Short Story: Crippled
Chapter one: “Nurse our own wounds.”
Spasms of unrelenting misery assault my body. Wreaking havoc with its unsympathetic weapons created for ministrations of torture. My attacker mercilessly holds me captive in my own frame. A prisoner to a biological and physical default with no key to unshackle me. My own body believes me to be beyond redemption, accusing me of crimes I have not committed. Unbending when it comes to compassion, it enforces unjust punishments upon me.
Rebels in white gowns or blue scrubs search for where my mind lay captive. Chances of finding my dungeon are hopeless, and the chances of finding the right key are fruitless. I admire their hope and their earnest expressions as they fight back against the invisible carved flesh, against the visible scars, against the hidden burn marks that litter my body and soul.
Chapter two: “Absences.”
My refusal to see absences as deficiencies is what creates the divide between them and me. We do not share a common other with universal beliefs. So desperate to see these absences as negatives I laugh at them and their crippled beliefs. They are consumed by judgment and pity that they forget I’m not just surviving life, I’m living it. Not a celebrity but my inhabited absences put me in the public eye. You can’t miss me, I differ from them, those who are physically complete.
Chapter three: “A reader/passer-by.”
Overflowing words of obscenity focus on the absences and attack, among other not-so-merry-men. Merry-Men’s poisoned arrows pierce the empty air searching for the soul it wishes to consume. A few times, it accomplished to chip my soul. A soul that begs to be liberated, not from my unresponsive body but, from chains that they use to confine my soul’s ability. Letter to words, to sentences to phrases, to life-long beliefs. They gently twirl around my wrists with an unrequired sensitivity. Fruitless affections that show their love, but also their crippling dismissal. Their refusal to see a growth in my soul.
My body is stunted, not my psyche.
Undeserving of such a malicious fate, I fight for my soul. A soul that sees an unclear future with hopeful eyes and whispers promises to the heart and mind. Promises of self- greatness and magnanimity that will liberate me from a crippled world.
Chapter Four: ‘Thank in Prayer.’
Desperation, decay and depletion forever intertwined within all our minds. Affection, care and mercy forever intertwined within all our souls. Despite my disloyalty and unfaithfulness, I know that at the end of the day, this golden Grace will forever be watching over me and protecting my lifeline. In this life and the next. A glowing emblem of hope and faith ready to catch me when I’m my worst. A narrative told long ago in a foreign tongue.
Its true meaning blurred through translation.
Its prominence blurred through the evolution of our core.
I fail to find the straight path.
I fail to want to see the straight path.
A lifeline created by an unfathomable being and distorted by culture and society, I fail to find my lifeline amidst all this madness. Chaotic wires wrap around my neck, squeezing and squeezing unwilling to let go. Stuck between two choices, my soul cries wanting to tear at the wires – liberate myself. Yet, reluctant to let go of the same wires that have become my lifeline – protect myself. Submissive in prayer but dominant in my own choices and actions, I refuse to be ink on a page. The ink in my book has not set. I refuse to be set in stone, another character in a book. Not worthy of thoughts or autonomy. “It could have been worse,” they say but…I refuse to be just grateful and thankful. True faiths begin with me.
Chapter Five: “Applaud.”
Wrapping hues of pink and green around me, I bury myself in the warmth the soul creates. Unable to override my body, the soul takes control of the mind and heart never relenting despite the purging the soul is subjected to. It seizes the swirls of colour, claiming it as its own and engulfing the greys and blues till they are nothing more than a myth. Till I have learned to embrace my own scars regardless of everyone else. This embracement broke down my society-built barriers. They are trapped within the caged thoughts of “I can’t live like that.” Trapped like the adrenaline in a headless chicken – inconsolable and lost – this is crippling.
Chapter Six: ‘Dis.’
My life is a remediation of the world they have placed me in. A blank sheet for me to express and colour as I see. Disassembling myself from them. Allowing the empty to become a catharsis of chronic pain that will never go away, of dividers that they will never take down, of my old selves. Old selves that are trapped within a drop or bubble – never allowed to grow or indeed find faith. Disabling my chained self. My space imperfectly perfect filled with letters of faults, scars and absences. Finding the strength within my mind when my legs have none. Obtaining futures while my back recovers. My soul is reaching out towards myself when my body is unable to do so. My soul defamiliarises itself from my body.
Chapter seven: ‘Crippled.’
Previously being stuck on a stranded boat, I find the courage to swim away from a crippling world. Do not get me wrong, I am still crippled, but not in the same way you are.
©️ photo by Svetlana Pochatun on Unsplash
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