This is an essay I wrote for lit. I’m posting it, as the title says, just because. Enjoy.
A Deep Orange Glow
The sun shifts lower in the sky, painting a deep orange across the horizon. The trees lean forward, bowing in awe of this masterpiece that presents itself to the world each night. Each breath in and each breath out fall in harmony, as every person in the world slowly backs away from me. Another breath and the trees recede into blackness. Next the earth around me crumbles away and leaves me floating, alone. Alone with the vastness of the sunset. I sit for maybe an hour or more, and then I raise myself from my seat and turn and head inside my house.
A piercing orange fills my mind and an equally abrasive buzz attacks my ears. It is 6:00 a.m. I raise myself up off of my mattress, out of warmth and comfort and into the cold exciting world. A million thoughts hover around me, just a few inches from my head. They poke and prod and zip around me as I walk down the hall. They are more vivid than the floor I step on. The house is still dark when I place my clothing on the bathroom floor and turn the shower knob, washing away the million thoughts, just for a moment. They return when I am done. I live with my demons.
I can walk downstairs with more ease than before. I am getting better. Life is really the same. I don’t use my walking stick anymore; I know my world even if I can’t see it. You’d be surprised how loud everything is, how sound can paint itself a brighter picture of the world than light. Light is confusing and loud. I understand sound and smell and touch. They’re calmer.
I walk the seven stairs to the ground floor of my house, touch the light switch immediately to the left, and then draw back my hand. I used to flip it every day. It’s become a habit. I walk across the dining room, pushing in chairs that everybody has the consideration to leave out, and arrive in the kitchen. Finding food in the refrigerator is a larger task than it seems. It’s like exploring uncharted territory, like trying to find your way in a desert during a sandstorm, the dunes constantly shifting. I’ve learned to quell the winds though. I used to have no vision when I swung open the doors. The open doors released faint glow and a million smells that fraternized with my demons. I can control it now. I reach up and grab the milk that sits in the middle of the top shelf. It’s been left open. I also grab an apple. They are always in the same place.
I sit at the table, the same place I’ve sat for years. I sat here “before.” I live in a different world now. My chair sags just a little bit when I sit; it creaks faintly. The wood of the table has so many scratches and knots. I never saw them before. I touch each scratch in the table. I run my fingers across the cracks, some large and deep and some thin and fresh. The table still changes. Everything changes.
Some people listen to music when they go to school. Nobody at my school listens to music. They need hearing to find their way. I still listen to music though. The bus ride to school is ten minutes. When I am on the bus with my headphones in, I’m not in the bus at all. I float along strings, jolted upward with each smack of bass. Vocals yell directly into my mind. After the first song I learn to control myself. I swim along the strings and use the bass to launch myself into the air. I am freer than the body left sitting on the bus. My demons can’t reach me up here. However, the bus arrives at school each day. I must come down and return to myself.
School is the one part of my day that never changed. It is still seven hours of tired lectures, bored notes, and life-saving bells. I sit, stand, walk, sit some more, and I’m done. When I get home I have an extra hour of school called homework. It’s quieter than school, but boring nonetheless. After school I return to the table and to my mind.
This time I let my demons in. They fly at me while I sit. Each one gets its turn. One flies at me, I hold it for a moment, and then I release it. It flies more slowly now. I spend a few hours listening to my demons, and then I walk outside.
I could see the world “before.” I had everything in front of my eyes. The world was so bright and colorful. But I didn’t notice. Colors ran together when I ran past them. My world moved as quickly as I could make it; faster was better. I lived dangerously and vivaciously. I was invincible. However, life has a funny way of reminding you that you’re not. I stood on top of my friends’ roof. We were all high. I was challenged to leap from the roof into the pool. Of course I could do it, I was invincible. I jumped and landed in the pool. What I didn’t know is that hitting water quickly hurts like hell. All of my breath, or what little I had that wasn’t smoke, was torn from my body. A million demons rushed in and stabbed at my sides with little pitchforks and knives. The water around me grew darker and darker. I sank to the bottom. My friends didn’t notice. They were laughing. Everything got dark. It stayed dark.
I was released from the hospital a week after my “accident.” I almost suffocated. My brain was so damaged by lack of oxygen that the “sight center” no longer worked. At first I was angry. I was angry as hell. I damned every friend I had each and every day I was in that hospital bed. However, life has a funny way of picking you up after you lose your sight. None of my friends disappeared to hell. My sight didn’t return. Only thing that I could change was me. So I did just that. Now I know my world even if I can’t see it. It can see me and it knows me, and I know it. Now my demons work for me. They keep me company. They remind me not to go jumping off any more buildings. I move more slowly now. I see more than ever.