Loud and Ringing


When I arrive back home, the dust has accumulated on the granite countertops. I heave myself onto the smooth, cold tops of them and stare at the house from my perch. Everything is disheveled and tossed around in a haphazard attempt to make a path from the living room to the back door. The two outer lights dangling lithely above the island flicker with fluorescent warning and the center light dangles. Dust flitters under their harsh light whilst my vision spots purple with the after image, I blink, I swallow.

The fruit delicately placed in a cut crystal bowl has spotted and rotted to a grotesque state. I rub my calloused fingers over their leathery skins, they’re gone.

With all of my might, I try to do something, anything, but I just stare. Trying somehow to take an inventory of reality and what is there. Processing this mess is laborious and I feel the pound of a headache emerge beating rhythmically to my own frustration. I’ve dug myself in some hole I rather stay in than see the light of day.

But as I think about it with the thousands of other thoughts racing through the confines of my head like sand in the sea, I realize, how would it improve my situation in the slightest? It’s just stuff. It’s just an empty house. It’s just depression.

And I’m just a person.

I remove myself from the counter and reluctantly, but with some artificial wonder, I retrieve the peachy conch shell lying on the island as some kind of ‘focal point’. The inside is a delicate smoothness while the outside is ragged, coarse, with spike emanating in the pattern in which it spirals downward to an unreachable center. Surrealistic, the shell presses against my ear in a mechanical motion and the ocean sang back.

And it swirls around me in a whirlwind of fear and hope—everything that was and is and everything that made me is before my eyes. I am the sum of all of my quirks, fear, love, and mistakes. I am everything I will experience, have experienced, and what I am experiencing. I am every hand that has touched me, I am everything that is around me, I am me. I am the sea.