I think you know me, I think you have heard of me, in fact I believe you have felt my presence when you longingly stare outside the window in the middle of the night hoping for a miracle. I am the thief that sneaks into your inner peace when the moon is full and the tide is high; drawing the blood from your comfort with such hunger and thirst unmoved by the screams of your laughter echoing in the distance. For I, for reasons even I cannot explain, am an enemy of happiness.
I have watched you fill your already empty vessel with new dreams and I laugh in the distance as I paint and picture all the colourful ways. I will murder each one of them, leaving nothing but a rotting reflection of shattered rainbows and golden pots of gold, watch you hold on to the last fragment of your dream before you wake and realise it was nothing more than sugar coated disaster.
I see you clinging on to the false replica of love, filling your blood thirsty vessel with doodles and I heart you on a faded and ashen scrape of paper stolen from your lovers nest. I had wished I could save you from yourself countless times, but I have no room within me that can show empathy to a mind helplessly screaming for an unknown saviour. I wish I could hug you but my very being is moulded from snow crystals, I know no warmth, therefore I cannot radiate light unto you.
I have watched you cry deep into the night, hugging the stuffing of your once treasured teddy bear, as you sink deeper and deeper into the abyss I moulded specially for you. I have watched you fill your very being with clatters of remedies that will never let you truly escape, drowning in sexual pleasures and hoping the physical release will quite down the mental orgy playing out in your head. seen you seek out the warm embrace in toxic relations that will never blossom into anything other than the thorns they are, each leaving you further damaged and hanging more images of regrets in your haunted house. You have befriended the plastic cup filled with rotting grapes, thinking, the façade can be hidden behind the distant memory your nights have now become, singing lullaby’s in the shower hoping to wash off the pain that not only fills your heart but burn your very flesh.
Why do you keep going to therapy? What do you hope to achieve in sitting on a well-orchestrated room filled with mediocre paintings with a stranger asking you scripted question that have been tormenting you for months on end? Waking up each morning reciting pre-school phrases of “I am perfect, I am beautiful, I am strong”? I hold in my vomit as I watch you lie to yourself in the mirror with a faint smile forming across your lips, only for me to creep in and throw you just a little over the edge for my own amusement. Do you not tire of trying to be strong everyday only for me to fill your brain tiny termites of depression?? It is mindboggling how you are so oblivious to my continued efforts to break you further, to watch you cry and search for the cause of your sleepless nights. How you delve into self-harm in hopes to silence the voices screaming silently in your head.
I want to apologise, for the fact that I cannot let you go. I cannot let you rediscover yourself and find happiness, I take pleasure in you being lost in the noise of your own wishes and thoughts of redemption. I look forward to witnessing the hopeless attempts of those around you as they try to bring you back from the deep end, I am fuelled by the desire to keep you trapped in the hell that is your own thoughts, it’s a shame that I have to kill your spirit so I may survive.
I am that emptiness inside of you, that lonely hour horror movie that is on repeat in your head. I am that voice prompting you to drag yourself through the fields of depression and worry, that little space inside of you that tub filled chocolate ice-creams and burgers cannot fill. That liquor and ecstasy cannot keep you high enough to forget, that little drug that spikes your emotions without warning, and you spend hours begging for mercy from a distant god. Every day I fuel your depression, I fill your eyes with sweet tears and leave your heart longing for something real. I cannot apologise for my nature.
When you wake up in the morning, and the birds annoy your eardrums and the sunlight beckons you to pull the covers closer and weep. When your mind fills itself with an alternate reality where you are happy and you aren’t trapped in if’s and maybe, remember, I am there. When you find a glimmer of hope in the blossoming flowers of spring and the warmth of your mate and family; I will be there, lingering in the shadows of your heart, ready to chip away at every ounce of hope you try to fill yourself with. For suffering is all I can embrace you with, I am the void that you cannot escape.
Written by Amogelang Lekwadu.
Photography by Bellah Mohitlhi.