An Ache, Instead of a Heart

It was 5:47 in the afternoon. Not an ominous time, not even an interesting one. It was just an afternoon, almost evening sort of time. How could her heart turn from a solid presence in her chest to a throbbing mass, almost a tumor, in just a few short minutes?

It had started because of curiosity. Maybe that wasn’t right, though. Maybe it had started because she’d listened to their music the night before, and it made her think of them again. Her end-all-be-all of music. The men she fell in love with desperately at sixteen and tried feverishly to convince everyone else of their immense power and force. She’d gotten over that, though. She’d found her ken online, through forums and fan-sites – the usual place teenage girls congregate to fantasize, and avid fans come together to worship and respect. She was both – a teenage girl and an avid, serious, dedicated fan.

That was then. This was now. She’d continued adoring them, continued falling in love with the music over and over again. But eventually, her love of the men faded and became respect, admiration, adoration of a different kind. She didn’t want to kiss them anymore – now she wanted to have a conversation with them, be a friend. She’d gotten less and less involved in the online scene. She couldn’t help it that there were other things taking up her time – real friendships, real lovers, real life. So now, three years later, she still considered them the best, her favorites, the all-encompassing musicians for her, and she still listened to them.

In fact, she’d listened to them the night before. Maybe that was why, at 5:47, she’d found herself wondering about a silly detail – a cosmetic feature of one of the men that had disappeared – and through her curiosity, she stumbled back into the websites. She gaped, open-mouthed, at the changes made in her absence. She rejoiced that steps were being made, that there were new people around, that her beloved musicians were still respected.

But it turned her heart into an ache. A dull, stuttering, spluttering ache. It felt like something was pouring out of her heart, dripping on to the floor… Drip-drip-dropping, some essential liquid the heart needed. It felt like a lifetime since she’d fallen in love with stars in a vast sky, and now, rediscovering her fellow worshipers, she felt so lost.

Almost Done…

Promises are made to be broke, I suppose. Nevertheless, it literally makes me ache that I haven’t the time to write here nor read the words of my friends. The only thing that comforts me at the moment is the fact that in less than two weeks I’ll be boarding an airplane and flying home for a month, during which I hope to rejuvenate and let my creative juices flow for a while.

If I have my way, I’ll be taking a writing workshop next semester, and so I’ll be able to combine work for class and posts to share here. Also, hopefully, as next semester will be my second one and I’ll be a bit more blooded and not quite as green and new to the whole intensive studying experience, I’ll be able to have more time to sit at my leisure and pursue all the blogs that I dearly miss here…

Next week my work should – hopefully – be winding down in general, and so I hope to be able to start to re-familiarize myself with this space again, starting then already.

The Servant

The Servant walked through the halls and knew himself to be invisible. Every effort he made to please went unnoticed and unremarked upon. Every action he took was taken for granted, never acknowledged. Every breath that he took seemed to be silent and he so rarely used his voice that he almost forgot what it sounded like. He must be invisible then, perhaps not even substantial enough to be considered a living human being.

And yet his hands felt substantial enough when he lifted the dinner things off the table. The muscles in his arms hurt when he took the heavy coal box from one room to the next in the winter. His legs ached and his feet blistered as he trudged through the snow to get the carriage or the horses or the ponies for the girls in the winter. In every physical aspect he felt real and alive – so he cherished his work and bore it, day after day, because he felt through it what it was like to be a person.

On the other hand, he very much doubted that the Master or the Mistress or the little girls often felt such aches and pains as him and they considered themselves to be extremely alive – more alive than him for certain. Perhaps, if so, the pain he bore wasn’t a sign of being a person? Perhaps it meant something else – that he was like an animal, bred only to do the work for others. Of course, unlike animals, he received a sum of money for his constant drudgery.

Every time he remember the fact that he earned wages, The Servant felt slightly better. It was then that he would think of his free day once every two weeks; it was then that he would remember what it was like to whirl a pretty girl around the dance floor at the best tavern in town; it was then that he would remember that he knew how to laugh and that he could make others laugh too. So long as he was stuck in the house with Master and Mistress and the little girls, though, he felt he was invisible, a ghost that came to life only once in two weeks but was dead as can be the rest of his days.

Stupidity – A Common Affliction

There are stupid people on this earth. There are, in fact, many many many stupid people on this planet. We all have to deal with them every day. We have to talk to them, have to forgive their stupidity and have to make allowances for it. This might sound condescending. Maybe it is. I don’t claim to be a great brain or gifted or super-smart. All I claim to have are ears through which I actually try to understand what is being said around me or to me.

Some people do not use their ears very well. They can hear alright, but they use their hearing selectively and half the time decide to ignore what is being said and not let it travel to their brains properly. In my line of work, customer service, I get to talk to people like this on a daily basis. Like a certain mistress who almost made me  cry out of frustration today.

She kept asking the same question about her card, and the second I tried to explain, she dismissed everything I said and told me that the company are thieves and then proceeded to once again tell me all she wanted was an answer to her question. My stomach is still hurting from my pointless half hour conversation with her.

Metal

Every time is like the first time. Palms shaking and sweaty, heart pounding away in my chest so loudly that I’m sure everyone can hear, my face getting red with fear.  The gloved hands approaching my face, that long needle covered in plastic drawing nearer and nearer. Just like every other time, I screw my eyes shut tight, and hold my breath.

Pain, exquisitly sharp and focused, as the needle goes through the skin, breaking it completely. Another burst of pain as the needle is taken out and the metal bar is put in. Until this moment, it is all the same every single time.

But after… Well, after is a different story. After the piercing process is done, I can breath a sigh of relief and smile, looking at the newest metal piece in my body. I carry the dull ache of the new hole all day and the days that follow, but it doesn’t bother me so much anymore, because I’ve done it before and I know how to deal with it. It’s the fear of the pain that makes those few minutes on the piercer’s table so awful every time.

My total count is now eleven, three in the face, eight in the ears. Eleven is a good number.