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Where does it lie

I look out onto the yellow and brown vegetation beneath my window, at the castle-like buildings far away and wonder where do I lie in all of this? There was a time when I was unfettered. This was a time before I entered the working world, before I was independent. My heart was free as a bird when I was in college. I did not know what happiness I experienced in my creativity because I had never known different. In other aspects of my life I knew pain but my stories, sprung up lately from a gothic mist into an immersing Pre-Raphaelite painting, were a richness and the most beautiful thing I had ever known. That the most beautiful thing I knew to exist happened inside of me made me very happy, even though I didn't know it.

Now I know the sun is setting, even though I can't see it, because the bank of brown, twisted trees and shrubs is lit gold, like a reflection from a golden chalice. Slowly, slowly it will fade until everything is a homogenous, uncertain gray. This is the nightmare time. That is, the time I dislike most. I feel it in my innermost self. Maybe a part of me so deep I scarcely know it feels the certainty of death. So deep and inescapable is the feeling I can only relate it to death.

So inescapable. Like my first acid burn today on the job. I have no idea how it happened. I was washing glassware, felt an itching inside my glove. I scratched and scratched, but it would not go away. It spread slowly and insidiously till I stripped the glove away and gave it attention, scrubbed my hand with soap. By this time the burn had formed a smattering of red welts over my hand and hurt truly.

It reminded me of what happens inside me. Like the acid, it's too late. Even if I ignore it at first it will still spread from itch to discomfort to pain.

This is that pain, this not knowing where to go or what to do, only desperation. Like a game of musical chairs I know I must be in the right place at the right time, or at some place, when the music stops, or I will be left without a place at all.

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