Written by Atticus Payne
Art by Salvator Rosa
A week ago, you bugged me—practically harassed me.
you weighed down every thought with a tiny stone, sewn gently, seeds of doubt into the high-strung knit of my heart just where you knew the seams would be. Because you sewed me: from dust to bone to this reckless mind. But just a speck and nothing more, borne by every thought till it coalesced in—
No. Certainly something close, though. The same colour, in a different shade.
Funny, what unseating a mere day’s thoughts will do to you; gentle waves working at hardened silt formations, dissolving rough ridges into something a little softer. You’ll pause, choke; your eyes blinking, search for some way out.
At least let me understand what this is. Discomfort? Too general.
There it was: the thought that had been sinking its sharpened roots in. “This is not right.” There. There it was. Now that it’d been named, I could barely think of anything else without the words taking all the space. It is how some describe love, and yet, infinitely worse. Love is a haze, not a blinding light. Right?
It was night, and the lamps were dimmed. So with a silent room and locked door, I…knelt.
I have not done this in a long—very long time.
Fine. So I did the speaking. The more I spoke, the more the words came, till with the torrent, the pressing weight of shame had lessened somewhat. I could think again.
How I thought.
The world’s a rather judgement-based place. Yet when your knees are bruised and your neck a mess from bowing the head; when your lips are cracked from speaking of everything you could possibly think of, it’s hard to get unsettled again. There’s a steadiness to being on your knees—a kind of peace.
A week ago, you bothered me, and it was the best, most uncomfortable bothering.
Why would you go silent now?
What have I done to stop it? To block you out? How can I bridge this gap?
Bother me again, will you?
I miss you.
Am I mad?
Blind me, bind me.
Without you I’m now left, stranded in the in between, floating between two ends of complete and incomplete.
Come on, now. How could you do this?
There’s no cleverness to this. No hidden commentary or thought, nothing weaved in the narrative. I am nothing but