Notes on Emotion

So I've been working on two stories which I though would be short but it turns out they're gonna be a bit longer than I anticipated and they're gonna take a while. In between doing those I thought I should do something really quick to put up cos it's been a while.

Also, my internet is now limited (10gig a month, it's a lot less than it sounds. Especially since I use tumblr which is a huge bandwidth vaccuum) so that's why I haven't been coming on here very often.

That is all.

Chapter 1

What's that feeling? The one where everything is white, blinding and elation? I suppose it's ecstasy. Where you feel like the world isn't quite up to your level of happiness yet, but you love it anyway. You play a song or a film or a memory, and the world floods to you and becomes yours to contort, but you don't, you just want to share it. Your smile could last forever, with how happy you are. You sit in your room and the music or film or memory is the only thing in existence and you dance with the sheer elation of it all.

But you're alone. Not really, there are billions of people on this earth, millions of people in your country, thousands in your city or town or whatever. You aren't alone. But no one is with you right now. Your room contains you, your things, and your thoughts. Alone. You are so happy, but really you are just a body full of chemicals, and that's what it all comes down to.
But, even thinking about these things and realising we aren't so different from everyone else on the planet, everything else, you're allowed to be happy. You are allowed to feel that elation, that ecstasy. Because why else would we be bodies full of chemicals, if not to feel unbelievable happiness when we are alone.

But it isn't just blinding happiness.

You are consciously aware how alone you are, and it brings you back down. Your helium balloon of ecstasy loses its grip on the clouds, the universe, and it drifts back down to earth. I believe this is when you begin to feel alone. Not just know it, but really take notice of it and understand the enormity of it. You're in a house, a street, a country, but none of the billions of people on this earth have chosen to spend that moment with you. Somehow this knowledge fixes itself as a weight to your shoulders and you feel slack and heavy. This is sadness, upset, discontentment. Maybe you will be okay with this. Maybe a tear will escape from you. Maybe you with whisper to yourself in your darkened room at no one and nothing. However you experience it, it's okay. The chemicals are there for you to know that it's okay.

As the earth turns, your blood pumps, your lungs inflate, deflate, inflate, deflate, you relax. Sadness is just a part of those chemicals that are a part of you. There is no way to escape them other than to embrace them. Let the sadness fill you, and then redirect it. Tell it what to do. This body is yours, control it! Feelings are there for a reason, but it isn't to take over you. As your blood pumps and you breathe, you fall away from the sadness, the sopping discontent, and you hit the ground for real this time.

As you land on the ground, your balloon hits it with you. You land on shards of glass, splinters of anger and rage. Nothing is calm about this landing, and you shake and quake and scream. Silence is pierced with violet rage and you replace the world with your inner chemicals, spewing them around and infecting the air surrounding you. It spreads like flame, wild and aggressive, until you can no longer see through it. Caution pulls its way into your mind, loud but dull in this everlasting choir of anger, and you ignore it. You move around and see destruction and feel destruction and breathe destruction. The world turns red and you are blind to all that is not.

You tread through the glass splinters like they are your own creation. What is important to note at this moment is that they are not. At some point, while you were falling, they were placed beneath you. You fell to them because you were supposed to. In reality, the splinters were a trap, and you were merely unsuspecting prey. You walked around, stomped and fumed and blundered about with this anger, this rage, but it isn't really yours. The words, the actions, the chemicals, these are all yours. They came from you, are a part of you. But the anger? No. The anger was only a gift. You were given anger by the shards, just as the shards were given to you by something else. The anger did not come from you, it came from somewhere else.

It is with this realisation that you begin to feel the chemical change. Your blood pumps and you breathe but it all has a different purpose now. Jealousy sinks its teeth into you, injects its poison. It is very little time before it becomes a part of you, but it did not originate in you. This thought doesn't occur to you until much later, and so you run with it. Take it as far as you can away from what you used to think. You can no longer see the path you took to happiness, not the path to sadness or anger. You see only what is ahead, what you think is ahead, the illusions the venom is showing you. You think you'll be happy again, you can almost smell it. And you think everything will be better, then. I know for a fact that it won't, but the venom is too deep in you now, for you to ever listen to me.

Crazy as it seems at the time, your mind has changed. Where before there was happiness, you now are driven by jealousy. It doesn't feel that way at all, that's why you don't think about it. You jump into situations you never would have before, but you still don't see it. There's a box in front of you. Big and black and as high as your waist. In the future you will lie to yourself, of course you knew, of course you saw it, but in the moment all you see is the jealousy.

For a second you catch a glimpse of something else, something in the trees to your left. Dark and shadowy, you see more movement. It is this that allows you to look past the jealousy and into fear. Suddenly the box is horrifyingly clear in front of you. The silhouette almost glows from the backlighting of whatever is in your distance. You look into it and find yourself. You see your childhood home, a place you felt safe, but it is burned and blacked with everything that haunts your nightmares.

You could, at this stage, run. But it would take you nowhere. You would circle this box without even knowing, and in the end you cannot run from what you see inside it. So instead you decide to reach out to it. Your fears emerge as you bring yourself forwards, and you shy away. Fear is not easy to repel, to ignore, or even to embrace. Fear is an enemy inside you, pushing you places you don't want to be, but it can be overcome. You know this, you've always known. How else could you have come this far? But it isn't easy.

The box is still there. Ominous in the dwindling light. It takes you seconds, minutes, maybe more, before you can move toward it again. This time you do not let yourself move backward. You hold your ground. It is only a box. Only a box. You repeat this in your mind. Only a box. Not your fears, only containing fears. It cannot move, cannot respond to you. Except it can, because what else is fear, but a response. The closer you get, the more you fear it, the more it can respond. Your fear gives it power. You move closer still. The box responds in kind, appearing to pulse, to waver, until it begins to move toward you. You are terrified now, blinded by fear, but you don't let it stop you. You reach out, just as the box does, until you are only inches from it. The movement stops. The pulse, the wavering, everything halts. Your fingertips brush the surface of the box and suddenly everything is gone. The fear is gone.

There are so many different names for this one. Stupidity, ignorance, bravery. The latter is by far the most generous. In all honesty, all three are a part of it. Call it what you like, it's what you have now. There isn't much to do but look for situations to put it to use. Now you see how each component is a part of it. Stupidity and ignorance are what make you seek it out. You're reckless and naive to think that bravery is something you can simply acquire. Sure, you can be brave. And yes, you have been. But it isn't there for life. You have to earn it each time. And so when you face some new fear, the bravery doesn't come. The ignorance and stupidity, however, are there in bulk.

This new fear, this new box which has been placed before you is bigger than last time. You overestimated yourself. You can reach out to it as much as you like, but unless you are honest with yourself, you cannot overcome it.

You see a figure in your peripheral. She walks towards you, only as a shadow, and she takes hold of the box. She lifts it and carries it away. As she walks the box shrinks until it's merely a speck on her palm. Lifeless. For all the stupidity you feel, the gratitude for being saved washes over you and spills over your sides. When the woman returns from wherever the distance took her, she smiles and nods. You return the gesture and she turns her back. All you can do is sit in the silence and be thankful.

As the silence permeates your skin you begin to feel new. The chemicals inside of you stir, but not in wakefulness, in a quiet slumber. You are completely and utterly relaxed. Calm is the most satisfying experience you have yet had the pleasure to feel. It doesn't electrify you, nor does it leave you lost and breathless. It just is. A part of night and day and dawn and dusk. It moves from wake to sleep with less than a whisper of wind, and it shows you how to live.

As the calmness swirls within your body, through your bloodstream and into your heart, you begin to drift away, until all that is left is your body. Full of the chemicals that are a part of you, and now dwindling into absence, you release your soul into the night and become one with it. The sky is yours, the night is yours, and nothing is left that can stand in your way.

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