Monday, February 18, 2008

Falling by Josh Johnston

I am falling. There is nothing below me. My stomach, formerly in knots, is now completely… gone. There is nothing inside me. Yet I feel okay. Will I ever be fine? Nevermore. Will I ever laugh or joke, or see those eyes again? Yes. And I will be thankful. I will learn to be propitious. To be the best I can be. Why? Here is my story:

I see a face. I cannot make out any features of it. All I know from the knowledge of a face is that there should be a nose, two eyes, and a smile, the feeling of absolute loveliness. But there are no eyes. Just tears. Tears falling from two empty holes. I see right through them. Behind the holes is no brain, but thoughts. Thoughts of memories, of fantasies, of one's deepest darkest most undisclosed secrets. Quite possibly the moral dilemma, or the ethical choices. And for certain, the thought of me. The smile is replaced, not with a mouth, but just a throat. From that throat emerges sound, but not of regular voice. A wailing, a whining cry that seems to resonate all around me. I slowly crouch to the ground, and curl up into a ball. I hear nothing but wailing, and sobbing. The tears pour around me, engulfing me in a salty water pond. The nose is expelling sniffles and snorts of stifled crying. My own ears pound with this sonic boom. I suddenly hear I’m sorry. I’M SORRY! And I suddenly realize it is not this face that should be sorry. It is I. I left myself open. I opened my heart – and I never closed it. I am still falling.

Still looking up at blackness, looking down at that floor that never seems to be drawing nearer. I try to feel my stomach again, and I place my hand around my stomach – or where I thought my hand should be. Placed on my non-existent entrails, I don’t even see my own hand. I see the black and white outline of where a hand should be. Without being resolved, I am disappearing. Scared, I start to cry out, slowly I begin to panic. What has happened? And then the face in full appears. And my epiphany: that face will always be there, whether I see it or not. Will the cause of my loss always be? Never. For never in the world can it happen that a force stronger than mine would present itself. I am too good. I am the one. I believe it, but I drew myself in a little too much. My weakness. I will never have it again. But I will have something greater – the face. Just the face, always there – and now, it is a face, not a figure with holes. The holes have been filled up, and the eyes present a greenish glint that reflects my own eyes. I am clean-shaven, and the face smiles. Perfect teeth, and a beauteous smile, the nose is center, and non-expelling now. I begin to slow my fall, because for some reason, I can still see past the eyes. I can still see into the space where a brain should be. I see the thoughts, the joy, the secrets, and the shame. It is here that I stop falling – stop right in midair, and look around. There is the face again, and again, all around me. Not just a face, but a body and clothes to accompany it. And a personality, unlike any other I know. Things are okay, I say to myself… Things are going to be okay.

Will I ever forget the fall? Never. For as I fall, the most vulnerable I’ve ever been, and as I think, harder than I ever have, I realize that the fall was the first changing point in my life. I realize that I must step past obstacles, and hold my head up high. I know at this point – and it is at this point that the ground appears below me – that if I ever need that face, if I ever feel down, or in despondency, I can just ask for that face, for that smile, and the rest of her. I will be okay, and as I take my first step, again, I feel brand new. Nothing is forgotten, but everything is much clearer. I have learned that nothing is forever, and that what I had, before my fall, which is another story, is something so powerful, that the consequences must have impacted me beyond my wildest and most naïve thoughts.

I start off at a brisk walk, into the darkness, with my most loyal, my best friend, this face, behind me: my guardian angel, watching over me, forever.

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