I used to think our demons played well together, knowing each other like old friends. But over time it dawned on me that they despised each other, attempting to rip one another apart any chance they got. Until all we could see is red skin like paint strewn across the mirror. They were one in the same, stemmed from the same place in hell. Our demons hold each other, playing the same games, hurting in the same way.
But to see such horrid reflections in such a beautiful face can’t be described with a simple awe. And to not know if it’s all simply you or where the lines of her face end and the crinkles of yours begin.
It’s ironic though, how destructive two souls can be for each other if they allow their egos to rule their own hearts. And yet how profound if they simply exposed their demons for what they were and stopped fighting the instinctual urge to protect them. They’ll slowly kill us and yet instead we choose to slowly kill one another. We protect the hatred inside us, because its easier to accept than any form of love we could receive.
Instinct, I would guess, a comfort in who we are and how fucked up we want to be. In sleeping in the bed we’ve created, making it up halfway so we can pretend to sleep alone while inviting people in just to feign any ounce of intimacy. All the while you can’t feel anyone but her.
But you’ll still look around for a pretty face who will distract you, who will make you feel so proud for feeling nothing. Someone who can’t see through your broken words and drowning heart. She’ll give you looks that wont hit deep and words that will fill you with an emptiness you once craved. You’ll like that she’ll never know how much you hate yourself, you like that she likes you for who you are, the mask of a person you know she thinks you are. It’s comforting, but once love stops hitting your heart so will everything else. And words you once used to describe the scene around you, in so much depth and passion will no longer exist but in short stories you now read and can no longer understand. You’ll feel empty and for the first time you’ll realize that its what you chose, its what you thought you wanted. The small hole that’s now punctured in your heart will start gaping wider but the one you need to fill it will no longer be there. And you’ll break down at the thought that all this time you’ve been too busy caught up in a masochistic adoration of some intangible hate. A simple anger – the type that sets your heart on fire and makes your lungs weak. You crave sleep and yet you know those images you despise can replay in this darkness. Oh but when you lie there with her it was so different. Like coming home, to a comfort you refused to accept and yet couldn’t help but sink so safely into.
And so as I toss in my sleep, I start to think that maybe our demons were once innocence, and a slow mixture of cruelty and helplessness pushed that part of us so deep under the soil we once stood upon. With no hands to pull us up, we kept digging for something we’d never find until people began asking where we were and with clogged lungs we couldn’t say a word. We didn’t want to anyways. But maybe this is the air we fight to protect, the one tainted with dirt and scar tissue, knowing if we lose the hatred we hold towards ourselves and others, we’re scared a part of us will die. A part that survived while the rest of our insides crippled with angst and deteriorated with the acknowledgment of time. A part that was left for us when something else was taken. A part we made in exchange for a death called emptiness. So when we think of losing it, the flashbacks start and we mouth the words “stop” as we press our hands into our eyes to push back unwanted tears.
Even for all the love in the world, some pain we will always refuse to let go of. And so you’ll think back to the day she looked at you and couldn’t understand why you’d never just stay. And yet you refused to explain it to her because she’ll never get it. Or so you’ll tell yourself, so you can allow yourself some reminisce of letting go. But someone so deep under your skin is bound to fix those tangled wires that circulate just enough blood and fill those cracks that split your emotions into segmented parts you could never quite piece together. Or maybe you fear the hatred runs too deep and she’ll get lost in it. So you’ll pull her soft hands from your face and watch her cheeks go red. You’ll tell yourself you’re protecting her, you’ll tell yourself she’d never understand. But maybe all that you’re protecting is that hallowed out space in your heart that you’re too fond of to let go. To fill an emptiness, to crack open an already stitched up heart, to untie the knots and carefully unwind the seams. To feel as she slowly peels back a thick layer of skin you had so intently patterned yourself. To watch as all your efforts are stripped into pieces on the floor and you want to yell because you start to hear a beating noise like a ticking clock and it makes you think of all those times you let your heart beat for something that didn’t matter.
We harden ourselves, thinking its some form of love. Yet all it does is make our hands hard to hold and our mouths mute at sweet lyrics. We forget what it’s like to be soft. Instead we let anger fill up the space in our veins and hate fill our chests because unlike love that can never be taken from us. We put up glass walls to hear echoes of our own screams and we think we’re saving others from our own minds. All the while a slow death occurs and the worst part is we’re too numb to see it happen, or maybe we just refuse to.
And so we blame our slippery fingers and our quick tongues when we feel overwhelmed by the immense weight of a loss we can never quite get back. A loss we once refused to feel.
And you’ll so badly want to throw the most important parts of you into the dirt and leave it to be dug up by some naive heart that can find you once again. She warned you of guilt and of loss but you had never felt it like that so you didn’t understand her tears and the way her voice would choke when she spoke of such things. Until you were lying on the floor and that chip on your shoulder was now shards of glass in your hand, those you had mistakenly used to cut others while you were only trying to hurt yourself. And you wont want to be you, at least not for a while.
And on some other end of the earth, she’ll wonder how you are. But she’ll no longer feel the weight you once pulled on her thinking it was the only way to keep her. For the first time, she’ll feel light, and in some way, so will you.