I can feel the world as I know it tilting beneath me. I am caught in an unraveling chaos. A chaos that echoes in my head as loud as the bombs they drop outside. It unfurls itself in front of my eyes.
And so I let reality slip away.
For there is nothing here. Except the war cries from metal monsters and futile pursuits for happiness. No daffodils bloom here, children do not play. They starve instead. And suck from the parched, sagging breasts of their mothers. Mothers and fathers who die and cry and repeat it at sunrise.
The early bird’s song is a myth here.
We rise to the songs of rotting flesh singing its way to hell.
So why wouldn’t I be happy to tilt away from reality?
Why would I not want to soak my feet in a canvas of grass? A canvas that was not painted with the darkest shades of grief. I want to be there, in the various lands of various people with various stories with various sights, smells and memories. I want to be here.
Here is good.
Here is good as it is away from the iron tight choke that cradles me to sleep every night.
Here, is good. I do not have to worry about finding gruel for a gaping hole within me.
Here is good. I can walk and my back would be safe.
But I should have known that it wouldn’t last.
Yes, the shrew was tamed and Darcy got the girl. Scrooge had a change of heart and so did Edmund Pevensie. Dobby died free but Atlas was chained beneath the sky.
But at the end of it all,
I was not there.
I was not with various people with various stories. I was me, in a chair. In a house you will never find on a map today or any day. I was insignificant; the world beyond my door revealed a neighborhood that looked like a painting that an amateur artist screwed up by pouring grime and sorrow all over it. And it reeked of my nightmares that I had thought I had abandoned. If just for a moment.
As I dealt with my reality catching up to me, sliding its way down my spine to my soul, to grip it in its choking hold, I hear the bombs dropping and the song of the screams that have lulled me to sleep many a time before.
And before I am petrified, I pick up a book.
The world tilts, and all is well again.