Embers and Tears

 

She peripherally saw the swirling waters at her feet. Glowing embers lifted on the breeze dotting the dusk like fireflies. She uncurled her fists and hit the wall but quietly so nobody knew
yet not so soft as she was wanting someone to catch her. She wondered as she watched everyone walking through the puddles why they didn’t seem to mind or even notice when she greatly disliked wet socks. Why don’t they stop, roll up their trousers, and wade barefoot? she wondered. Of course no one likes murky water or walking where you can’t exactly see where you’re going. But isn’t that part of the fun? she cried to herself? She was rare in that she truly liked being surprised.

Strange to be seen but not heard, she thought. Like a wisp of smoke rising from newly minted ashes with some grey warmth reaching out carefully. She tried to speak the words people wanted to hear but it always felt like she was playing dress-up with clothes that would never fit. The verbal costumes were fun, but she’d never want to keep them for her own. She’d rather sing and laugh than be so serious and weighted down with worry. When she blinked errant years away the crowd saw the tears and moved on, leaving her shaking and alone.

She wanted to share how happy she was in her own head with somebody in the world but maybe that kind of love is an illusion and the only magic that is true is what we dream when we’re awake. At night, the dreams don’t discern but describe things we don’t want to admit. She probably will never stop reaching out like tendrils of flyaway hair to find the connection that would help her finish her thoughts.

Breathing deep was getting harder as the waters rose but the burning nearby kept her warm. When she looked around, she realized she had missed some living while treading in her thoughts. Catching moments was harder than counting grains of sand. But not as hard as counting snowflakes.

Embers and tears combine and conspire to make the work of messy art that made her cache of nightmares come alive in a rich two-dimensional frame of reference.

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