Camp NaNoWriMo’s been over for a bit now, but I haven’t quite gotten back into the swing of things, but don’t worry, Lamenting City will be continuing soon (as will other projects) once I get my emotional state… sorted. August is not an easy month for me, especially not right now. I’m still mourning a cat I lost this month last year, I’m still mourning friends and family I’ve lost, whether to death or to the uncertain maw of severed contact. And, because I wear my heart on my sleeve and have never stopped trying to pretend otherwise, the deaths of Satoru Iwata, Carrie Fisher, and Chester Bennington still get to me, in many different ways too incoherent and personal for me to really explain.
Recently I gave Mike Shinoda’s song “Ghosts” a listen, and… Here we are.
This is dedicated to the ghosts of the past and the present. And maybe the future, too. To the people who have affected us in ways we and they may never truly know.
Sometimes the light seems to fade, and the shadows seem to dance along its waning path. The clock ticks and it ticks and it ticks, and yet time seems to have stopped in the dead of the cold, starless night.
Sleep, ever elusive, drifts away as the melancholy leaks from your eyes, streaming down your faces, splashing against your clothes, against the sheets, against the floor as you make your way to the window.
Many nights, too many nights, too many mornings, too many evenings, watching the sun fall and watching it rise, over and over, yet the thoughts and the memories never cease. In this state of silence and of dreams, you’ve never felt more awake, more awake and yearning, yearning to reach another who can understand.
It comes and goes in different forms. It comes in the form of the howling wind, of the raindrops against the roof, of the song you replay over and over. It comes in the form of the clouds that block out the sky, of the moonlight shining through, of the painted sky at dawn and at dusk.
It’s there in the flickering lights, in the dancing shadows, in the way the chimes sing with the wind. A presence, real or imagined, but you can feel it. You can feel them.
Some of them you know. They’d been constants in your life, or maybe you’d only met a few times. But they were the good ones, the ones who believed in you when you weren’t able to believe in yourself. Memories dance across your vision when you are awake and when you are asleep, memories that seem so distant now. For the moment, the bad memories have been cut away, and yet what remains still fills you with a seemingly infinite sadness.
Things can’t be how they were then.
And still others are people you’d never met, and yet they left an impact on your life that you can’t help but feel a closeness all the time. Maybe it was a character they played that gave you joy, maybe it was a book they wrote that let you escape the world for awhile, maybe it was a song they sang that seemed to speak to you and only you, maybe it was a thing they said that gave you the strength.
All of them seemed so untouchable. Until they weren’t.
Because no one is.
You claw and dig at the walls of your mind and of your heart, to try and try to retreat into yourself, to recapture that magic, that incredible strength, to try to return to when things didn’t hurt the way they do now. To reconnect with the people lost to time and to the world.
And sometimes, at dawn and at dusk and the time in between, it feels as if they were never gone at all, and sometimes, it feels as if they were never there at all.
For them, for the people that helped you, you will be strong.
For yourself, you will be strong.
But this night and other nights like it will be theirs. And you will have a form of peace, as the light fades.
Tonight is for our ghosts.