What can YOU say in six sentences?
She closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally, decided to walk through the door but she just could not close her mind to the scrawled handwritten words that haunted every fiber of her being, it was truly a dark work of art that only an aspiring writer like her could appreciate,she did not intend to peer that deeply into someone’s soul.
A flash of emotional guilt gnawed at her, did she have a right to read that book, was it a piece for public consumption or a private diary of sorts; she just wasn’t sure, there were just too many telling tales, thoughts and people that she could identify with that caught her imagination and the troublesome story continued to play in the deep crevices of her brain, she could not let them go; what troubled Elsa the most is that she felt she had just violated another person’s life but a soft flow of justification came easy, ‘She wrote it for others to see, didn’t she?’; she mumbled under her breath.
Were the stories of a little girls’ abuse and a young woman’s wild life real or simply a writer’s latitude, no woman in her right mind would tolerate that, she thought and all the stories of lurid sexual affairs were beyond her own vivid imaginings.Her body slipped easily into the solitude of the cool dark summers’ night, the long walk through the night air gave her a comfort of anonymity and seclusion as if she could hide her moral crime in its cloak of darkness.
She reasoned; every day, we all live on the precipice of this human condition; as a budding Psychology major and writer she well understood the human evolution of the brains transition into a cognitive mind state that changed the physical portion into an emotional collective and she often wondered how and why the student mind became the master; is madness a gift of imagination or the other way around?
Elsa felt herself slipping and reached into her purse for one of her anti-psychotic pills, she hadn’t recognized her own handwriting or diary, somehow it was different or was she different?
She felt that her tortuous journey of a thousand buried grieving miles might never end but she desperately needed to look beyond those words, her schizoid- affected journey still did not feel real but was it over, does it really ever end, she feared that once opened, that door might never close.
After lengthy discussions and prodding, her psychiatrist told her the book was her…….”Let me fix you”, Elsa’s brain was jolted into an unbearable reality, her minds eye saw the little girl soaked with trauma, lying on the bed and her forgiving mind had blocked the pain for all these years but reality changes everything; her Psychiatrist had won the battle but lost the war, the last thing that Elsa ever needed or wanted was reality.
Her own response was how do you fix a broken soul much less a wounded mind? Shattered glass and shattered souls are not fixable……..the walking wounded thrive on tape and glue, she thought, "I cannot bear the thought of half a life and so, who wins; tortured souls living in a village of cardboard boxes or in a city of half lives and half truths or is it easier to trust the brains survival mechanism to build a new reality through resurrection and a lie that is more functional than a killing truth; choices abound and the scale of gray grows exponentially, absolute truth and history exist only with the storyteller but even they abjure to fantasy.
Just how much pain can the human psyche tolerate? She remembered weeping profusely when the last line in ‘Apocalypse Now’ was spoken; “The pain……the horrible pain”!…..and she saw and felt a glimpse of her own within that same overriding darkness; was unabashed truth a necessity to her existence or was the sweet sleep of forgetfulness the balm of a wounded soul, words could not or would not justify her internal madness and pain.
‘My heart and body can only be made whole by the heated cauldron of death and regeneration, I was able to live within half of my realm of reality but truth has destroyed me; you have resurrected a horrid pain that I cannot live with, so I choose to leave’, she reasoned.
In her mind she died many years ago; "My only hope is the molten cauldron of regeneration. Vishnu; Omar; save this wretched vessel of clay, the Potters hand did not shake but life’s sickle has cut me beyond repair; make me anew!”
The handful of fatal pills she swallowed changed everything and nothing, because Vishnu’s waiting room was full and the Universal Potter had more clay than he needed.
(As you can tell by the opening line, this was originally intended for the NPR contest but never submitted.)