The Writer’s Corner features poetry, essays, short stories, satire and various fiction and non-fiction from SCAD Atlanta students. To submit your own work for the Writer’s Corner, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marionette by Alejandro Bastidas
You stare into the emptiness of your life and begin to shiver. It feels cold, doesn’t it? Pointless too, and painful because you can’t make any sense out of it. You have forced yourself time and time again to be happy and be better and be stronger, but all of this just hurts you more. You always fail like in every other thing in life — never forget that. It would be nice to have just one victory, right? Well, you know the solution to that. It’s easy. You stare right at it from where you sit, and then comes that soft stir inside your chest that slowly turns into a violent craving that conquers your thoughts not because it’s that strong, but because you’re that weak; so helpless and laughable. The first negative thought comes in and you already want an escape because you’re too afraid to try to cope, and you’ve convinced yourself that the only spaces you have of peace and true life come when you do That. Your hand starts to reach for It, but something pulls you back; perhaps a buried fragment of your old and healthy self, making you hesitate and reconsider what you’re about to do. The words make sense, don’t they? Why go back to that dark place where you — no, no, shut up —it’s not a dark place. The voice lies. Turn it all into noise and just do It. You know you want to, you know you need to and know your bones will hurt if you don’t. Everything will hurt and only that can heal you now, as it always does, day after day, be it morning or night.
Give in, it’s alright. Yes, that’s it, reach for it and do it.
This feels much better doesn’t it? You are cleansed and saved, no longer drowning and lost, but suspended in bliss and a rush of pleasure instead. Why would you ever consider denying this to yourself? It’s everything you’ve ever wanted. The absence of thoughts and feelings only capable of harming. Here, it’s just you connected to it in a way that you both become parts of each other. Everything else has ceased to exist and no longer matters. Time itself is warped and strange, and you wish every hour of the day could be like this. But, it has always been the nature of good things to come to an end.
The effect has passed and you return to that old place of torment, only now it is a little more bearable. You hold on to some of the sensations It gave you and use the memories to fuel the steps you take so you don’t have to drag your feet forwards, but oh god how much you miss It already. You remember there are things you need to do, places you need to go to, people you need to meet, because there is a life out there for you. Not the one you want, of course, but the one forced upon you that no matter how hard you try, you cannot fully escape. If you try doing That too much and too often, people will begin to notice and ask questions. “Where are you? What are you doing? Why didn’t you do this? What’s happening?” Wanting to avoid that makes you go on with an ounce of control, with the confidence that you can finish the day wearing a fake smile and without relapsing. Hours pass and you realize it’s easier said than done because your body, your mind, and your heart only want That.
Maybe if it’s just a little and just for a short while, nothing will happen and no one will notice. Yes, that’s it. Nothing wrong with that, right? So you do it. The person you were supposed to meet will have to wait for another day because you don’t want to wait for This. One, two, three — there you go.
You smile and sigh in relief, feeling weightless and powerful. All you needed was a little bit of that feeling. Now you’re ready to go on about life. But what about what you want?
Just a little bit more.
Sure, why not?
One, two, three.
Time is warped and strange, again. The concept completely lost to you because you haven’t realized how many hours you’ve been sprawled in bed staring at the ceiling or crawling on the floor. The cold comes back and you realize you cannot trust yourself, that you are not strong enough and this craving, this need, is now controlling everything you do.
“F****** low-life” you scream at yourself and take in the words because you deserve them. Pathetic, disgusting. The mirror hates you. You hate yourself and the feeling of guilt and filth on your skin because you can’t wash it off and can’t forget it. You know what you did, know it was wrong. It’s hurting you and the people around you, solving absolutely nothing. Can’t you see?
How will you face the people outside now? The shame on your eyes will be too obvious and they will ask their questions, so it’s better to avoid that.
Then you remember there’s a way to stop feeling like this, but your thoughts collide as you force yourself to declare how this same thing is consuming you from the inside out. So what? Let it happen. I know it’s wrong but I want it. Why? Because — because I don’t know. I just want it.
Shut up. Stop talking. Just go ahead and do It. One, two, three — there you go.
It’s always the answer you have, but it’s never the solution. There’s nothing else you can think of doing right now. What about getting help or talking to someone? They say it works, but no. I just want It. Forget everyone else. Give me more. Yes, that’s it.