I stood with my toes balanced on the edge, looking down at the waves below.
I had caught the bus and walked along the footpath. It was bordered on either side by a wooden fence, but it was more like a plank of wood stuck between posts, used by children to swing on. It was, I thought, more of an indication to stay out of the bush instead of there to keep people out. At the end of the footpath was a metal fence, put up after a child had accidentally fallen. It had been years ago and weeds had grown over the metal creating a greeny wall. It was easy enough to find footholds and get over the fence that only went up to my neck. I had discovered that if I jumped this fence and went far to the left then not even someone peering over would be able to see me. Behind me the trees would block their view and I could stay there quite happily, out of sight in this open world.
That's what I liked about this, how open it was; with the sea spreading to the horizon and all the air around me. Yet I was alone, like in a little cubbyhole where no one would ever find me.
A gust of wind pushed a strand of hair onto my face, reminding me how high up I was. I walked back and sat down, safe from any gusts that may threaten to blow me over. Not that they would, but perhaps that little child hadn't really run recklessly off the edge and instead had been pushed over by a gust of wind. Perhaps the wind hadn't sent them crashing into the water but had carried them off to a happier place, one amongst the clouds with every beauty a person could dream of. That would be a nice place.
I crawled on my knees to peer once again over the edge.
That would be a nice place indeed, I thought again. "But there is not enough wind together." And I sat back and laughed. It was a soft one, just in case anyone had decided to take the path and happened to be peering over. I doubted though there would be anyone with Autumn starting to make its mark.
So I laughed softly at what I had said and the thought that had crossed my mind.
"Perhaps the wind is a metaphor for my mind." And I chuckled softly again.
Then I was standing, stepping back, arms out to accept the world before me.
"Tis where I quote Shakespeare or Hemmingway but alas Romeo and Juliet do not live in me and Ernest is just a name I know but have never read. So I shall quote someone like Rowling or Meyer because a person that is not well educated with the classics is but of course expecting magic to pop them a vampire out of thin air."
I sunk back down onto the ground, needing rest after my soliloquy. My mind returned, as I trusted it would, to the thought of the wind as a metaphor for my mind. I was always thinking in terms like this, what this could be like, how that could relate to that. The wind had, in the context of my thoughts before, been an appropriate metaphor. It was always threatening to throw me over the edge, reaching heights and dying down the picking up again just as the last threads had managed to float away. But where I doubt the child would fear the wind that carried them safely upwards, if the wind was a metaphor for my mind then I would be terribly afraid of what it could do.
"Nonsense." I waved at the passing air as if to push it away. But I knew that even if I could push the air away I could not push my mind away.
"You can smile and laugh, and have pretty things, but what can change your mind?"
I sighed, falling back to lie on the ground with my hands resting on my head. Above the clouds passed softly, changing shapes from rabbits to nonsense.
"You bother me I know." And for a moment I knew I was that person that talks to themselves, that will one day end up muttering on the bus with school children giggling without even hiding it behind their bags. They don't realise we're talking about them they say to each other, they don't realise a thing, they're crazy.
Crazy, what a harsh word. There's no good in crazy.
"Perhaps you'll end up there." And I don't know whether I'm talking to my future self or what I am now but I sit up in a panic.
"Don't be that, don't become that." Yet talking like that doesn't help.
I flash my hands about in the air, shaking them, throwing them around as if somehow it would make things different.
I hope it stops.
And my hands only flail faster at that thought because I don't hope, I can't, I don't. Like there was a reason for the wind there was a reason for this.
Sitting up in my open cubbyhole I needed to distract myself and my mind flicks to the day when I somehow, when this petty thing in my head decided the worlds axis hinged on what I thought, what I hoped.
I was such a foolish girl and even as I thought that I knew that I still am. Petty, foolish; because I think that somehow, somehow in this huge world if I hope something terrible will happen.
"Scientifically proven," I muttered and pulled my knees up to rest my head on. As I did that I noticed a loose thread in my long black skirt.
I hope it doesn't tear.
But I don't hope, I can't, I don't.
It was the only way I could, for a while, have some peace, by repeating those words in my head. Again and again it would go, as hope only continued to slip in. I couldn't trust what I might think, at any moment knowing that some thought, some thought I did not want to think, would slip in.
"Tis terrible you irrational girl, to be so afraid of hope."
I lifted my head to the breeze that had begun to pick up.
"Fear ye be wise yet peace be found whilst hope is claimed on summers ground."
I scoffed, it was Autumn.
"But that doesn't rhyme, lest the world turns lime."
I thought that perhaps one day things would be different, but when one does not know their future, perhapsing is like looking into crystals balls.
The wind had gone soft, not even noticeable up here.
"This is when the protagonist heaves themselves up and tears their body over to the edge where they pause, dangling in thought for a moment. I don't want to be afraid anymore they say boldly and as the wind picks up into a torrent they push themselves off, arms out as if to fly. Yet they fall and just before the water meets them they smile and a soft flash of wind is shown to wrap its arms around them, and whilst it is not shown you know that they are being carried off to a better place."
I stretched my arms out to the side.
"Yet with my legs crossed the wind shall only rustle the feathers of my hair."
Down below I imagined the fish swimming along, untouched by what lay above on the surface. I wonder if they ever felt melancholy.
"But in their globbery minds I doubt they fear more than bigger fish."
I could talk about fish, and rhymes and pretend the wind actually does more than make it cold but it wouldn't change my mind.
"The problem with the mind my dear, is that you need the mind to fix it."
Perhaps the wind, perhaps it liked to spend all its time breezing along, reaching to different corners of the earth. Different corners, perhaps, that it would push things into, bearing upon them until they were stuck, unable to move or be found.
"It was like there was that voice, the small slipping one that was now taking over, overriding the one that was her own. It was getting lost, being pushed away, her own voice, and as much as she searched, she couldn't find it to pull it out of the corner it had been put in. And she didn't know what to do, how to find it back, when the only thing she had had before was logic, and that was with the voice she had lost. She needed the voice with strength in it, not the one that was weak and meagre, and that she found hard to control. She had lost herself in her enemy, in her mind."
I leant back and lay on the grass. It had overgrown here, without the trampling of feet to flatten it. Every now and then it appeared mowed or at least hacked up and sometimes there would be the sign that someone else, usually two, had dared to jump the fence.
Lying back I could see the tips of the wind rustle the grass, causing it to slightly bend. I wondered if there happened to be an ant on the top of a stalk, if it would fall off in the wind. But ants seemed to be able to weather the gusts.
"You know girl, one day you'll be like an ant in the wind."
I sat back up and smiled, at both the thought of my future and the foolishness of my belief. Standing I moved over to the edge, but didn't look down, instead looking out. Out at the unseen air that was flowing all around. Out perhaps, at the unseen truth which I didn't know existed.
"It's a terrible thing to fear your mind, and the wind can never die."