I opened my eyes reluctantly, hoping to hold on to my dreams a little longer.
While I slept I would roam the endless plains of North Dakota. Back to the freedom I once knew.
When I woke, I knew I would be returned to this nameless hellhole. My whole world was everything a 60 watt bulb could illuminate. My freedom, restricted by a chain link fence hooked up to a row of car batteries.
A pure darkness laid at the periphery of everything in my existence. Occasionally I could hear water dripping, but I tried not to fall into its hypnotic rhythm. Lest I slip into madness.
I never found out who had trapped me here, how it had happened, or why.
The only escape was to make it disappear. I tried- Forced myself to sleep.
Depression is something I struggle with. Sometimes when I am content a voice from inside tries to convince me that it is just a dream, and I am destined to wake up to the reality that all the hope in the world was never real to begin with. I know that’s not true- but I can’t seem to escape it sometimes. The battle, at least for me is to remember that depression is the dream. It’s not real. And at some point I will wake up.
I was but a bright eyed boy when my dear mother passed. Her throat slit while she slept. My father was sent to prison under suspicion of her death where he eventually fell ill and expired. Of course, he was entirely innocent of the crime.
It was a drifter that came to our door that day. He was soaked through his heavy wool coat. Bones rattling to a deathly rhythm, one that had shook the life from his eyes. I distinctly remember a dark presence burdening him, radiating like black steam. I begged my mother not to take pity. But she was a foolish woman. Too kind for her own good.
When the man had finished with her he rooted through our kitchen and stormed out the back. Not before giving a patronizing pat to the back of my head. It was at his touch that the darkness began to take root. The feeling was that of a hand crushing my skull, fingernails digging ever deeper into the depths of my mind. A madness that to this day has failed to cease.
Perhaps I should have stayed. With my testimony, my father surely would have avoided his unjust sentence. Instead he came home to a dead wife and policemen welcoming him with shackles in hand. The only witness had slipped out the door.
On the road life was less than pleasant. Every passing day was a testament to will and desperation.
Travelers would occasionally stop and offer whatever help they could. Though never enough to loosen the grip on my head. Once you have seen evil it becomes a part of you. A part that if not properly drowned, will pound electrifying spasms of torment into the chest. I think that is why I kept walking. Each step staved off the darkness, I knew nothing else.
I woke this morning unable to make it to my feet. Three weeks of hunger and exhaustion had taken its toll. I fear death will take me soon. But more than that, I fear the thoughts that encroach while I lay here.
Before it all goes black I will see true darkness.