. Interestingly enough, this was the last instance of depression bad enough to inspire a creative work. I think the ending will explain that for you. Hope the 2nd person narrative doesn’t through you off too much…enjoy.

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You miss the pain. You didn’t think you would, not at first. For a while, it was almost a relief to not feel the sharp searing agony tearing through your body, stabbing through your heart and spreading until it consumed you, twisting your thoughts and driving you into the dark light of madness. But now that it’s gone, you long for it. It gave you company in the solitude of your cell. You didn’t realize before how much the agony actually meant to you. Pain leaves you some degree of humanity, hope that things will change. It gives you a longing for something other than the confinement in a cage no one can see, tormented by fire and ice and dreams. It was something to think about. But it’s gone now, and you’re alone. Hopeless. Apathetic. Huddled in a bleak corner, seen by none, oblivious to all.

 Cold replaces the pain. Thin sheets of ice begin to cover the thick stone walls of your cell, and icicles creep down from the ceiling. Flakes of snow, grey in the almost imperceptible light coming in through the lone barred window, drift gently across the grimy floor, piling up slowly against your bare feet. Freezing. After a while, you don’t even notice. The snow has frozen your soul, and the ice has touched you, entered your heart. You can no longer hear it beating. It sits inside you, a stone, heavy. Dead. Your thoughts begin to die, succumbing to the frost that encroaches upon your mind. You can’t feel anymore. Nothing.

Someone opens the door to your cell. They look in, but they don’t see. Can’t see. Not you, not the ice. They don’t feel the cold, the frost doesn’t touch them. You don’t call out to them. You’re past the point of caring. You don’t even move as the intruder closes the door and leaves without knowing you’re there. Alone again. No, alone still. You’ve always been alone.    

This image can be found at turbosquid.com.
This image can be found at turbosquid.com.

 

Minutes, hours, days, weeks, months pass. You’re aware of each second passing, walking its’ slow path into eternity. At the same time, though, none of it exists, none of it matters. Fragments of ice twist and turn, suspended in the air like crystal tears, always sparkling above you and always hitting the stone floor and exploding into dagger-like slivers, all at once, all the time. But it means nothing to you. You’re still in that same dark, cold corner, unmoving. Uncaring. Noise, voices from the outside fall on deaf ears, your eyes are blind to any light. You’re unaware of thoughts, emotions, feelings. Numb. You no longer know who you are, what you are. If you are. Alive? Maybe. Maybe not. You don’t care, can’t care. You’re not capable of caring now.

It’s been an eternity. You’re so deadened to the passage of time that you don’t know how long it’s been. But now you’re conscious of a desire, ever so slight, the first one in forever. You want to feel again. That’s all. Just to feel something, it doesn’t matter what. That single spark of desire burns with a heatless flame, consuming you. You don’t even know why, you just know that your emptiness is no longer bearable. Slowly, you move. Look around. There’s a large shard of ice, gleaming in the middle of your cell. Strange you hadn’t noticed it before. It looks sharp, dangerous. You stare at it for what seems like forever before comprehension begins to seep into your deadened brain. Yes, maybe that will work. You don’t feel the ice and snow beneath your feet as you slowly rise and walk towards the gleaming escape. It’s like you’re in a dream, grey and numb. You kneel, pick up the shard of ice. Just holding it stirs something in you, if only slightly. The piece of ice is as sharp as you thought. It feels like a glass knife against your skin. Yes, it’ll work. You set it against your wrist, and push in slightly. Crimson droplets cling to the ice as you feel a tiny prick, but it’s not enough. You take a deep breath. Even pain has to be better than the emptiness. You have to feel again, you have to. You glance down at your weapon and lift it slightly, prepared to slice it across your wrist, craving the pain. Craving the release.

 

Image can be found at pbase.com
Image can be found at pbase.com

But the icy shard never touches your skin again. Someone has stopped your hand, tightly gripping your wrist. They shake their head slowly, pain on their face as they gently take the makeshift weapon away from you. You stare back at the intruder with dead eyes. You don’t know where they came from or how they got into your cell, but you don’t ask. You think you’ve seen them before, but you’re not capable of recognizing this person. All you know is that they stopped you. You plead with them, desperate, unable to convey the emptiness inside. Their reaction surprises you. They kneel down next to you and slip an arm around your shoulders, whispering gently in your ear.

“I’m here, I care about you, it’s ok. Don’t bring back the pain. You won’t be empty any more. You’ll be ok, I promise. You’re not alone anymore. I care. I’m here for you. It’ll all be ok.”

Those words somehow penetrate the deafness as you begin to comprehend that someone cares, is there with you. Your body begins to shake slightly. Icy crystals fall from your eyes, stinging your cheeks as they begin to melt into tears. The warmth of those words begins to spread through your body, driving the cold from you, filling you with something. Something beautiful. You gasp in pain as the numbness flees through your tears, falling in a rapid torrent, threatening to never cease. The intruder, your friend, just sits there with you, still talking, still gentle. You can’t stop crying. The tears have changed now. Joyful, perhaps. You’re alive, you can feel now. The pain begins to ebb just as the numbness did. Are you happy? Not quite. But you’re capable of being happy again, later. There’s something you haven’t had in a while. Hope. Suddenly you don’t want to be here, in this dark cell anymore. You crave openness, crave the light. Your friend smiles at you, and you tentatively smile back, shyly at first. They take your hand, lead you through the door, into the light. You’ve been locked away so long that the brightness hurts. But it’s a good hurt. You smile for real this time. You’ve left your cell. You’re no longer frozen. And you’ll be ok now.

2 thoughts on “Frozen

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