Where My World Began

I felt my eyelids flutter beneath the darkness that enveloped the space, gentle lashes beating against the harsh texture of the bags under my eyes. Unclosed, then closed- dark, then darker. There was nothing to see other than the thin, black space stretched between me and the walls of my lids. I squeezed tight, left no space in between. I waited knowingly. Then, from that pot of inky black before me, a sea of shapeless silhouettes blossomed, drifting aimlessly from one corner of my head to another.

Eye Floaters- Will Thomson

I relaxed my lids, let my eyes sink deeper into my head, wallowing together with those shadows in that soft darkness between me and my shut-tight lids. We were dancing figures grazing one another as we crossed paths. I wanted to reach my hand out, but their silhouettes were only gentle on the eyes, never soft enough to link or fuse with mine. Like atoms, we sometimes collided at the center of my forehead, but bounced away toward opposite ears before the hues could morph. Growing dizzy from those floating flower-like figures, I squeezed tight again, this time not for effect, but for grip. Among these amorphous patterns, I looked for Shape- distinct and whole.

Shape stood out and so Shape was good. People all around me looked for shape, and it was theirs once they found it. This is mine now, they announced to the world. This is me, what I do, what I’m good at — remember. And I would envy them because the world seemed to remember well, or maybe it was simply the way that they wore their shape; they must have worn it well, that was all. I could learn to wear something mine well, too. But all the while, I knew I was struggling, trudging behind them all, looking, looking, looking for my shape everywhere I went. It was so unfair. I thought all it took was for someone to tell me something, anything. West, North, East, South, direction didn’t matter anymore. Even my own map was indecipherable to me. Chase this! Go after that. This is what you want, that is what you need. How wrong I was to believe them. But there was still one thing I was right about: in my own map, direction didn’t matter, so long as I could see the mountains ahead of me with my own eyes and listen for its nearing embrace with the familiar echos of my own voice.

I felt myself rip away from that soft darkness, the searing flames of those floating silhouettes no longer grazing my own, moulding, kneading, sculpting my Shape. Instead, I shut my lids tight, letting the darkness wash over me as all fell silent. I waited, listening for the voice that I knew, distinct and whole. As I felt my eyelids flutter beneath the darkness, I knew it was time to wake, time for my world to begin.

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