PTSD

He hates the feeling of broken metaphors beneath his fingertips because they remind him of the aftermath. The sharpness of the curves and the way each letter sucks up a little more of oxygen from his already depleting lungs. Writing hurts. It hurts like the unexpected sting from a paper cut. It hurts like the ache of a war-torn heart. It hurts because it is more real than anything else.

The world is a crazy place. The people are crazier. A frenzy of letters tumble onto the page, open-mouthed o’s and stiff-necked t’s swerving, dancing, piercing, escaping. Truth is so far away, but reality is right here.

There is no longer a purpose to the tears. They don’t leak memories like they used to. He is trapped by the nightmares of his own mind and the only cure is the ink bleeding from his pen. Relief floods into his mind, pours through his ears in torrents, and gushes through the open wounds before they seal upon themselves.

The sound of certain words like love, and beauty, and strength are foreign on his tongue. They taste of bitter memories and suffocating smoke. They are not nourishment – they are poison. His only sustenance is the gossamer ghost that still lingers in his mind, glimmering like a million tiny mirrors that reflect the face of one who has seen the secrets of the universe and decided to remain mortal in spite of it.

Somewhere, a plane is hurtling toward the ocean. Somewhere, a newborn is uttering his first cry. Somewhere, the last breath is being taken.

Here, a story is being told.

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