He was Icarus. Descendant of the land and lover of the sky, a mortal revered as a god. As he stood in his sanctuary of ambition he no longer felt safe. It was as if his very existence was futile. The four walls of his dingey, studio apartment no longer protected him, they created a cage. The four walls of this rundown room that had once battled the world, now fought foreclosure.
Holding back the pervasive tears that invaded his eyes, stole his energy and plagued his mind; he looked down at the tiny cubic desk tucked away in the corner of the room. The decaying hunk of wood had been a gift from his grandfather many millennia ago and, unlike the forgotten bearer who lives out his days six feet underground searching for the light, it had survived the test of time. On the desk, lay his past. Scattered fragments of impartial dreams that held more weight on the oak than in his mind. A glass of water, an apple core, an old book and his diary, his previously cherished, now resented diary: all sat on top of the desk.
The glass of water, once ice-cold and refreshing, was now a lukewarm mess, reeking of desperation. It desired to be used, to be wanted, it hated the state of neglect it existed within. Around the brim of the glass lay the faded and forgotten prints of lips that were once used to love. As time passed by, the prints, the love slowly started to disappear and yet the glass, the unremembered, lost glass continued to serve as a reminder of what used to be. At the bottom of the glass, longing rays of sunlight shone upon the little water that was left but as the rays continued to jubilate, the water began to suffer. The dying water and the newborn vapour began to make their way up the glass and into the world, into another life. In its past life the water lived amongst the mountains. In its past life the water spent its days in peace, as the joyful birds sang their songs of gratitude high up in the treetops. It was free, they were free, free from humanity’s relentless search for good, free from Icarus.
The seemingly rotten apple core was once an apple, the devoured apple once proudly hung from a tree. None of that mattered. From the moment the apple’s first speck of life,compressed into tiny seeds, was gathered, it had begun its journey to this very table. Where it fittingly lay, half-consumed, next to Adam Smith’s “The Wealth of Nations”. The dusty, self-congratulating text spent its mornings wondering why it was now unfashionable and its evenings in deep, ominous silence. Inside the book were his mother’s old notes, messages, scribbled down the cramped margins. Barely understandable dribs and drabs. Disregarded cries of the middle-class.
“don’t understand l-”
His diary subverted the confinements of its body’s A4 existence. It was orange, orange like the sun as it kisses the horizon before disappearing and making way for the night. The night, the cold perpetual night was his words. Trapped inside of the diary was the story of a man who was not afraid to dream, a man who wanted to see the world, a man with a song in his step and no chip on his shoulder, a man who was no longer recognizable, who ceased to exist. As he stood between the four walls of his ruinous prison, sleep in eyes and bags under them. So badly, so badly did he want to forget. So badly did he want to fly.
“You don’t understand love,” she said.
A single, lonely, soon to be forgotten tear climbed down his face.
He knew it to be true.