Once boundless, the sky is framed today. A tiny Polaroid blemished by vertical stripes marks the boundary between freedom and its skeleton. Timelessly I sit in expectation until the sun, for a glorious and fleeting moment, traverses my viewfinder. Under its warmth I melt, the specter of me alive again for a respite until purgatory returns for yet another day. The moment’s gone and icy walls close in on me, brandish their bastions in warning. My boiling mind notwithstanding, I am resigned to being trapped.
But the more circumscribed the body the freer the mind, it seems. For now the opacity of things has cleared and from turbid waters I see clear bottoms. I am a pendulum poised in revelation. Perhaps it is one of the great ironies of life that captivity makes ethics so much more obvious. Without oscillation time ceases its flow and stands still. The same day repeats itself ad infinitum, a well rehearsed act by the cold, the grey, the vertical and the geometrical conspiracy in this mise en scene designed to hijack my mind. But I’ve yet to yield to insanity. There is still much to read, and although this living is by proxy and anachronistic at that, since I’ve a penchant for the classics, it is the only kind of traveling I’m allowed. However meager for this ravenous wanderlust, I’m afraid stories will have to do, for now.
I remember as a child I always craved for the sweets that were not on the table, however diverse the selection. To want what is absent, to summon back what is discarded, to detail people who leave and disregard people who stay, these are the symptoms of the contretemps between man and life. It occurred to me yesterday that I would have given anything for a ride down a water toboggan, that is what I lusted for. The yearning so strong, the possibility so bleak, that I felt I would have gladly relinquished a part of my flesh, a finger or an ear, to have this wish granted. Perhaps I am not far from insanity after all. In hindsight I figure that on the outside I would entertain similar yearnings for seclusion. What I wouldn’t give, I would say, for solitude and silence away from this racket of the city that silences my mind. Yet restored from exile thoughts run in hungry floods and it’s a challenge to tame them. The hand scribbles madly in the journal, now my vade mecum which I’d never part with, and here’s me doing one more thing I thought I’d never do.
Another day through the viewfinder, the sun shines with promise. Life is but an afterthought, but I’ve no regrets and as I shed my scales to this catharsis I’m prepared to receive whatever’s in store for me, since for any scenario I can imagine something that is much, much worse. Optimism, one more thing that deprivation breeds.