my name is Mika’l
And I am an addict…
It’s been a habit of mine for a long time. Ever since I was able to process a thought. I like to keep it hidden. Secret. In the quiet recesses of my mind and heart. At some point each day I like to bring it out. Stroke it. Gaze upon it. Sometimes I smile, sometimes I cringe.
It is such a part of me. It’s hard to decipher. Separate. Determine what it is and what it is not. At times it is everything. It strangles me. I cannot breath. And then I breath IT in. Aspirate. My lungs begin to burn. I cough. Then choke. How can my lungs be so full, yet so empty? I asphyxiate.
Only then do I seek for clean air. Only then does it stop working for me. I come down off my high. I am now full of regret. I see the damage I have done. I see what IT has done to me. A tangled web that I jump into.
On purpose. It isn’t a disease. It is intentional. A condition, maybe. Do I suffer from it? Yes. But am I responsible? Yes. I am the victim and the villain. What I need is a Victor. That part I can never play.
What is my habit of choice? You might wonder. Is it not obvious? Does it not plaster itself on my forehead even while I try hard to keep it hidden? Does it not seep through my smile as puss does through it’s scab? Can you not see it cancerously eat away at my flesh? As I try unsuccessfully to cover it up with more of myself.
Have I not hurt you in the process? If there was ever a stupid question, that is. My tears flow down my face. Salt running down my neck burning, dropping, landing on my regret. I see a trail winding recklessly behind me. Littered. The fallen ones that have fallen by my own hand. My own sword. My habit has now become my weapon.
But wait. I see another trail. This one straight. In front. It lies ahead of me as I stand there staring down at my next step. My feet are dirty. No. Dirty makes them sound clean. I am ashamed. My habit, this addiction, it runs deep. It leaves a stain. I stand, bent. Staring.
I must keep moving. Down this path, there is no luxury of stopping. I bend over and I start scrubbing. I use the sand to try and remove the refuse that I have been trodding in for so long. But I only manage to grind it deeper into my skin. I take another step. I look back. I see three sets of foot prints treading behind me just as filthy as my own. I am hopeless. I not only revel in my addiction, I inflict wounds. Wounding doesn’t satisfy, so I lead them now too. Down this tragic path of failure.
As I walk I inhale, exhale, it takes me there. If I can’t get rid of it, why not embrace it. If I can’t not wound, why not wound deep. If it’s leading I’m now doing why not lead as a pioneer? Fearless.
Now I am fear itself. I am shaking. Trembling. My foot wavers. I stumble. I feel something different. It is not dry. It is not filth. It does not burn or scratch at the bottom of my feet. I have no point of reference. I do not know what this is. I am not only fear. I am now scared. I pull harder the rope that has bound me to the other three. Making them trip. The younger one falls and is now bleeding. I keep pulling. Tighter.
I feel it again. I look down hoping to find a name. Something to tell me what it is I am feeling. Is it water? I have only heard of this. I think, somewhere. It is a strange sensation. Relief yet pain.
First a puddle. The shallow water has turned to mud. My toes squish in it. Before I can stop myself I laugh at the sensation. I look down at my feet. They are still covered and I cannot see them. I only feel the difference.
I begin to squint. It is so bright. My eyes begin to water… more water. I brush away the wetness with my shoulder. My hands still hold the small hands trailing behind me. It becomes brighter and I wait for blindness. But instead I begin to see.
My foot lands in another puddle. This one bigger. The water is changing color. It is no longer black stained by the blackness of my feet. I hear splashing behind me, I do not have to look, I know it is the three that follow.
The brightness now is like the sun blazing strong. I feel warmth. The warmth of hope. I am afraid but I am no longer fear. I am trembling but I am no longer shaking. There is water on my face, but it no longer burns like the salt before it.
I inhale. Is this air? I have never known it before now. It must be, because I am breathing. I exhale and I feel the bonds loosen. The bonds of my addiction. The stripes are still embedded in my skin where they once restricted, spiraled around me. I feel the tenderness, I am now vulnerable.
I look down at my feet. They are no longer black, but I am surprised by this new color. I wanted them to be clean, the color of my skin. But it will never be so. They are red. Because the water was not water it was blood.
Frightened, I stare. But this time I stare ahead. I do not understand this new thing. This new feeling of freedom, so I search for the answer in front of me. There is now a shadow in front of the sun. But the shadow is becoming brighter as it come closer still. It overtakes the sun, this blazing star that gives light to all, it seems small and dark, no longer does it give forth warmth, it feels cold.
I look harder, searching and I see another trail, trailing on top of the trail I walk on. It is a trail of red. First droplets that slowly turn into a cleansing stream. It comes from hands that are open, beckoning, calling. Closer. I hear a name. My name. Is this my name? I feel a rush breathed into me. I inhale. I am new.
My eyes travel from the flowing hands to the now flowing feet. These feet are red too. And the place of flowing is marked with a name. And I am pierced through with a knowing. This knowing. How do you use words to explain THIS knowing. It was my name written there. It was my name.
I now leave footprints of red where I once left black. The three trailing behind me will too.
I have met the Victor.