Myrtle Cay – Maybe (part 1)

Francis

The darkness surrounding me is cold, cold and damp. My hands are sweaty, my palms clammy as I hold on – hold on for dear life. The earth underneath my fingers is hard, hard and scratchy and there is something sharp embedded deep into it and it cuts my hands, spilling blood. I can’t see it, but I can feel it oozing out of the cut, I can feel it spreading on the muddy earth, smell it- sharp and tangy. And my arms are starting to ache, sweat crawling down my forehead. I am in terrible danger, mortal danger as I dangle over a twenty-metre-deep void, my legs flailing, my strength draining. And the fact that it seems to be getting darker by the minute does not help, not in the least. I mean, it wasn’t as if things were particularly clear earlier. Even when it was day, the sun shining bright and mellow, it was dark down here. Yet, I could feel a tenth of its warmth and light seeping into my bones and through my skin as the sunshine dappled through the thick foliage that creates a canopy overhead. And I guess that’s what kept me going. It was like a reassurance, that if I survive this, I would get to feel the sun on the back of my neck once again, to let it burn me once more, bathe me in its warmth and envelope me like a blanket of hope. But now that its gone, I feel a physical ache for it. Literally, since my whole body is screaming in agony right now, each bone exhausted, each muscle on fire, tired and spent. I don’t know when my hands may slip off. Though I know that the night sky is sure to be lit in its own special ways, the knowledge does not particularly comfort me in any way. I know the inky expanse of the sky would probably be dotted by a million stars right now, twinkling and winking. I know that the moon would be shimmering gloriously, spreading its wings wide and bathing the sky in a glowing silvery light. Again, none of it comforts me. Because its light and its warmth does not reach me down here. It does not come to me to rejuvenate me where I need it, not like the sunrays did. Honestly, I had loved gazing at the night a sky a lot. I had loved the moon over the sun for its ethereal beauty. I had written so many poems about how I absolutely adored the night sky. But its now, now in this moment when I desperately need something to keep me going, it’s now that I realize the truth of things, the truth of the world. Maybe we spend too long pining after what we want, what we love regardless of everything. Maybe we spend too long admiring it, that we do not have enough time to appreciate what was truly of value, to appreciate what would come to us as a saviour when we truly need it. Maybe we never fully understand the fact that the best things in the world are always free, that the cheapest thrills always leave us the happiest. Maybe we are too taken up by the masks to question them, to peel them off and see what lies underneath. Maybe some of us pay the price for that. And maybe, if I had had the good sense to understand all this earlier, much earlier, and if I had valued all that was truly of value, I wouldn’t be here right now, dangling over an edge, hoping, praying will all earnestness that I would be spared.

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