On the street the man didn’t feel safe, he felt like he was always in hiding but he could never figure out just what he was hiding from. When the unfortunate happens and he wakes up to the suns fiery rays on his fair, pale skin. His focus is on one thing and one thing only, falling back to sleep. For without sleep, he would never end up back in his dream. Instead, he’s stuck on the gritty, hard pavement. All is lost here so it seems but it isn’t so.
The man withholds something that lies behind the person he hates, himself. What stands eight feet tall and holds strength, intrigue and beauty. Everything that the man is missing is simply a painting. A painting that keeps him striving, thinking and living for more. What his eyes see in the painting are not what his mind sees. While growing up he always looked at things with his mind first rather than his eyes. By now it was merely a reflex when he clamped his eyes shut like a vice and focused on the view. Of course there were times when he was mis-labeled as crazy, but he moved past this and gained the skill of decoding life’s average objects and human beings with his mind.
In his mind, waking up was pointless. Almost as pointless as his life. But there was one thing he looked forward to, his precious drink. Even before it was in his hand he knew all too well that it would soon bring him down. Soon after it singed his mouth and throat it began to ignite in his stomach feeding the fire within like it always did. In the back of his mind he knew he would be without his poison for what seemed like forever. Sleep was his second addiction and the cousin of death which seemed like heaven. He was simply a jump away from escape.
Realizing he had no poison to intoxicate his mind with he put forth all of his mental powers to falling asleep. Think of the yellows, blues and greens, he told himself. Think of the swirls, the warm houses. Think of the precious clouds you came so close to resting on. Just like that the man was surrounded by a blue, green blanket. So soft and warped much like his fading memories of love. In this life he has learned to take what he can get and he was not about to let this beautiful dream slip. For once he wasn’t afraid to adore it’s beauty with his eyes. No longer feeling blind he took his sights in like his last drop of water. He appreciated the dark lighting that only glowed warmth instead of the piercing rays of the sun he hid away from when surviving through reality. Here, he no longer survived he lived Here he knew how to live by just being and enjoying.
In his dream it was a constant ride where he swam through the sky. Passing by stars that were soft, not sharp. With a trusting hand he reached out to them and they fell into his palm giving his porcelain skin a healthy glow he had never seen in himself. In a sky so streaked and flowing he fit right in. Only paintings can put what seems like unfitting objects together and make them feel right at home together. There, in his dream he had a goal to find a place he could call his own. He came to a realization one day, though he could try to invite himself into one of the many homes in the village down below, he knew he didnt truely belong there. In the sky, is where he belonged.
Glowing spirals continued to hover around him but he had to break free of the greens and blues in order to rise with the yellows. Without that freedom he would drown deep inside the sky and never be found, just forever embedded in the painting. With both arms stretched as far as they could go he pulled strength from his mental powers and jumped. Like a trampoline he began to fall back into place. He did not want this, to fall forever in the deep—blue—abyss. With his right hand he reached for the glow of the rising stars. A glow slowly surrounded his frail, hollow body like a tiny bird being thrown in the wind but this was gentle wind. Like the stars he learned to hover in a sky that had taken him in as another lost imperfection, only to be surrounded by beauty, lost beauty.
For a moment he forgot to open his eyes leaving him lost of his destination. Without using his precious gift of sight he couldn’t add himself to the painting. Fighting the reflex of the tight vice his piercing aquamarine eyes were flashed to the world of the sky. Shocked with colour so vividly captivating the painting went into a frenzy much like Jake’s neverending withdrawls. All around him lost beauty began to shake and fall. Beneath him layed his destination a soft, fluffy cloud he called home. As the stars soared every which way Jake fell into a true home in the sky. Once he was placed in the spot he belonged the painting beganto settle and all was calm. A wish inside Jake’s soul began to throb and grow. Realizing it’s contents could no longer rest in silence for it was time to go to work. Without knowing Jake’s only wish he kept locked away inside had finally came true.
For once, those who walked by Jake’s invisible body took notice of what layed behind him as he drank his life away. Before his wish could fully take flight Jake had one more struggle he had to surpass. While going through what seemed to be hell, his withdrawls came at him full force, knocking him out of the serene painting. Horrid memories of dreams of falling came into play, only this time he was really falling. He failed to take hold of his stomach as it flew into his throat. Jake relentllessly tried to hold his breath, fighting the sickening sensation as if fallng from a fifty foot drop.Jaws dropped as a frail figure flew out of the magnificent art work. No one moved, they just stared as he skidded across the gritty pavement. His skin was torn like a tree stripped of its bark but all he could do was lay there knowing he needed his strength for the message they all needed to hear.
After he made his grand entrance back into the world strangers continued to walk on by. Jake remembered asking an old friend if it was possible to get someone’s attention. His friend respsonded carelessly, “Depends how distraught you are.”
Fighting with every fibre of his being to reach out to them, he screached into their ears like a car skidding across the road, just inches from hitting an innocent soul.
“In the beginning you’re cradled, you’re loved! Then, you’re forgotten!”
He was once cradled and loved like everyone else as infants. Years passed and that love was lost, left to wither into nothing but a faded memory. Painting was his only true love and talent but it only brought him so far. Finally, an epiphany arose but it was too late. Love is the true survival mechanism to life. A cure only proven when given to another human being from one who has the love to give. Jake was filled with too many chemicals and those who approached him only had to briefly smell the poison before flinching as if being burned by the stench. The burn being the only thing that made poor Jake feel alive. That same burn, was what he lived for and died for.He could have gotten help is what people say, but he suffered instead.
Mary was one of those people who thought of Jake as just another victim who chose to suffer rather than be helped. She often passed him on her way to work at the office along with her co-worker Conner.
“He could have gotten help but he held out, leaving his departure all the more tragic. There’s no one to truely miss him ’cause no one truely loved him. That— is what I call a tragedy.”The words floated into the stale air leaving Mary’s narrow mind unshaken as she continued her walk to the office.
“Better keep that thought to yourself, it might make you rich someday.”Connor said and continued his walk to the alley of sin. Where his love awaits him, snug in a dime bag in a stranger’s dirty pocket.