i simply am

Joseph-Kevin - Sugar Land, Texas
Entered on March 2, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
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“Man simply is. Not that he is simply what he conceives himself to be, but he is what he wills, and as he conceives himself after already existing—as he wills to be after that leap towards existence. Man is nothing else but that which he makes of himself.” – John Paul Sartre

Ripped open, a quarter of an inch deep, flesh black and blue, the jagged edges of the wound ambled inwards and sat still. Peeking into the light second, back at itself first, it smelled the light and after having tasted enough air, it once more filled with shadows as blood trickled slowly from its corners. There was darkness there, the boy having run head first into the wall. And weeks later, as he lay, stomach up, on the iron cold table, speaking softly to the nurse who had so softly soothed him before having stitches, the fluorescent light forced him to look away; and when he screamed, begged, and cried, “please stop”, as the doctors dug deep into warm, pulsating flesh, their hands held him down and he looked away still. And years later, when his father lay cold and blind on the hospital bed, the monotonous hum of the blood transfusion nibbled away at the boy’s eyes. And hours later, when the moonlight streamed through the dark shades and the soft whimpers swam from his mother’s room, rainbows formed in the boy’s eyes, as salty waters slowly glided down his cheek. There was no light then; and still there is darkness.

At eight o’clock till morning, after the sun had already brushed its teeth with the minty blue sky, day shifted into night, and again the darkness came, and again and always the boy was there, snug and comfortable and waiting. And when it came, he and others made a game of night, playing hide and seek in darkness. And as the seeker, blindly reaching forward in the darkness, he formed images, and these images were transposed into realities that grew larger, inflated, and burst. “Come and find us”, they would yell, their mice-like squeaking shaking and echoing, eternal in silence. On wind’s wings, like drifting dandelions, fear and hesitation crawled from their lungs, resuscitating the suffocating darkness. Scampering around on the carpet’s fine bleach-brown sand, like little roaches, they moved back and forth, up and down, taunting him with their giggles. Like chameleons, they hid from darkness: the curves of their spines melted into the fine cuts in the wall, their fingers the branches of synthetic trees, their eyes hollows in its trunk: night breathed deep. They too were in darkness, but of their shade, he knew nothing.

In the gray shade of light, his housecoat hangs at the other end of his room and creates the form of a shoe. God’s shoe, perpendicularly positioned across the wall, waiting, like docked ships for passengers, for God’s toes to give it life; and, as if he willed it, gently rustled by the above vents, it shimmies sideways like a crab. The red clock’s angular lines like razor tipped sushi knives cut a hole about 4 inches long in the tender gills of morning. Water bottles sit like twin towers, glancing back at him, indifferent of his intrigue, and engulfed in their own. The febreeze laid at the other end of his brown table turned black, like a pretentious girl, looks away, hoping to steal seconds of his attention. With one glance around his room, all figures appear distinct, separate, individual, and already dead.

But there was always darkness, and he was still in darkness, and he would remain in darkness. Even as he wrote this, he was only forming words in this darkness-because it was only in darkness that all things moved, were formed, created, and refined, and it was only in darkness that I could choose what to make of my essence, my light.