"To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow; a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
- William Shakespeare
Warmth. The sensation, to someone as perpetually cold as myself, is amazingly pleasant. Imagine being lost in a frigid ocean, removed from the rest of humanity. At first you struggle to stay afloat, but eventually you accept the fact that you are drowning. You let the murky waters close over your head, and the darkness pulls you under. But that...that is nothing compared to the cold. It takes an immeasurable amount of time to become accustomed to the constant chill seeping through your skin. You think it will never end until, finally, it feels as though your veins have turned to ice. Even through all of that, familiarity sets in. Years and years go by, slowly, creeping by. Time holds no real meaning anymore, and throughout it you are still drifting aimlessly, drowning in the black water.
But then, one day, the sun comes out. It touches your body, a forbidden warmth, and you feel an incredible yearning for more. You break through the surface and you realize that there is now land where there wasn't before. You leave the ocean and walk on the newly discovered earth, just like everyone else. You feel each individual blade of grass under your feet, you smell the sweet dusty air, and everything looks...brighter, more colorful somehow. For once, you feel like you're living life the way it was meant to be lived.
So I ask you: would you go back to the ocean? Could you? Do you think you could resign yourself back to the glacial, icy waters? Even the thought seems to make the dark shadows close in behind me.
But I did it. I turned my back on the warm sunlight, on the green grass and saccarine air, and I did it willingly. I forced myself back into the pitch-black sea, now so much darker after such brightness only moments before. I reverted back to my torturous former life, reluctantly, but of my own accord. The only difference was now, I knew what I was missing. I craved the sunlight like a detoxing drug addict, feeling my need for it increase with each second gone by. More than anything, I wished it would end. I wished I would be able to conquer the terrible urge, one lengthy day at a time.
And so, here we are. I'm still languishing in the darkness, and you're asking me why I did it. If nothing else, believe me when I say that I had no choice. There was nothing I desired less than to refuse the sunshine I loved. To do so was pure torture; I felt as though my head was being torn apart with violent, vicious grief. But I simply had to do it. You see, the ocean is the only place for me. It's where I've resided for so long, and it's familiar...and safe. For everyone involved.
She is my sunshine. I dare not speak her name, or even think it, because doing so would tear down the flimsy barrier I so methodically constructed to hold in the pain in my head. She is the sun, MY sun, and in her absence I am cold, in every sense of the word. But without such a cold being to heat up, without ME, the sun can move on to better things. Like making others feel the happiness I feel when I look at her. Or by shining beautifully bright, uninhibited by dark rainclouds. She can have this, all of this, without me.
Every single day is a struggle. The freezing ocean waves beat mercilessly against me, pounding out a rhythm that seems to whisper, Go back to her. She needs you. You need her. Go back. Over and over, the same message. But it doesn't understand. No one does. I can't go back. I won't. I will not do that to her, not selfishly covet her glowing light and deny her a normal life. All suns need to shine. I won't be the one to deny nature that right.