Flash Story – “Pensive Deliberation” – 1,000 words – 1/30/2022

I

Cracks in the Walls

There is always love that dreams. Even then, those times when the eyes are closed, when the mind has entered a shutdown phase, the soul is screaming. The soul screams, as that is all the mind hears. The same as an infant owl having a powerful sense of hearing will be frightened at thunder, there is, when the body rests, the same example of restlessness. Since what is familiar to the mind are those screams, is the same for the owl’s innate perceptions for loudness it eventually grows accustomed to.

In the scream, the mind listens, the heart is the conductor, while the soul is in agony. Whom, in particular, is repeating the blaring chorus in heated vibrato and carelessly driven congestion? It is one man whose eyes look up, though stare at eyelids. In his sleep, such a face has been showered in pain, as though a collection of clouds, unwilling to scatter, are sending down to him the stinging droplets to walk him through the corridors of remembrance.

To that face, there is the obvious display of tension. From wincing brows to grimacing lips, here are revealed the symptoms of discomfort. More than that, however, is what wrinkles and folds to his skin. These finer details deserve more notice, enough to lead on for apparent understanding.

We mean love. We do, when we can look, even for a mere moment, apart from the face of this man to a folded paper that has been dropped from the bed to the floor. A paper of its own wrinkles and folds, blended in with the dark ink, remaining rounded enough to be the shape, the cause of this man’s grief. Then, upon returning to the face of the man with running across the arm to his cheeks, there is a road that heads to his pensive countenance. There is a path that enters the darkness of his complexion, up through his sleeve with fear’s perspiration as a wet street after an evening of drowsy weather.

Those words, from the paper, despite the dark of this room, can always be said to be what is causing the signs of visible pain. A depression, one dark walk through the deepest of memories, as one pebble can fall into a geyser to find the depth hotter as it descends. It can be those written words, or it is them, when the path that leads from his hand to his face is enough for guidance’s sake. A subtle waft of perfume curtains a glaze over the apparent emptiness of this room, while a discolored stain is nestled in quiet ease into the page of looseleaf.

A wide array of thoughts. A vast depiction of what is hurting. His love resides upon the other end of town, while there are a multitude of cracks to the infinitely less walls in between. All walls with a great many more cracks, to shopping malls, factories, warehouses, apartments, single-family houses, bookstores, conveniences stores, bakeries, salons, restaurants, cafes, hospitals, theaters, drug stores, supermarkets, gift shops, hardware stores, and a great many others. All places with walls that hold the thinnest cracks, though love can wait an eternity to see each structure collapse that two beloveds will not have barricades to withhold shared sight.

There is the question for what drives the life mad with love. What does, other than the knowledge to how love leads to the rush, the impatience of life to grasp what it needs to live? We fear to lose what is most valuable, as it is the heart possessed by love that can recognize value before it becomes lost. Through the rush, there is the stammering heart, the nerves for how they affect body language and speech. There are those glimpses, viewed upon the face and hands of this man, while he is embedded in the most restless sleep that soothes no inch of flesh about his limbs.

II

When Love carries Ropes

All to the madness to love, there is, for bystanders, spectators, and ardent supporters of simple pleasures the endless questioning of it. They point out love’s meaninglessness, its uselessness, and its lack of functional worth.

We cannot pray apart an illness from the form, though the uselessness behind love is its point. If we can state our prayer to God can hold functional outcome, then we cannot also claim that God is loving. What point to love, besides no point? What use to it, other than none at all? The same is spoken for a man who sleeps in restless dreams, viewing landscapes without color. Since, when he comes to awaken, he will still see monochrome in the sun that has only begun to rise. Even then, the color will bring back his sadness. Color will remind him of what is, again, utterly pointless.

It is within his dreams that he sees a tree, and then has noticed himself carrying a rope. In his dreams, a feeble sort of serenity has surfaced. He wants to lose everything at the hanging of his heart.

The tree may as well be the growth of his life. The rope may as well be the gathered strings of his heart, now dried into mere twine. Waking would make no difference. A woman on the other end of town would not see him place his head out of the window to feel the wind gust against his cheeks. It can be said of this man that more fear and cowardice has captured his heart, rather than love. How much madness? How much despair? It would not be known, though love is said to wait.

In his dreams, he faces near to the end of them. When he does wake, as eventually he will, he will find the paper upon the floor with the engrained words built into them the same as walls. He might linger his eyes upon the sentences a moment more than before, when he had read them the first time. He might listen to the rhythms of his heart closer, as a curious child inching up to a window to gain an opportunity to view something it has before missed.

To see cracks in the paper that surround the words and letters, imagine cracks in the walls that separate himself from his beloved, or to feel the cracks in his heart that invite the invention of a rope; and this man will wake to discover what will not erase, nor collapse in time, nor completely heal.

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