Past and Prescence

brandon
2 min readMay 16, 2022

In the bloom of sunshine I lay here dying. Purgatory is real, and it exists within the quiet between every end and each beginning. Purgatory is bittersweet, it’s cruel: it is the last crumbs of joy before the blank realization that everything is gone and nothing will ever be the same.

Hell is just as real, and it is peace. It is routine. Hell is banal, hell is punctual, hell is scheduled down to the last second of every minute of every hour of every last waking day. Hell is paralysis, of watching life pass you by faster and faster, of willing yourself to change before you finally, truly, give up for good. Hell is knowing you could’ve been a good person if it wasn’t for you.

I spent a weekend watching myself grow old, watching myself laugh for the last time with people I didn’t know I’d never see again, dancing with strangers I wished I could fall in love with, drinking to forget memories I would soon make. I felt myself ground to sinew and bone, felt my mind stretched beyond reason and limit, while I watched myself die, as I remembered how it felt just a short while ago.

I am no ghost. And yet and I am still here, still listening, still watching, still crying. I have to believe heaven is real because I’ve seen Purgatory and Hell. I have to know that these feelings stick with everyone, that they struggle to explain it as much as I do.

Why does it hurt so much to realize that your favorite memories have long since passed, that all you can hope for, all you can do, is to be just as happy as you were then? Why does it sting to see strangers say goodbye, to know that distance does not make the heart grow fonder, that in reality, it makes it forget, that bonds and friendships are like muscles and must be exercised and maintained lest they wither and die and

Why does it make my heart ache knowing that it only took a year to forget almost everything I learned to love in fourfold that time

why did i remember everything i tried to forget

why do i know that this will happen again, and how do i prepare

Underneath a burning sky, I watched myself die all over again. I felt every bone shatter, every ligament torn, every drop of blood paint my soles red. I watched myself die through someone else’s eyes, and I had to live with the knowledge that the most important days in their lives so far was just my long weekend.

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