She drowns herself in shadows when the clock strikes midnight.
When the house is completely still, all the lights switched off, her family sound asleep. She logs off Facebook, puts her phone away, and stares at the blank ceiling. Her chest rising, falling.
There are no more distractions: she is completely alone.
This is when she feels most vulnerable.
The darkness begins to seep through her window, creep under her door. It nudges her for what she keeps hidden, beckoning her to be enveloped in its embrace.
Something within her falters,
and she relents,
with eyes closed
her breath held–
and she plunges
into the depths
of feeling utterly,
To her, loneliness is this: knowing that no one in this world would ever be able to hold her hand, look her in the eyes and say, “I know how you feel.”
Not fully, not truly.
When her spirit is drunk enough on narcissism, she cuts herself with the masochistic blade of feeling too deep and feeling too much.
But she never bleeds; and so she weeps.
Her tears fill an ocean, strong waves are pushing her underwater–she cannot breathe–
there are no more barriers to bar her, pillars to prop her, hands to hold her.
She had no courage to hurt herself, but she could wait till midnight to imagine what it might feel like.
I used to fear being alone past midnight. It was when the rest of the world retreated into its shell, leaving a disquieting static in its wake. No more of the bright lights, canned laughter or fuzzy noises that I’d occupied my days with–just my thoughts, the silence, and the dark, stretching on to what felt like eternity.
These were the hours I lay in bed, contemplating life and demise, heaven and hell, love and loneliness.
I hated those moments, because they reminded me of my transience; of how a hundred thousand millennia from now, I would not exist. There would be no I, just as there would be no you. Everything done or said today crumbles under the sheer weight of time.
And I couldn’t accept this. I couldn’t stand hearing my heartbeat drumming in my ears or pulsing in my veins, because it was a wordless whisper of the futility of life and the inevitability of death.
Yet it was precisely those moments steeped in silence that the enduring truth became glaringly obvious, that
we are nothing but
a mere breath,
our days only but
a passing shadow.*
Yet every single night spent dwelling on my impermanence was bringing me another day closer to acknowledging my Creator, who is beyond time and space, above death and darkness.
These days, when the clock strikes midnight, it is no longer a harbinger of doom or destruction.
Instead, it is a hearkening herald of the time to come when I will be with my God of all eternity.