“G-d struck down Lucifer and sent him spilling from the heavens and into the Earth. His wings were taken and his appearance went from fair to foul.” It was the first line of the story I had tried to write my sophomore year of high school. I fumbled around with it for a while, tried to find a voice that I could latch onto, a guide that would help me tell the tale.
I was almost sixteen years-old and an avid reader. I loved science-fiction and fantasy, wanted to be like Tolkien and Bradbury. It didn’t seem out of reach or impossible, all I needed to do was find the voice, catch the willow-of-the-wisp that would ferry me across the River Styx, my personal Charon.
Even now you can hear the echoes of the writers that influenced me in my youth. I’d like to say that I made the same mistake as Icarus, that I soared too high, that my flame burned too brightly to shine for long. It would be a lie. My life had long since lost that spark of hope that the youth of the world rely upon. I felt like I was nothing more than a broken toy that had once been shiny and new and now was buried at the bottom of the toy box. I could see glimpses of daylight, but I had no idea how to claw my way back to the surface.
Georgie might have been crazy. He might have been certifiable, but he was my lifeline into the world. He was the reason that I did more than just go to work. He was the reason that I didn’t just lie in bed or in front of the television.
A past love had told me that my affection for Georgie was equivalent to suffering from “Stockholm Syndrome.” She had said the same thing that many did about Georgie, that he would die a violent death and that he would cause nothing but pain to those around him.
I wonder if she would be surprised to see me now, to know that I was the reason he was dead. I wonder if she could recognize me, if any remnants of the love that we had shared remained or if I was nothing more than a dried up husk. Once I had been in love. Once I had felt alive and not dead inside. She wasn’t afraid to look at the darker places inside of me, didn’t think that I was broken, just lost.
And for a time her belief in me had made me feel like maybe she was right, like there might be a place for me, a chance to make something of myself. But that time was so long ago it was no longer real to me.
There is no question that her departure from my life corresponded with my own downward spiral, my own destructive nature took me to places I was afraid to be. The daylight was no longer bright and the sun was no longer warm. When she left it was abrupt and without warning.
She had told me that she loved me. She had promised to never leave me and I had believed her. I had tried to hold on to that belief, tried to convince myself that one day I would come home and find her waiting for me. But the days turned into weeks and the weeks became months and time never stopped moving, but my heart did.