Surreal

My mind is blank.

My mind is blank.

My mind is blank.

But out of the darkness, or perhaps the blinding whiteness, that is the blankness of my mind, I settle on an odd image – it is the image of a desert. Endless dunes of sand, a warm night breeze ruffling the sands around my ankles – but the sky, the sky is what my blank mind focuses on. The sky which is full of a myriad stars, thousands upon thousands of them twinkling in every direction which my eyes can focus on. The stars are spread out every which way, the thick band of the milky way shining brightly through the middle, and the moon’s brightness taking away a patch of stars as it outshines them. So many of those stars don’t exist anymore.

I feel like I should want to be the Little Prince, fallen out of the sky and managing not to worry about my fate. I wish I could worry only about wanting a sheep and a glass cover for my rose, and a snake to bite me and take me back home. I feel like there would be something peaceful about saving someone and bringing him to a well and then leaving him forever, with only the memory of laughter to make the stars bright to him.

My mind is blank.

My mind is blank.

My mind is blank.

Lucy’s Diary, May 16th

For those who don’t know, Alex and I are slowly playing a little game with these entries. His most recent entry, which this entry follows quite immediately, is here: http://crystalgeek.wordpress.com/2009/02/03/journal-part-ii/

May 16th, 2008, Morning, “Larry’s Diner”

Dear Diary,

I cannot believe that I haven’t had time to write in you until now. As a confidante, you haven’t been much use yet, but don’t fret, dear, you will get to know more than enough now.

Life at P&S is… let us say, fast paced. My mind has been taxed in every area possible, and I believe that instead of getting fuller, it is rather emptying out a bit of its intelligence as the days go by and I learn to conform myself to the strict policy of “no opinions allowed,” the general policy of the teachers here. There are a couple who seem willing to hear us speak with a tone of voice other than a flat, learned-by-heart drone, but those two – the literature teacher and, surprisingly, the biology teacher – are the only ones. Every other subject seems to be taught by rote and meant to be learned in no other way.

This, of course, is frustrating enough. What is even worse than my studies is, unsurprisingly, the general company that I am forced to keep. Peggy, Sophie and Maria – the infamous roommates from HELL – are all so concerned about sneaking razors into the bathrooms to shave their legs that they never realize that they have more than three brain cells at their disposal if they’d want them. I’m sure that with time my brain will melt as well and I will only worry about how to sneak cheap lip-gloss from the pharmacy past the teachers and into the school on our afternoons off – but for now, forgive me, Diary, if I still try to find some use for my poor brain.

The library here is fantastic, which is my only comfort. Oh, that is not to say that I don’t play along with the other girls – I do, because there is no choice – but whenever I’m doing my homework I tend to dawdle for a while after the others have given up, so as to sit in one of the comfy armchairs and read a bit.

You are now wondering, dearest and only friend, what I am doing in a diner on a morning such as this? Well, the truth is that I really shouldn’t be here. But you already guessed that, didn’t you? It’s not as bad as you think though, dearest. We’re allowed out Sunday mornings into the small, dreary town. Sophie and Maria were off to the arcade to look for James Dean types and Peggy and her friend Sue went to the pharmacy to score some more makeup. I decided to give them all the slip, and I came here to treat myself to some pancakes and maple syrup. I must say that the diner is a cozy place, and I’m enjoying the silence immensely. It is hard to be surrounded by incessant chatter all day long without a moment’s reprieve.

Diary, I have just noticed something rather odd. How very strange! There is a young man, very thin, with dark hair and dark clothing, who is sitting at another table – I believe he was on the flight with me! What a strange coincidence, to see him here. Who could want to come to a miserable little place like this? Diary, he is eating pancakes as well, and he looks tired to the bone, as if he were up half the night. He keeps forgetting to take bites though, because he’s on his cell phone, trying to understand someone’s directions to a place called “Gaitec’s Reach.” Silly man, he seems quite distraught – in a good looking sort of way.

Ah, well, I suppose I should order the bill and head back to the girls now… I’ll ask them what Gaitec’s Reach is, though, because it is such a rare, romantic sort of name that I’m quite curious!

I hope to be more diligent about our sessions from now on. I cannot promise a thing though, because I’m still trying to catch up on my studies.

Much love to you, Diary!

As ever,

Lucy

P.S. I talked to my wicked cousin, She-Who-Sent-Me-Here, and I conclude that she’s enjoying the silence of her big, empty house just fine. She says she’s glad of getting me away from all the “bad influences that those little friends of yours were” and that she’s “pleased at your progress in your studies – your teachers send me weekly reports, you see.” Thank goodness I managed to hide my belly-button ring from her, or I’d have lost the only thing I like about my appearance now!

Empty Gaze

There are those odd times where your gaze gets fixed on something for no reason at all, and you can stare and stare and stare some more and you won’t find any reason to move your eyes away from that object. The object isn’t interesting or special – indeed, it may be just some bump of paint on the wall or a corner of the table or a patch of fur on the floor. There’s really no reason for your eyes to become fixed and obsessed with that certain spot. And yet, you stare at it and feel as if you could keep staring at it for an hour.

This usually seems to happen when you’re tired, or worried, or perhaps just distracted. The thoughts that go through your mind at times like this often don’t make sense – you might be humming a tune in your mind, or maybe you’re mulling over an issue in a circular manner, repeating your thoughts over and over again. Maybe you’re almost not thinking anything at all beyond “Why am I staring at this?” and your mind is oddly blank other than that.

Whatever the reason, this is something that most people get at some point or another. I wonder if our brains sometimes just need a moment to rest, to detach from conciousness, to wander.

Substantial Lack

Silence and emptiness are odd things. Both represent a lack, and yet they seem to be so substantial that you can acutely feel the presence of both.

Silence can fill your ears with its noise, making it deafening. Silence can drive you mad with the pitch of it, with the hum of it, with the absolute roar of it. You may shake your head to clear your ears of it or cough or make a noise so as to erase the presence of it. Sometimes it helps, and you’ll notice the creaks in the building and buzz of electricity and be calm, but sometimes the silence will press right back onto your mind, squeezing your head and almost hurting you with its tightness.

Emptiness can fill a room to the brim with the odd ache it causes. Sometimes it can fill a house full of furniture, making you feel utterly alone despite the things around you. Emptiness can weigh heavy on your heart and soul like a stone tied to them that is plunged into the ocean, pulling you into its depths and making you almost gasp from the need to be rid of it. You might go out into the street, run somewhere to meet friends, anything so as not to feel the aching emptiness, and it might work – but sometimes the emptiness will fill every space you reach and you won’t manage to disentangle yourself from its claws.

So strange, how lack can be so real, almost touchable.

Insert-Thriller-Novel-Name-Here: Preface

Most stories begin with a person. Some stories begin with an object – an enchanted ring, a lone chair in a meadow, strange stuff like that.

This here story begins with nothing. Not an object, and not a person. It begins with absolutely nothing, that is to say, just a vast, empty space, all contained inside a small test tube. The test tube is full of nothing. Vacuum. The absence of matter – all matter, liquid or solid or gas.

I sat there watching that emptiness and I tried to understand it. Tried to comprehend the meaning of total, utter emptiness. I couldn’t really understand it, no matter how hard I stared at it. This was when I was a young boy, seeing  vacuum in the science lab for the first time.

Now, I feel as if I am facing an uncomprehensible loss, and now, as it was then, I’m staring at what is in front of my eyes and I cannot understand this emptiness, this lack that I’m facing.

How could I have gotten myself into this situation? How have I screwed myself over like this? Not for the first time, I wish I could turn back the clock…

I spend all my time between calls at work scribbling in my notebook. I was going to try to write some dialogue because I must practice that, and instead I wrote a weird preface to a cheap thriller novel about someone who’s lost everything due to something or other. Ah well, the creative mind takes us odd places, I suppose.