It was the dreams of another me, a long time ago, when dreams used to matter. When going meant escape, forgiveness, a chance to be a phoenix. When being unafraid was the only way to talk myself through the nights of being alone. When being indifferent was my only shield against the possibility I might break myself in two. If I was impermeable, unknowable, unquantifiable, then there was a chance that I could weather the tempest in my head. I could find the words to purge the parasite I had let my dreams become. I could surrender every angry thought I had harbored with the hope of someday finding its companion, revenge. Because I could not share this secret, or I would lose everything I am.
It broke me to see how shattered I was, how imperfect. To learn that all the time in my dungeon had been fruitless. Maybe. Maybe not. I waited to see when it would pay off, when all the tears would crystallize into a hardened, beautiful gem. I closed my eyes. I found my words, floating in the abyss of my dreams. Weightless, yet heavy. My treasure, my burden. I slipped away, and did not hold back the gate. The twisted vines of thought unwound, crawling into the places I could not bring myself to see.
I wrote of promises broken, of promises kept, of regrets, of loyalty. I wrote all the things I wished I had the strength to be. All the things I was too weak to brook. I wrote of the unknown assassin, I wrote of the cruel love, I wrote of the petty heartbreak that conquers us all. I was too afraid to dare to hope.
And because at the end I could not forgive myself, I came up short. For the first time, I found myself empty. Wanting. I was no longer waiting for words, they were not my redemption. My dreams were only shadows of another life, another heart. They were lifeless and cold. They vanished like a mist in the light of the sun. And then I was alone. I knew I had lost myself because I was shapeless. I did not stand tall in the eyes of my own scrutiny.
I had never given myself the chance to be. So when the words were gone, so was I.
–From my Sudoku book margins, pages 6-8