Chapter Eight

Tucked beneath the Earth my body begins to take form again. I stretch and look up toward the sun. I squint, close my eyes as the warmth blankets my eyelids. Unhooking my periscope off the tunnel wall, I raise it up toward ground level. My hands clasp around the handles as I bring my face closer to the lens. I open my eyes and the lens crack, sending splinters of glass down toward my feet. Trying to look through the cracked pieces I see the Earth in a misshapen mess. Trees merge into the skyline, the streams appear higher than the mountains and the animals are fixed in the air, hovering off the ground. The colors and hues of the world askew; a kaleidoscopic decorum of fallacy trapped in Retina display.

I blink, open back up and see the same blurred picture. I curse and throw the periscope to the ground. Viewing the world through a reflection was what I deemed to be the ultimate achievement; to be in full view of the world while remaining silently unnoticed. Now, my perception of the world is unhinged. I can no longer see anything that makes sense. Living became too forced, too opaque.

I sat and wondered for a moment what others would see if they looked through my periscope from the top. Would they see my weakness? Would the cracks in the glass shows my blue eyes, chopped and torn apart from madness? I pictured them seeing my fragmented face, all thrown together like a work of abstract art. Yet, this art was of the sublime. A creature lost in his own paradigm, splintering away into the soil. A man no more, merely a reflection of an idea. An idea surrendering to its’ own inexhaustible deficiencies.

The more time spent thinking about the complexities of shattered reflections, the more I lost the ability to see anything at all. If I opened my eyes I felt that I would be looking at my fragmented body and shudder in my indifference. I didn’t want to see my shell. I didn’t even want to imagine it. I wondered what my insides looked like, if there was something beautiful still buried deep within.

I picked up a shard of glass out of the dirt below my feet and shoved it down my throat. I picked up more and strategically placed them inside of my body, reflecting images off each piece. The last piece was stuck in the back of my throat, aimed at a forty degree angle. I held another in my hand, looked through the glass and could see inside of my throat.

As I moved the glass, up and down, I could see a detailed outline of my whole body. I could see the lungs, filling up and deflating evenly. There was a blackness around them. A darkness that cast minimal light across, yet, they functioned so I took it as a sign of decency. When I saw the heart a deep sadness overcame me. My vitals were intact and it was properly displacing blood throughout my body. It seemed so heavy. It seemed to be tugging in all directions, straining blood vessels. I wriggled my body around and rotated the mirror by my heart. There was a fissure running through the very heart of my heart. I could see it bleeding, ever so slightly and watched as the blood dripped down toward my stomach.

Looking further I saw a vast emptiness where my intestines were supposed to be. I saw nothing. I couldn’t see anything anymore. Everything inside of my body was so dark. I never expected it to be like so. I imagined there to be a bountiful amount of light, just ready to spill out whenever provoked. Defeated I pulled the mirrors up and out of my body. I threw them to the ground just as I had done with my periscope and buried them below my feet. I felt a deep resonating grief build up inside of me. I felt for sure that if I were able to find something good within myself that maybe I just might be able to extract the light within and use it to better myself.

After an unmeasurable amount of time in the darkness, fretting over my own inner darkness, I came to a realization. Reflections are never real nor factual. I cannot trust my eyes in what I see. My mind will always conquer my eyes, and change my perception. What I think I see in front of me is a fallacy, for it is only the mind that creates detailed sketches of my surroundings. If my mind is dark, I will only notice darkness. One cannot measure light when there is no understanding of it.

The fogginess of my world, the tunnels I escape in, and the bending, distant light are therefore a mirror reflection of myself. Possibly this is the reason why I see so many never fall into the tunnels, for they do not exist in their minds. What power! If I could somehow harness their energy and cultivate it, I may be able to see a brave new world. A world void of darkness and a land without silence. The peaches may become ripe and juicy once more. The streams may no longer seem to be draining, rather perpetually filling up from the mountains. There must be two sides of this coin, finding the greater, however, is the most difficult endeavor.

Chapter Nine