Now here's a thing from a different time! I remember being really proud of this when I wrote it in the distant past of 2010. Looking back... not as much. But, as an expression of how I was feeling at the time, it definitely stands out to me. Rough as this is, there's a rawness to it that I've never managed to tap into since high school (although puberty does make getting in touch with your emotions a tad easier). Since then I've shied away from writing about my feelings, and it's something I need to explore more.
Lachlan Marnoch, 2010
Her eyes were blue. They probably still are. An understated grey-blue, neither pale nor dark, a shade which haunted both my dreams and my waking thoughts for every hour of my life during that time, and for years after. Sad eyes, looking at me from behind the glasses which she disliked so much, but which had become somehow synonymous with her image in my mind. My memories of that blissful time will always be of that grey-blue which attracted me so. And of silver, the silver light that played between her hands as she created.
I say blissful, but when I think back, those months were far from paradise. They seem somewhat grey, empty, in my memory. Except for her. She seemed to be bright, vibrant, a splash of paint on an otherwise dull canvas. And perhaps that’s why the rest of the world seemed so drained of colour, like a butterfly on a large leaf. The leaf, no matter how verdant, will always seem colourless compared to the vivid wings of the insect perched upon it.
Even when I was with her, did I truly feel happiness? Have I felt it since? I can’t really say. If you had never seen the colour purple in your life, and one day you were shown it, would you know, that it was, in fact, purple? But of course, upon the showing, there would be someone to tell you “Yes, that is purple.” I never had that person, someone to say “That emotion you’re feeling is happiness.” I suppose she could have told me... but maybe she didn’t know, either.
What colour is happiness? I think most people would say yellow, a throwback to the human tendency to associate emotions with weather. In this thinking the sun normally represents happiness, and the rain, of course, sadness. I find it difficult to attribute a colour to happiness: for me, happiness is a sound. The sound of birds, chirping and trilling as they communicate, play, fly.
I have always loved birds, especially parrots. They are so beautiful, covered in vivid colours. Innocent of humanity’s crimes, yet fragile. What does that say about my perception of happiness? That to be happy, you must be innocent? That happiness is fragile? It is, inarguably, beautiful. But if innocence is a prerequisite to happiness, it is well beyond my reach.
An emotion far closer to home is pain. That is one feeling I do have a colour for: red. When I think of pain, when I feel pain, it is dark, mottled red which springs to mind. And that red was a major feature of my life in those days. The red of the pain I felt every time I proved myself unequal to her. The red of each time I destroyed something precious. The red accompanied by the fear of losing her. The red of the gaping hole she tore through my heart when she left, and my fears were realised.
But of course there were other emotions. The day I met her, wonder, at her beauty, her perfection, filled me. I was rendered speechless as those blue eyes as I stared into them. Her voice was like the singing of birds to my ears.
I don’t believe in love at first sight. But on that day, the seed was planted, and gradually, as I spent more time with her, talked with her, that seed grew into a tree whose branches filled my mind with their crowded leaves, and whose roots dug deep into my soul. When that tree died, it took part of me with it.
It was on that first day that something else began within me, and within her. It was on that day that my true... powers... began to develop. And it was on that day that I first destroyed.
When she showed me what she could do, it amazed me. The things she could create with her silver light, her passion, were works of art which surpassed me in more than one way. I reached out to touch it in wonder, forgetting what I had become. The object of sheer beauty and inspiration, crafted from her very soul, crumbled to dust. Her eyes turned to horror and fear when she saw what I could do. She quickly covered what she felt, said it was alright, hid it to protect me. She smiled that smile I admired so and said it didn’t matter.
But I had seen her eyes.
The following months obeyed a similar pattern, her creations never failing to astound me as she expressed everything she felt inside into these magnificent physical shapes, sounds, smells, colours.
And every time I destroyed something new, her eyes would fill with the same horror, quickly masked behind the barrier she constructed to protect both of us. I tried, tried so hard to stop destroying, to keep a harness on my “abilities”. But they grew stronger and wilder by the day, until I feared to be near her. And every time, her horror grew harder to hide. Always I yearned to be like her, to create rather than destroy.
Finally, out of desperation, she tried to give me just that. Laying her hands on my chest, she transferred a part of her silver luminance into me. Filled with her power, and with desperate hope, I envisioned a flower, forming the shape from the light she had given me. It seemed beautiful, a light blue lily. But then it rotted before our eyes, decaying into a brown, stinking monstrosity.
Eventually, it became too much for her. She couldn’t bear it any longer. She had tried so hard to help me, poured every effort into making me better, but all I could do was destroy.
I never told her that I loved her. And she never told me how she felt. And I always wondered: was it because she didn’t love me, or because she feared I would destroy that as well?
The day she left, my powers disappeared.