Sometimes you think of falling. Swirling down and down into a vortex of nothingness; where even darkness becomes a burden of living, and suffering is a proof of life.
Where you swirl round and round, the same way the soft serve ice-cream served at the fast food joints you went to as a child would trail the circumference of the cone, and your eyes would follow that motion. Round and round, until you were dizzy, and the server's hands stopped.
You lie on the floor, the ground is your bed, the blankets and pillows propped up by chairs and pegs becoming your ceiling. You lie there, and you let the feelings of nothing wash over you.
You know that there is so much out there.
The dancing of people across the rotting stage of the world, laughing and crying, showing emotions that might as well be written on billboard signs. Nothing makes sense, and all you want to do is for everything, to fade away.
Your existence is meaningless.
You can barely see past your hand.
Tomorrow has nothing to offer to you, and yesterday is just another burden.
You feel nothing. Completely empty.
You are relieved that you feel nothing. But there! At the back of your mind, that little niggle of a voice that scares you. It reminds you of all you haven't done. There's books to study, people are expecting things from you. There's that assignment due, and there's that test that you really should be studying for.
And for the first time in your life, you can't bring yourself to care; and that scares you.
Once upon a time, you did care. When the weight of your life was limited to the test score on your paper. When the slip of white paper dictated your happiness that day. You felt anger, happiness, relief, sadness, regret.
Now, the numbing ice that has slowly frozen your mind has penetrated it's way to your heart.
You have nothing left.
You pick up the razor blade, or kitchen knife, the blade from a pencil sharpener, a pair of long forgotten scissors that was lying around in your round that you found in a fit of grief.
You grab a set of clothes, a bandage, a towel, some antiseptic and some gauze that you sneaked from the first aid kit in the kitchen. You shout 'I'm taking a shower!' so that someone knows where you are if you pass out.
Or maybe you don't.
You run the shower, and let the water lap against your bare skin. The feeling of water is both desired and detested. The warmth of the water penetrates the icy barrier of your hands as you kneel against the tub. You are both relieved and grieved.
You snuggle into the corner, near the tap, and you grab the blade. So sharp, so shiny.
Once again, you hesitate. Just a bit. That small voice telling you that this is wrong. This is bad. You shouldn't do this AGAIN.
You brush it off, telling yourself you'll stop eventually. The same lie that you've told yourself so many times that you've stopped believing it, and telling yourself has become more of a ritual and a reminder of your weakness.
The water has soaked through part of your sleeve and you frown. You roll them up and take off your watch or wristband. You look down at your arms but what you see is not the garish white scar tissue, patterned like abstract gashes. The tender bruising of repeated self-inflicted beatings have left blossoms of flowers in purples, greens and black. All you see is your past. Your present. And what you fear is your future.
You inspect the last gash. This one is still red and angry, but the wound has closed and a scab has formed. You no longer derive pain from pressing down on it.
You choose a part of the skin that is not completely matted by the white tissue as the latest canvas for your painting of destruction. You place the blade against the skin, a moment of pain, and the blood beads at the edges of the newly formed wound, before trickling down your skin, like a snake searching for it's prey.
The pain sharpens your mind momentarily, and all your focus goes to the pain that is your forearm.
Once more, you are surprised by the bright red blood that seeps out. Was it possible that your blood, too, like the 9 billion people in this world, runs red?
It's a comforting thought.
When the cut numbs into a throb, you move your blade down and make another incision. Then another.
Until exactly three gashes form. That's all you allow yourself.
You press down on the wound and once more the pain seems to blossom like the flowers you left on your windowsill, or the sakura flowers that grow in your neighbour's garden. You think of those flowers, and your mind wanders.
You don't know how long you sit there, but when you start, you realize that the blood has clotted, and your legs are numb. You sigh, and start to wash the wound under the water. The water stings and burns the wound an angry, flaming red. It starts to bleed again, so you press a towel against it until it stops, then apply antiseptic, and the gauze and bandage. Over the past few years, you have become very adept at applying bandages with one hand.
You're done, and the numbness will stay with you until you next episode. You step out of the bathroom and run into someone you know.
You smile and say 'nice day isn't it?' and hurry to your room before they ask any questions.
You deposit the bloody towel in a secret place. You'll need to wash it when no one's looking.
You look at the piles of books and testpapers that you need to study.
You bleed to remember your feelings. You bleed to exert your control. You bleed to escape the chaos of life.
You bleed to know that you are alive.