“A Dream once Loved” – Novel

Volume One

I

His head held in his hands, ringing and throbbing a vain memory to be collected, still too vainly.

It passes, this pain, and what overcomes him is another falsehood. A peace he should not have, for he says, “Peace is nothing I’ve obtained. But, they have. They have obtained it. Not I.”

Peace is what? Reserved for the dead? Or, do we desire it, when we are alive, too? Does that make us suicidal? Who speaks, for it is a man named Alessio Neil, spoken aloud as thus, “I am Alessio Neil, son of Martha and Scot Neil, who has not found what two dead parents have gained.”

No knife is near his veins. No noose is wrapped about his neck. Nothing, that is, to indicate his immediate desire for peace.

His felt peace was merely the relief of a pain passed.

Before then, he felt the presence of someone near. Love had its hand in that scenario, by whatever shape love took. Whatever shape love took, was to him, a resemblance of something sinister. Whatever shape, and to himself, to Alessio Neil, it was a hideous recollection.

He places pieces together, in his mind, while looking over the newspaper in front of him. Images, upon words, upon the white, as images are meant to be upon words, and are meant to be upon the emptiness. A newspaper, held in one hand, and a mug of coffee, in the other.

His eyes hover and glance, above the words to the page he holds. He catches each detail, before it moves away from him, documenting it to his subconscious. Whatever read, whatever misunderstood, is brought down to the basement of his mind.

That subconscious. That devilish subconscious.

It is the place where we, when we were once children, knew nothing about the dangers around us. Then, we buried each misunderstood thought in a cellar, called that subconscious.

We do it still, even when fully grown. We do it still so easily. We bury thoughts that are not understood.

We bury them, when they are not understood, because fear places itself before what we cannot trust to be understood. What creates division in a world, in any social realm? It must be that fear is in place of not acceptance, but understanding.

Alessio has done so, for all memories suppressed.

Not understood, and never accepted, and these memories become buried further down.

What a mind, stuffed with memories, like a child with a stuffed animal. How so that Alessio had thought of something, to turn it away like a lover at nighttime, only to simply go to read the newspaper?

Why does something as this take place for him?

Love had, as we said, been somewhere in that memory. Whatever pained his mind, giving it a sharp pang, was full to the brim of that love.

A face, a singular countenance, that indeed resembles one of a woman’s. One woman, who very much resembles him, but of an older appearance, who now stares at Alessio from a painted portrait.

In the same kitchen, where he sits, is indeed a painted portrait of a woman. Her eyes hold a luster, even as her visage is only painted into the canvas. That gleam runs over Alessio’s capturing of this capture of her eyes. To this capturing of her eyes, she captures him.

And, very much alike, in appearance, to Alessio, she must be someone immensely important. For that pang of pain returns to his head, upon when he looks closer into her gaze.

II

Love is the element, the emotion, that relieves the oppressed mind from fear. True love, for true oppression, is the relief. For what is meant by “true”, is to never compare such things to the word “illusion”.

For Alessio, nothing is realer than the feeling, itself.

Something is lost to him, meaning that something is meant to be remembered. It is the morning, and despite him holding a mug of caffeine in his hand, there is a bottle before him, filled with half its liquid. Intoxicated upon pessimism, and now we see Alessio’s gaze hovering upon it, that bottle, like two subtle sun-rays peering through dense clouds. Like a singular beaming of light from his form, the lighthouse, reaching to a ship, as if one is lost inside the bottle.

Like he’s a captain upon that lonely vessel, without a crew to even lift his morale, he is faced with the temptation. To reach for it, take a swig from it, and perhaps even bleed a few tears from slits in his eyelids.

Like not the controller of the lighthouse, but the captain, who wishes to abandon what is fated to sink, and that is the definition of the pessimist. To sink or to swim, as it typically is the case of the survivor, and that is the definition of Alessio Neil.

What of that portrait upon the wall?

In a previous moment, his eyes were upon her eyes. A woman’s eyes, as we have said her appearance is very much identical to Alessio’s own.

He has torn away his stare? Was it too painful?

He becomes mirthful, in this moment, as though some imagined thought brought him to thinking on another minute in time, but drunken.

Love has a humorous way of telling a tale, weaved on a path where stones and rivers do not make their own sounds. Motherly love. That is the love we mean, when Alessio parts his lips to say aloud, “Mother,” with a face so stern, still with eyes upon the bottle.

Another word comes forth, “Loneliness,” and as if to blink, he does this, though holds his eyelids closed, as if remembering something.

The painted face. The woman’s face upon the wall? Is it his mother’s face? It must be his mother’s face, for who else would it be?

She is not at all talkative, as simply an image on the wall, painted with strokes like delicate motions of a hand. As if the artist was either paid to be careful, or was careful of their own accord, and it does not matter which. The care to this painting is apparent, and so much the choice of the artist, so much the choice of a woman to have care for such a face. So beautiful in every crease, and the ruby cosmetic applied to her lips.

She must have been young when the painting was made, crafted by an artist, with the result allowing each viewer to be in awe and admiration, as it must have been.

Love has no right to be forgotten. Though, it is a privilege for it to be captured.

III

He recalls, back to a time of youth, drinking his coffee that seems to have quickened his perception of things.

With love, there comes the guilt as to what actions should be trusted, with the other, among the other, and even through the other. Lust. Itself, as an essence, is always something coinciding with guilt. Lust is the sin, that coincides, when expressed in a sexual manner, with intimate trust. Trust is the element of such closeness, that within lust, is even more-so bathing in that spring of questioning what should be shared.

Secrets, and perhaps scars, are seen of the form, expressed through sighs, and even a tear or two.

Sighs, like love, are released from a mouth after a kiss, during a love-making. Beautiful, it would seem, that love could be as free as being intimate whenever, though is not. Why would that be, other than to know that trust is meant to lean on that intimacy? While being intimate, we might feel guilt if we shared those secrets with just anyone. As to who knows our truth, brought forth from flesh and scents, there we see the one who stepped into our bed, stepped into a bed of flesh, walk away with them.

A woman possesses so much secrecy stored in her heart, that even upon when about to weep, it is like an instinct to cover her face with a pair of hands, so to not see expressions of hurt.

Oh, how pain is so much like truth!

How truth is the element of hurt, of scars, where only those streaming tears are the added layer to our distressed face.

Alessio recalls a woman, a time when guilt was not a thing to be considered, when intimacy struck a chord in both minds, both hearts. He lifted a hand to be place on her thigh, and pawed a soft stroke across it. Like a sailor waiting for a wind, alike a gentle sigh, to move his boat across open waters, it was much like this. Much like how Alessio’s hand runs across her thigh, runs across like a boat upon the surface of water, and raises just a portion of the fabric to her dress above her ankle.

She blew a fragrance, sweet as the sound of it, to the openness about her. Lovely and lively, was this moment between the two. But, truth was about to be spilled from flesh, torn through with pairs of eyes, and cut through with multiple caresses.

It is indeed a spectacle of lust, for our beholding. Truth is enveloped by eyes, love is no more for the moment, and each secret is given. How does seduction work? All submit to the word, itself. Words are whispers, when heat embodies bodies. Breath is wind, and a house called a body or form, is never defending itself against the storm. Love transforms into lust, and in Alessio’s recollection, her coldness from a Southern end, from an arctic, melted of all its glaciers and snow.

He landed another kiss to each eyelid, and two more to each cheek. He landed four more to each lips of hers, before riding the current of her repeated breath with one elongated kiss. One kiss, that flew into time.

How do we relate such a scene to the present?

It can be said that Alessio is stunted in his confusion. Like a drunk, as somewhat even Alessio is, who has engaged in petty pleasure, for the sake of losing something.

When purity is lost, when truth is offered to anyone, we were not selfless, because we were robbed.

How do we define “thievery”? It is, by giving and never trusting, at the same moment.

Ah, when a woman gives, she is meant to trust. What “freedom” is it, in any emancipation, by giving a form, but never trusting one with it? A woman’s body is full of secrets. Full of so many things buried, and where has trust escaped to, in this world, if a woman may give her form so easily?

Trust. It overcomes guilt.

Love has nothing to feel guilty for, when love locks us inside it. When a man shares himself with a woman, when a woman shares herself with a man, love is meant to be the splendid emotion to lock both, through trust.

Otherwise, what else occurs, besides secrets being spilled, until no one desires honesty? That is prevalent, if one looks around. It is, because when secrets are so much of less value, people will begin to dig even deeper. What they find is twisted, and we bring monsters out of ourselves, as well as out of others. Transformations. Nothing more than change, is being embraced, in that scenario, in such a world.

And, for Alessio?

He cannot trust himself to dig any further than what pains him, in repeated pangs, on the surface of his mind.

Shall we begin to understand his mother?

Her name was Martha, to begin that memory. A pain that relates to Alessio’s previous memory of lust, in only how trust is so much voided. Alessio, unwilling to trust himself, still feels sharp pangs of pain, from echoes in his mind that he ignores.

Where is his stability? There is none.

These echoes shudder him. No trust is allowed for him, to place upon himself, so that these memories can be understood.

Even now, he hangs his head low as though wanting to weep.

IV

A woman’s body is full of secrets, as we’ve said, and so we’ve come to see, with much vividness, a few yearning memories of Alessio’s mind.

Secrets from a woman, once alive and aflame. And, there’s a portrait upon the wall, with enough memories to make him feeling another pang.

What a mind, warped, and engaged in the elements of tragedy. But, there is a beauty to it all. His mother, as her face has been painted with delicate strokes, from ever-more delicate motions, upon a canvas. It holds itself upright, as though upon the air. As though it floats, as though the winds of Heaven, itself, are levitating it above the floor.

His mother, as we’ve said, her name was Martha, and she is long dead.

Either she would be dead, or at least be dead to Alessio. Pain is pain, and we each share a different tale, but taste the same flavor of those letters, written in every book for a life.

Love has a different texture to it, besides that of the lust Alessio had mirrored before himself.

Love is never flat, or else it has become corrupted.

Love is not diabolical, nor is it ever prideful. It is not ever something that consumes, nor is it the worst feeling. When we say such words as, “Love reveals oneness”, or words such as, “I have found my other half”, we mean exactly that.

And yet, any connection can be sincere. A poisoned apple? A bad fruit? A corruption that has come over love? No such thing, unless we have given into what makes humans low, and that is never love.

Love grows wings. It causes us to soar. Should we compare love to anything foul, then we’ve forgotten how to define fear.

Despite our world being confusing, there are definitions.

We must define fear, and not let fear define us.

When we define love, we define ourselves and our heart. We define the very purpose we know we cannot deny for long. We are no tyrant in love, but a peacemaker, and a peacemaker that always says the words, “I am not here to force you to love me. I am here to show you that I can love, because I can, and you can love, because you can.”

Love cannot force another to understand the loving person. It can, indeed, show the path to something far greater than meager fear.

Love has enough power to keep the sun, a representation of lust, and its fires, low enough so that it does not scorn, but warm. Fan the flames with enough sin, and guilt is the only thing we feel with our chosen lover.

Alessio is tired.

He is a man without restraint, to fuel his desire to see the randomness of those letters on the newspaper, to feel the random breeze against his cheek, or to catch a random glimpse upon that portrait of Martha.

He is a man with restraint against reliving a better portion of his past. A portion, or a part, that is drenched in silver and love.

We describe so much of the moon as pertaining to tears. From tears, we see silver blossoming like morning dew upon our eyelids.

A newspaper? Has it merged into memory?

Letters form themselves into another image, and one that shows some scenery before him. His mother, the outline to her face, the gorgeous complexion of such youth, and why is it that he has smiled?

A smile. This smile of Alessio’s is all too frightening.

But, it is has appeared there, right upon when he has seen the letters.

They had seemed to raise themselves before his eyes.

V

A rainstorm. Some few seconds to witness the tragedy of a certain woman, whose face has been copied onto a blank canvas, for Alessio’s memories.

It is his haunting, among his negligence. He disregards it all.

Love is not the emotion ever to be disregarded for long. It always returns, either as something of the physical, or of the metaphysical, to haunt the one who pushes it aside.

So much is fleeting when it is disregarded, though in that rainstorm, in that rainstorm within this man’s mind, there is torment. There is torment, because of his continual yearning to disregard something so vivid in his collection of memories. Something that shines, amid each thing to ever remember. Something that shines, being his own mother’s face, though does not create the tear that would shine, and travel a path down his cheek. There is only the rainstorm in his head.

Martha was a woman of much care for her only child, Alessio. She birthed him in a hospital that had seen her in, with much diligence. When she birthed him, during the pain of labor, her husband, Scot, saw upon her face the smile that was forced into position. Upon her cheeks, there it was.

The smile, and the same one that would be placed upon that same canvas, only four years later.

Scot witnessed her birth, saw his son being taken from the womb, and he gave his own tearful smile to the sight. His joy surmounted above any doubt ever held in his own heart, and Scot reached forward to take the infant, who would be called Alessio. He gave the child to Martha, and she smiled a smile that appeared as though the moon had finally united with the sun.

From one ear to the next, capturing different sounds, she had only wanted to her Alessio’s cries to the open. A simple hush from Martha’s lips, a few shakes of the infant upon her bosom, and the child’s whines died down.

Martha gave her smile, and Scot saw it at its instantaneous happening. His face was a studious kind, examining each detail of Martha’s countenance. His joy brimmed! Upon his own face, he gave another smile.

But, what happens in a family where all this jeer and mirth comes to a close? What happened to cause Alessio’s mind to be so warped, and pained by continuous push-backs of his memories?

Martha had died. A death caused by her own hand, it was, due to a major obsession over weather changes. It is strange even to think upon, though it was the case, that come the time of winter, her face was, at times, pressed against window glass to see the thick snowflakes descending.

She mused upon the sight of them. Even morosely so, when she would feel incredible fear for each sight of a snowfall.

From speaking on a rainstorm, we speak now on a snowstorm. Coming as the drudging and slowness of it, pacing like an old man whose attempts to press forward at a faster gait, are futile. Winter is a peak in the changing seasons, as is summer, when each harbored tension, from wherever buried, unearths itself. As if the snow falls to add greater weight upon what we do not want to recall, so it cannot rise.

Scot had caught his wife, at times, looking through the window of their bedroom, during this season. Their country’s origin was a Scandinavian one, so snow was prominent. Either five or six months to it, and the sun was barely a glimmer in the skies.

She would awaken, early during the morning to take a glimpse of the showers of white, raining from a morose overcast. When Scot witnessed, his pity grew, though never to the point of stopping her. Never, even to the point, of questioning her odd actions, had that occurred. He though his own presence would amount to something greater than Martha’s obsession with change.

The smile was a painting for her, the four years after Alessio was born. The smile, the expression, the show of change that became her obsession.

Change, and for a woman’s realm, every change is a consequence she seemingly cannot ignore. Change relates to consequence, and consequence relates to each thing of a woman’s instinct, that is to place guilt at the forefront of everything else she feels.

Love would erase all of that.

Love improves, but Martha’s obsession would not see her husband, nor even her child.

Her face, a smile seen for its uniqueness by Scot, and seen by him with the denial that it was still genuine, marked its place upon the canvas. Forced, during a time when she was giving birth. Forced, now when she was being painted, and imprisoned within a frame.

The artist brushed the strokes in long and elegant curves for that smile. But, it was only his skill being shown, not ever the suffering he felt, on his own. For he knew, as an artist, that her smile was not genuine. He believed, as he did tell to Scot, that Martha should be natural for the capturing.

Scot still insisted on a smile.

Though, before her face, snowflakes descended. Before her eyes, there was downfall. And, in her mind, there was not a smile, but a frown.

He had watched, our man named Scot, with his son at his knee, while he held his hand, the detailed capturing of Martha upon the canvas. Though, what marked it to be so interesting, is something missed of the sight. There had been, near to the painting itself, a clip holding a photograph of Martha against the near-complete portrait. It was a photograph taken when Alessio was two-years-old. Nothing genuine is upon it.

Only suffering is writ large, upon that photograph.

But, the painting! With the skill of the painter, and seemingly from any painter across the globe, there is much disguise. Much that has been concealed, due from the overlaid layers of paint that marks it as a style, rather than a realistic capturing.

The artist departed with the words, “It is all I could do. I will understand if you do not pay me.”

However, Scot did pay the artist, doubly the amount originally offered, and offered the most wicked of smiles beneath his nostrils and above his chin, to the open air. This facial expression horrified the poor artist. Though, he had left with his collected earnings, leaving the deception behind on the canvas to be hung upon a wall.

Within the kitchen, it was hung, this painting, like a noose around a woman’s neck, like water breathed in through a pair of lips, like poison ingested in the stomach. It embraced the wall, and made everlasting love with the wall. It grew itself children upon the wall, hatched from eggs or pupated as larvae. It would not fall, the portrait. It could not fall, the portrait, marking itself like a brand into a prisoner’s wrist.

Alessio studied it, from the age of four, to the age of five, to the age of six, and beyond. His childish face, so entranced by the style of the artist. Like a bag over an appearance, though the smile, for what it was, still could captivate each person who ever saw it.

Like a witness to the scene of a crime, smears have been combined with torn cloth, as that was how the painting appeared, and still appears, to the current time.

How the rouge marks her lips, or how the flame in her eyes pours out for another’s viewing pleasure upon her wide eyes, or how the cheeks are quite porcelain to the blankness of the canvas. All of this, to Alessio, is held in one-part indifference, and one-part worship. Had he loved his mother, despite his current age after our recollection, being in the thirties? Had he ever dwelt enough over his mother, to know what makes him love?

His awareness has been grasped, Alessio’s awareness, to the portrait, as if it is still an alive woman, not a masterwork by some artist. Yet, his mind is eclipsed by sad notions that she might only be real in the painting.

This portrait, and the woman within it, is his mother, as is clear enough, though to what makes him so tormented, is the resisted feeling of love, that has kept him from facing the future. With memories, that are wonderful or simply beautiful, are meant to be hurled to the future, with as much poignancy as they weigh heavy on the eyes. For tears are as heavy as the cloud that rains them, though for Alessio’s sake, he never weeps for the past. He is merely frustrated by it. Either that is the case, or he is numb to it. Almost like a backwards-and-forward rotation, that does not cease, Alessio’s mind is seemingly obsessed with the memory of things misunderstood.

Love swells the heart, like a wave tossed ashore, or like a hand closed into a fist, and then the reverberations come. Each individual drumbeat of that red organ, is something not understood, for we mistake it to be fear.

Love does not need to come and go, so long as we can reflect ourselves in any recollection we can recall, and understand them.

A brutal recollection, or a gentle recollection, and each one of them has to do with something we could not comprehend, with the ease we imagined. However, with the nature of life that comes with so much trial, we can then see love through a lens that is universal to each person’s dilemmas, that we need not walk a path, alone. That, in each of our lives, we can have a hand to hold, for that is love. It prevents one from needing to take another step further, without a simple breath to push us, offered by someone else. A boost, that is, or a glimpse of someone’s aid, is enough for inspiration.

Why is that we feel like we’re bleeding, when in love? It is only because our heart needs somewhere to go.

A heart requires as much freedom, as does the form, or the mind.

As much as Alessio would like to relive the touch of his mother, he is at a lost as to what reality is, when it comes to the current time. Thus, he has stared at this newspaper for an entire half-hour, not reading past the second sentence. That first one, that he read, was just the leap into the words, with a mere glimmer of hope to see further. Like anything he has misunderstood in his life, it is these simple words of current events, that he, too, cannot read so well.

Though, it is not that he is illiterate, since as we’ve said, his grasp on things is low and displaced.

He finds his own mind in a storm.

The Schizophrenic, as he is, is out of loss with the basis of reality’s own game, that has its presence in the physical realm. We may call it “subjective”, when referencing a personal sight, though in realest sense, it is actually the act of turning something objective into something subjective, so that we understand those in denial of a reality. Can we all understand the Schizophrenic, if all absolutes become an uncertainty or a mere opinion?

It would seem so, that without an objective point, or something that is never denied within the physical realm, would merely be broken down, to something that identical to rubble.

How is it then, that the Atheist believes he can deconstruct God, to believe that He is dead?

Metaphysical entities are impossible to be denied, as well to be disbelieved. They are already first disbelieved, until they are believed. The only thing one disbelieves of God, is His representation. Love.

Here is Alessio, doing just that, thus he becomes a Schizophrenic, only seeing nightmare in the physical world.

Any dream, or anything worth fighting for, would make his life a miracle to live.

During this time, he stands up, and paces about the floor before himself, to see the darkest shades he can throw his glances. The darkest corners, or the darkest parts of the unkempt floor, to the darkest parts of the unkempt furniture.

His eyes travel and search, but go nowhere, except to those dark areas that we have already mentioned. As though they represent what Alessio wishes, though not does wish, to see. He says to himself, “What memories have I kept to myself, during all this time? I cannot seem to move forward, with any part of my life.”

It is exact proof to his current state of mind. A man in a whirlwind of torment, as is he, though like some storm that has no eye for a calm. Unfeeling to himself, and feeling only the driving winds against the walls of his conscious, he feels no life. He feels nothing but the merciless confusion, that somehow keeps him on, in the unending trial that brings him to want to understand what he does not understand.

He still plods about the room, after finally ripping his gaze free from the newspaper. His face twitches, while his eyes are wild.

What is there to not comprehend, within love? Isn’t is an emotion like any other, is it an emotion that stays to haunt?

Beautiful, as it makes us feel, as it makes us, and we are nothing without its edge to bite into, with our set of teeth.

VI

Cold and flowing, like the veins that align Martha’s hands, she had chosen a route for her life, much like those currents of running blood in her, to end her life by a decision.

A decision, as it was, to see her form washed with the cold waters of a winter’s river. One had resided near to her residence, during when she was married to Scot, and her son was a mere age of four. One had resided during that time, because we say it like she had only noticed its presence, for the first time.

How is it that any suicidal person is prepared to take their own life?

His is it that such a person, with such a conflicted mindset, can hold in their arms the weight of depression, enough to want to perform such a maneuver?

By that weight, by that pressure, it is why they are prepared. Something else has prepared them, that is, and they are haunted by the presence of that massive weight. It is that massive pain creating their humiliation to this crime, to take her own life. As such would only be deemed a shock, as a stayed emotion enough to disturb, upon the ears of close relatives and family members, it is more-so a question for witnesses.

Is the reader a witness or someone with personal understanding of that weight, of that pressure? Much like how Martha will have thrown herself into the river, to set herself afloat upon its coldness. It had been a river that was not frozen, though patches of it were, and it still represents the pressure of an immense coldness.

An immense coldness, as the river is attuned to, and as Martha’s mind is acclimated upon, has made the river and her, an identical match.

A pairing, that is, and we will describe her emotions at this time.

So dulled or numbed, as makes her further the perfect pairing to this coldness of a winter scene. Paired over time, that is, because her obsession with winter, with the changing seasons into winter, had made her dread the cold’s arrival.

Some may even ask, “Why not move her somewhere warm?”

That would be like moving a weight across the Earth, some way that Scot would not treat his own wife, simply due to his own case of denial.

Though, her numbness, among ever dulled aspect to her emotions, has made her closer to winter than she was ever close to her husband. As such might seem despicable, it could be understandable, considering her mindset. Love had been sweet for her, perhaps upon a time in her actual marriage. Though, now her marriage with winter is nothing but a bitterness.

As it is, a person becomes suicidal, not because of the presence of the abuse that life offers to them, but because of the lack of any nearby heart. That is, without genuineness offered, a person becomes lowered into that dark state. It is to say that the one cause of a suicidal mentality is betrayal.

The world and its tormentors had always been there to suffer a person’s woes, though what meaning does all of it have, and what lessons do we learn from our trials, if no one is there for us?

Her formed soon washed up on the riverbank to the sight of a score of fishermen who had found her, the next morning. She had been covered in the filth from the river’s bottom, as though she had kissed it with has much intimacy made to shown to a husband.

Her husband wept, though not for too long, because he comprehend the end’s nearing. It was only a matter of time, as he did say it during this moment, that she was going to love a tragedy more than any happiness to ever attain.

Love bled rivers from his eyes, though his heart was already broken.

Each time she had awoken from her bed, to see herself near to the glass of a window, she was there to see winter’s fall of white. It was a dreaded season to come, for the both of them.

And so, we ask once more, “Why not move her somewhere warm?” And, once more, we answer that with saying that it would be much like dragging a weight across the Earth, or even across the ocean. Perhaps it would have been the case that Scot would have died, with her. Perhaps it was merely a selfish decision. We will not know.

Perhaps anything that happens is never to be questioned, and merely accepted that it did. And, perhaps it is the case that when Alessio becomes an adolescent at the age of fourteen, from the age of four, that he’ll notice something that shock his young heart, to put him in tears. Perhaps that is when some answers are given, because acceptance is too much to comprehend, for youth.

It was this time when Alessio, as an adolescent, found a photograph of his mother.

He immediately said after discovering it, “Why is this the only one?”

He shuddered, as if aging a thousand more years, and then fell upon her ivory cheeks and rosy lips, as if to be kissed once more by her stilled and captivated face. Marveled by her son, as she was, during the time when she gave birth to Alessio, then named him Alessio, has turned upon the adolescent’s thoughts, like a vortex of imagining.

For he had then, upon discovering that image, imagined his mother to be the someone he had not so easily comprehended, though was beginning to, since all he knew was the painting.

A photograph, to a painting, and either thing is to Alessio, the closest comprehension of his own mother.

VII

So much the awakening, and so much the sharing of tears to the be let off the eyelids, like a passenger from a vehicle, to be struck against the wood beneath one’s feet. Love has no melody without the pain that affords it purpose. We bleed its presence, with the strength we feel, by waging wars with hands grasping another’s. When the world will not embrace the beloveds, the beloveds embrace each other.

Love has an aftermath, being its continuation. Into the afterlife, where continued life remembers how the dead had lived, not what made them fail. We are not failures, until we die.

Love is the emotion that crowns the usurper to the one who did not perform as well, as he will. For he shows the woman in his arms, that he will seduce the world with their song of love. When he loves, he loves with nothing upon his shoulders, but the instrument of the emotion that connects to his heart. He bears, that is, a playing of music from the winds blown from his lips, creating the call for his devotion and everlasting certitude. A man, that is, is nothing if he cannot uphold the woman he loves.

But, he had pulled down the previous fool, the previous contender, to set himself into what he knew what he knew to be the making of his dynasty.

Had Scot followed this wisdom?

Had Scot followed the advice of his own heart? The advice that tells him to be devoted, until the bitter end? Was it simply a sign of weakness?

There are those who will state that the truth is not a simple thing. However, is it not much more likely to be, that the truth is simple for whatever issue we face, and we are simply a species that enjoys creating complications? We question and we question, only ever tearing down the structure to create a heap of fragments. Thus, we have turned something straight, into a form collapsed.

Tears will paint the world, until it is dried of all its lakes and rivers and oceans, and these are the words that Scot had run through his mind, upon a sight he witnessed.

He had loved Martha, with something of silence to his movements.

But, as we have said, upon being the witness to her growing obsession with winter and its coldness, he became distant, like the season, itself.

One sight he witnessed, being that of his son, the adolescent who discovered the photograph. He had his eyes peering through a door that was ajar, and saw his son holding the image with an astonished face. He saw his son’s face, and could not feel how his own began to melt away the sanity he ever knew he upheld.

A man may sustain his sanity through uncontrolled emotions. While a woman may be told repeatedly by a society that her emotions should be controlled, it is why her mind lacks the power. It is by knowing that emotions, when as the intrusion to the mind, strengthen the mind. We have from this, a comparison and also a contrast to the body’s immune system, when we should know that it strengthen through repeated exposure to bacteria. A man, as Scot, had a weakened mind, because for the time he had known Martha during her own life, he had held back his emotions, when we’ve said he became distant.

It was not a long courtship, and certainly not long after their wedding did Scot notice this arbitrary obsession that Martha had.

A man makes himself off to war, because his sanity is more-so attuned to be stabler over a woman. This is factual, because as we have seen from studies, women are more emotionally developed, meaning that their minds are not so much developed. If one develops their emotions, then one’s intelligence is not so much raised. It is because intelligence is increased from experienced emotions. Should one enable them to freely feel them, then intelligence will soar. It is the mind’s way to strengthen itself from what we will normally feel, as humans, being those emotions, though also fear feeling. That is the same way the body operates, when defending itself against diseases. Therefore, if a woman is taught to control her emotions, while a man is taught to be sensitive, one will see what is bound to occur. Though, there are exceptions in specific instances, like what we’ve described with Scot.

His emotions were never felt, and he never expressed his concerns to Martha, during the time he was witness to her obsession.

Suppressed emotions creates a fragile mind. When Scot had seen Alessio with the photograph in hand, his mind snapped. He recoiled from the sight, creating sounds that were audible enough to Alessio’s hearing, though the child did not turn around. He was far too focused on the photograph in his hand. Scot had recoiled, and retreated back to the confines of a shadow.

A shadow that had been in the corner, outside the reach of a light. It seemed to embrace him, like Death that surrounds a carcass.

He looked down and about himself, almost as if a haze were coming over his vision, and his hands began to tremble. Fear was beginning to poison him.

Perhaps if Alessio had reacted to his father’s sounds he was creating, he may have turned around to aid him. Though, the continued astonishment upon his face, was what became Scot’s driving focus, in this time.

Alessio’s face, a picture of amazement for the photograph, as if what was captured upon the image of her, was not alike the smile on the painting. What was shown, was the picture of distress. Her misery was captured for what could not at all be a mistake. This was a genuine reveal, so unlike the painting that now wreaks of falsehood.

His mother, a woman of much distress, revealed in the photograph, so unlike the painting where the painter had manipulated it into a stylized version. For in the days that the painting had been made, there was no way to manipulate a photograph. A painting, in this time, was the equivalent of the photograph for manipulation. A photograph can be manipulated in today’s time, and it seems that a painting has epitomized the image of realism.

Alessio’s face had kept its expression of amazement for nearly five whole minutes, seemingly a short time, though enough for his father to collapse into the den of darkness that surrounded him. Like never had there been comfort to bring him ease, Scot saw the darkness as a sort of place of solace, as if beneath the fullest and brightest moon.

Pain breathed itself over this poor man, like wings that flap and shower a scenery with created gusts. Scot sunk to his knees, and wept many lonely tears into his hands, not realizing how wet his hands were becoming, all at once. Like the ocean were divided between, for each eye, and its contents were spilling over, wetting his hands with as much moisture as could ever make the skin gleam.

Weakened, like the frailest of ice on the surface of a lake. To imagine him, in a metaphorical viewpoint, falling through his weakness, into the darkness beneath, would be appropriate.

There is nothing left to admit for a man who has fallen this much, down into a hole of his own making.

VIII

Locked up in his mind, like an inmate discovering the solemness of a prison cell, and the darkness become his friend, Alessio is this. In the current time, away from the distressful memories that have laid boards down for him to walk upon them, in repeated occasions, he still represents himself showing his sadness. His sadness, that accompanies itself with times where he merely wishes to discover what hurts him, is the confusion that sets him apart from clarity.

Love had never made its way into his broken conscious. For his mind is nothing more than the diseased and rotting aperture, where all things flow in, both light and dark in their texture.

Love would be the cure, where it could be crawling, or even asleep on some roadway for the nearest passerby to wonder, “Why is love resting, when it should be that it could make others rest?”

Love holds no form, of its own, as it is like a cloud, able to be seen, but never to be held. When he hold, we may break what we hold, or we may protect it. Still, anger may encompass our actions, and we break the precious something.

Alessio, in this time, is still pacing around the kitchen and living room of his abode. An apartment, as it is, where he may look out upon the roads of Paris, as is his current establishment. It is the town where he lives, and the time has little importance to our tale, though it is the 70’s of the 20th century. Alessio has paced with these memories kept in his mind, humming a tune to himself, to the sounds outside of idle chatter and car horns.

It is when he does stop pacing, that he marks a new trail over to the newspaper, where we remember he was once seated. Before it, that is, and the newspaper is once more held in his hands, and once more, it is looked upon, without real understanding of the words and their meanings.

It is almost as if he is now illiterate. As if something supernatural has stolen his ability to read straight from his brain, and he has regressed back to an infant’s stage.

How sad it is that this is not the case, that he is illiterate, but is actually the case of Alessio simply using the words as a vessel, for his episode of confusion, for this time. That is, his eyes are seeing the words, though the images in his mind see something else.

When he looks away from them, he sees his mother.

No, not a hallucination, but the painted portrait of Martha, upon the wall in the kitchen, where he had been, seated at a table for breakfast, with the coffee and bottle of alcohol, and not reading the held newspaper.

In the city of Paris, where Alessio resides, is it any wonder that we would show our character, before his external surroundings? To the madman, or to the one showing signs of losing touch with reality, the external is never perceived with clear vision. For only based on the internal, is there ever something to perceive from the madman’s perspective.

From his perspective, from his eyes, he has once more, noticed Martha’s painted portrait. And yet, why does he not ever look upon the photograph we have described, as a memory for his adolescent years, to regain some clarification? We should state, as of now, that Scot is no longer among the normal realms of life. That is, he is confined to an Asylum, where such is a normal occurrence when our tale takes place, 1952.

Scot plummeted, for the lack of a better word. His mind derailed itself, accompanying the state of the past-Martha, and the now-Alessio. He faces the walls, as it might seem to the imagination, and Scot can no longer see through to himself. That is, he can no longer comprehend anything, with as much clearness as could be envisioned of normalcy.

“What is normal?” some may wonder. And, it should be said that to be “normal”, or rather, to see something that is “abnormal” would not be to allow something to continue happening. Were one to have a friend, and one’s philosophy about normality states that an addict believes their condition to be normal, could empathy not cross the friend’s mind? That is, would empathy not be the thing to quit the addict from their outcome, being a potential death? We say this, because Alessio is only ever tormented for one reason, and that is because he lacks true accompaniment.

Why did Martha end her own life? Why does anyone end their own life? It is not because of the torment, that anyone can envision. It is not because of what some fool believes to be “normal” for the person, who is enslaved by their own actions or negligence. It is because no one is reaching their hand out to stop them.

And, for the same reason, Alessio will not reach into the drawer to look upon the photograph of his mother, because he knows not who is the tormentor nor who is the tormented. A memory that will not leave him, or rather, a memory who will not leave him. He envisions his mother as still tormented, and still, he feels every pang.

Clarification cannot help him, when confusion does not allow it.

Volume Two

I

Love is the most successful tormentor, for even those who succeed within it, are tormented to belong to it. When a romance fails, it is humans who have failed, not love.

We are attached to it, giving into the torment, because flesh is more vulnerable than a home.

Love cannot deceive, though love will also never reprieve. It will not leave the person from their suffering in its realm. Why do we suffer? We suffer, in love, because we feel the most vulnerable, in it.

It is especially a man who feels the vulnerability. He is soon cloaked by it, by the weakness that had always remained alien to him.

Love does not have flesh. It has wings.

A beloved does have flesh, and such flesh of a man will be strong. Then, to be weak, is a time where he no longer fights. He no longer fights for himself, though for someone else. As a man was one sole person to enter warfare, it was to fight for someone else. It was as Hellish, as it was romantic.

Blood holds the same color as the ruby-red lips a man aims to kiss, of a woman. What does the soldier see, whose mind is wrangled?

When a romance fails, it had been a failure to protect. For the one thing that represents failure, is loss.

Men have an inherent instinct over failure. Men have an instinct over guilt, when it comes to action. Should their actions be minimal, then they will feel the failure through its driving winds.

What pertains to a man’s pain, in love? What pertains to our character, Alessio, and his pain, when wanting love? It is the vulnerability that makes a person wishing to be found, upon a road where their tracks are lost from falling snow. Through protecting both, he holds most of the protection on what he protects, that is never himself.

We are never vulnerable when we love. We are, however, vulnerable when we are loved.

Chapter outline: This chapter shows Alessio in the open city of Paris, soon when he leaves his home. In this chapter, Alessio is shown to have an interest in the arts, gained primarily from his infatuation with the portrait of Martha. He wanders to a museum, in this chapter. The author should make sure to do research for this chapter, by looking up environmental changes to Paris, during the early 1950’s.

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II

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VIII

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Volume Three

Volume Four

Volume Five