Everyone is dressed immaculately this evening; the night is progressing with no sign of pause. I scan the room, taking it all in: beautiful women in beautiful dresses drinking fine wine, handsome men standing in handsome groups drinking fine whisky. The ornate ceiling looms far above, boasting intricately carved patterns with chandeliers throwing a heavenly glow over the scene. Here I am a solitary onlooker with no patience for mindless luxury and hollow connection.
Time passes, always. I find myself walking into the depths of the night. The beautiful people in the beautiful mansion, now just an orange glow through the forest.
Walking… to the edge of society… the edge of my mind… the edge of insanity… now the edge of the cliff. Who am I? The question I’ve been trying to answer my whole life through big dreams and no action. Here I am the result of broken commitments, broken promises, and a broken mind. He who believes he is better than them, with nothing to show. The monotony of life reflected through the rhythmic crashing of the waves far below. Staring out over the cliff I see nothing, like a lonely lighthouse projecting its presence to a void.
I can’t get out of my head. I can’t get out of this dark cloud: an old adversary come to visit yet again. You win. Perhaps the feeling of weightlessness on my trajectory to the wave swept rocks below will be the inevitable solution. A final act in which I can actually succeed… the only goal I will ever achieve. It would always end like this; I knew it as a child, before I even understood what the dark cloud was.
I look back. The orange glow discourages me, a sure promise of warmth and human connection. A broken promise. How many times must I climb the stairway of hope, only to be pushed off at the top? Just one last fall to go… the gateway to peace… the only place to escape myself. I close my eyes, spread my arms and fall forward…
The dark cloud clears. My eyes snap open to be welcomed by a flaming moon sitting upon the horizon, radiating a blood-red brilliance over the scene. The forest backdrop is blazing, no longer is the mansions glow visible, dwarfed by that of this magnificent lunar body. A breeze picks up, blowing my hair back and sailing through the startled fire-leaves beyond. The inferno waves below pick up with increased frequency, carrying messages of warmth and light. The void is no longer, the presence of the lonely lighthouse acknowledged.
I look to the distance as the dark cloud fades over the horizon revealing my true self in all its glory. With this revelation come waves of gratitude and peace, the beauty of the world raw with the promise of things to come. I hear the dark cloud thunder afar, threatening to return. And it will… in time. For now the beauty of nature engulfs the present; a moment missed by those sheltered in the false safety of the ornate ceiling.
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