Songs As Stories: The King of Wretches

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*Inspired by the song “Search and Destroy” by Sanders Bohlke

I don’t have a favorite season, per se, but whenever summer rolls around, my head swims with near endless possibilities of how I can alter not only my reality but the reality of existence so that I can finally live a life in which my head falls on the pillow with no worries and I awaken the same way.

But at this moment, any life other than mine would be an improvement. When you live in the gutter, climbing up onto the pavement can feel like reaching the first heaven, but there’s not much chance of climbing that high. My wings, or what’s left of them, haven’t been able to bear my weight for quite some time now.

And I’m not alone. I lie here amongst the other bodies that convulse on a human Richter scale that makes it impossible to pray and have those prayers heard. My lips, dry and cracked haven’t kissed another in a century of lifetimes, though I have been kissed by cruel fate, who calls my name and announces my presence, the King of Wretches Among Wretches, this fate who comes down from on high, feigns love for me, lifts my head slightly and kisses me deeply and passionately and leaves without uttering a word.

And here I lie wide awake trying to mask my terror because I was instructed to know no fear but I feel my reserve crack and my secret fears are beginning to seep through. Left for dead but not truly dead, I sometimes raise myself to my full height and threaten to leave, but those who know realize this is an empty threat. My soul is anchored here and even though I can beg the wind to carry this all too fleshy carapace, what would I be without that which makes me unique? What sort of life would that be?

Besides, I’m far too proud to beg, even for mercy. Accepting charity never seemed quite right to me. So, I stay in anger, and at the dawn of each new day, I let the carrion pick away at the bits of me that have gone necrotic from non-use. I curse the fact that when they take to the sky, they never steal away the bits that made me the monster that led me to be in this predicament in the first place. It’s as if the universe believes its very own balance is better with me assuming this role.

The sad truth is that not all dead are buried in the field with the flowers. Some lie rotting away to nothing, slowly dying from wounds that never heal. The minor injuries you suffer repeatedly every single day that rip the scabs off to bleed you anew. It’s the slowest death imaginable. Where you die a little more on each anniversary.

And in time these injuries celebrate anniversaries, birthdays, and even holidays. And you cry outwardly until the tears no longer come, then you cry inwardly and when people cannot see you weep, they assume that you’ve moved on and think it’s okay to pretend the bad thing never happened and things can return to normal, without realizing that there is no longer a normal to return to.

The parent of dead hopes and dreams never stops being a parent in their hearts. And you spend the rest of your life gathering the leftover pieces and remnants of a future life well past its sell-by date and inhume it in the backyard of years gone by in a specially constructed box of disappointment.

Sally forth and be sowing your dreams and reaping better realitiesingly writeful.

– Rhyan Scorpio-Rhys

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