Monday, August 03, 2015

SS: A Candid Look at Life Excerpt

My gaze watches unwavering at the scene before me.  Light flickers on the plumes of smoke as flames engulf a flipped vehicle.  There is no movement and only complete silence.
Tears brim and cascade in steady streams down my cheek as I look on at the horrifying scene before me.  I try to discretely wipe them away with a sweep of my hand, but they are persistent and continue to flow despite my furtive efforts.  
There has to be a logical reason for this to happen.  I don't want to accept that things happen spontaneously and without purpose.  I can't quite comprehend what just occurred before me and the question of "why" keeps looping in my head.
“All things in life happen for a reason.”  
I turned towards the ambient voice that is suddenly behind and somehow all around me at once.  
“Who...who's there?”  I turn to look both right, then left and was sure that voice had come from behind. Now that I'm facing where my back was turned, I see no one.  I turn my face towards the wreckage once again and suddenly I am up close to a body that is shroud in shadows.  A sharp gasp escapes from me because it has no distinct shape or feature other than it could be some sort of manifestation of a shadow.
I take a step back, not feeling comfortable being in such close proximity to the being but keep calm enough not to run away in hysterics.
“Who are you?”
No answer.
“Why did this happen?!  I don't!”  My volume increases as I speak, not because I was quite sure if this thing can hear me but mainly the gravity of what happened hit me once I said everything out loud.
“You are here because I deem it so.”
I look at the nameless being in confusion, trying to register that last statement. With my chin held up high, lips pursed in a tight line, and my fists firmly placed on my hips, I said defiantly:
“That isn't an answer!”
A low rumbling sound akin to laughing came from that being, sending chills down my spine.
“What makes you think that any of this is done for your benefit?  The time for your intervention has passed and now you are existing solely for my purposes.”
Unconsciously, I look back at the flames behind me as if they are beckoning me.  I shut my eyes tightly, trying not to be hypnotized by the pyre and turn to the being before me.
“I am am a good person and I keep my head down.  Why is my life so important that it would come to this?!” I ask pointedly, while indicating with my right hand towards the scene behind me.
“I pose those same questions to you and ask what in your short blink of an existence in this realm deems you to continue living?  What have you done to be worthy of your life because there are many in line waiting to fill your shoes?”
I was offended and ready to state my case but as I look back at my life, I can't say anything stood out.  I've not lead an extravagant life style.  In fact, far from it but it was still my own.  I was not a bad person to be sentenced like that.  My life was humble, quiet, and safe. I should not be standing here right now discussing my life, but rather living it!
“You should ask yourself if you are really living?”
“What kind of question is that?”  I shout back in an outrage.
Of course I have been living!  I couldn't help but feel appalled by that statement but it also got me thinking about my choices.  Yes, it was quiet by my choice.  Throughout my life, I would have been the one that everyone forget existed because I didn't do anything to call attention to myself.  Yes, my life was humble; Only because I didn't strive for more than what was needed in life, like an education and...
There is no 'and'.  
My life was the safest there was, no one could argue with that.  I had what I needed, so why would I need to venture beyond that. I was content and happy.  I didn't like the prospect of taking chances because there was a 50/50 or more percentile that I would fail.  Like I said, I was content with my seclusion, my knowledge, and security.  
Why, it was only this morning I was cozy in my office with my familiars, my books.  One particular book was feeling the ravages of time and it was my duty to tend to it.  Water damage as well as brittle pages were showing signs of its age but I was my duty to give it a sort of face lift.  I treasured these books now more than I did people around me and lived the lives of its protagonist vicariously.  In a sense they were my babies.  
As of late, I looked forward to times when no one was in the library and I could slip into one of the various worlds they offer within their pages and would just lose myself.  I could forget about my sorrow and the state of my life for a few moments in the day and I was content with just that!
I see nothing wrong with my current state of life so I cross my arms resolutely announce, “I'm perfectly happy with the way my life is!”
“A gilded beast born in captivity will not regret something it never experienced, but will it not yearn to feel the grass within sight and beyond its confines?  You on the other hand, could and have had the choice to go beyond that which is comfortable, yet you continually choose to stay within your own confines by erecting your prison walls high above yourself.  Comfortable living or rather fearfully hiding from the rest of the world is as much a cage of your own construct.”
I clench my fist - probably creating half moons on my palms - to keep from verbally lashing out at this spirit's harsh words, but why are these words riling me so and getting offended?  I am happy with the way my life has panned out yet the verbal barbs gouge severely to my core and its poison penetrating deep within me.
What have I done with my life?  Yes, I'm content, but am I happy? I con myself into thinking that the outside world is of no interest to me. I feel the pull to go out and do something outside of my normal routine but when I poke my head out from beyond the books, I only stretch my neck so far.  Fear seizes me and I hide once again.  I always tell myself that I'll try next time over and over again. 
It's too late for that.
I reevaluate once again the paths that I chose and find that all of my choices did have alternatives to where I am now.  I used to chide myself into thinking that college will be where my life would pick up and whisk me off to uncharted lands, yet I chose the safest route: two years in community college for my gen eds; a B.A. in English instead of linguistics as I had originally planned, and then a two year M.A. for Library Science.  My parents are librarians, as were my grand parents, my great grand parent, and my great great grand parents before them....
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