She sat, curling the ripples of the algae-ridden pond with her tiptoes. She made circles like suns as her feet dragged the heavy mass of pond weed that had attached itself as she moved. A ringlet of hair laden with vapour from the September mist fell in front of her eyes. She studied it until her eyes felt they would meet and cross over, and then turned her seemingly distracted brow to the sky.
She wanted to put her arms around the world, and she wanted the people who knew her, to know this. She hunched her shoulders sharply as she recollected her fallible side with the precision of a cartographer. How easily and almost pleasurably she denigrated herself; cataloguing her mistakes. And for herself, why, she was never quite sure, but she knew, deep down, that there was no need. “How it makes things difficult though”, she voiced through the breathy air, her words emerging into the early morning as a dewy condensation. She momentarily felt the joy of being awake at this hour. She adored the morning; any other time of day was not as sheer, not as honest. The misty energy of the morning made her feel alive, almost electrifying her. And to think for all those years, she would have not been to bed yet, dawn from the other side, from the underside. Those were the immanent and transcendent nights, mornings shifting either in mania or serene ecstasy in to afternoon, then evening; then back around to the morning again. There was never just one morning, but two or three where she would return with a thump on the far end of a week. How, she no longer knew. And why, she could no longer fathom. But then she knew, through her religiosity of hedonistic nihilism that was a way of life for her, it was the continual experience of the edge. It was all an excess, all a reaching of limits, and she’d reached hers, and had no desire to push those boundaries any more.
She felt calmer than she had done for many years, maybe since her early twenties. She was starting to feel some sort of sense of achievement. All those anxious paralyses in a moment, her inability to see the woods for the trees, she was letting go of. In a way, it had come through her enforced solitariness, the same ironic journey that had formally made her so detached.
A bird darted swiftly out of a tree near the edge of the pond; she had almost cricked her neck to locate the noise. The morning energy of the animals was starting to gather speed, it almost seemed as if there were conversations starting up between them. Across from the pond, to the tree, to the gate by the pathway, to the bench: there was a crescendo of movements and twitterings gradually making itself known.
Although she enjoyed her creations, her productions on her own, she knew really she wanted to share her life with someone. She missed the swapping of music, the giggles, the splendid silences, a hug to get lost in. But she knew she had to make sure her apparent attraction of the extreme, and its attraction to her, would not happen again. Her psychological anatomy would no longer allow it.
A sudden brush of leaves cascading down her back, she lifted her legs out of the water – it was quite icy cold, what was she doing? Something she never would have done before.
She wanted to put her arms around the world, and as she dried her feet and put her socks and boots back on, she knew it wouldn’t matter how any more. She had achieved in herself what was needed to do it, and with that, she walked back down the path to her room.