Bodies Like Sheep

How does something like this actually start? Five years have done nothing to help me gain any perspective as to how I changed to what I am now. But this isn’t even about me, as much as it is about you.

When I was about nine, I was still afraid of thunder. Something about the calm, omnipresent sky transforming into wild turbulence never settled well with me. My daddy would always tell me to sleep it off, as if I could get away from anything that terrified me by succumbing to the unconscious. I can see now, how that makes so many things make sense. By 14 I was already lying face-down with heroin swimming in my blood.

My friend, so sad to the world, to me, broke his wrists and didn’t show up at school for two weeks. When I finally saw him, he told me how the meaninglessness of our world was too much for him to hold. I could see it in the blue of his veins and the purple under his eyes. He needed to sleep, I knew it. He was afraid of being a person, of being someone who had the potential to start a chain of events – real events – that could affect society, history, geography. I told him I’d help him, and I put him to sleep. He never awoke.

But enough about me. Like I said, this is about you. You were always a little more than you wished to be, a little more than you wanted to keep. I haven’t told you this before, I know, but every time I saw you, I felt like my ribs would shatter and burst my lungs and my heart would bleed for you. You complained that people were too phony, that you’d looked around for two decades just trying to find anyone with a sliver of genuine feeling, but you found none. And I wanted to put your head to my haemorrhaging chest and tell you I knew. I knew of everything that hurt you, that scared you, and I wanted nothing more for you but to rid you of it. I wanted to give you the darkness we both craved in our soul. We were jaded and weary and all I really wanted was to comfort you and dress your wounds.

You wanted out, you said. You’d seen enough of bullshit, you’d kissed enough cigarettes and they did nothing for your misery. I knew I was better than the smoke. I knew what you needed. I knew what I needed too, and it was you. But once again, this is about you, and I dare not take the spotlight away. This is to honour you, to show you that in all these fatuous creations, I found substance only in you.

So take this, and swallow a spoonful of it whenever you’re ready.

Go to sleep, honey. Go to sleep.