Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Light

Staring into the light, after-image shadows occlude my vision of things both near and far should my eyes waver. I can't stop looking into the light, but my head bobs on occasion and I have to do everything I can to keep my eyes focused.

Sometimes mom comes into my room and moves me around. She thinks I am uncomfortable when I crane my neck to, what appears to her, to be an impossible angle. It is not uncomfortable to me and I wish I could tell her how much I just want to look at the light. Words don’t come out of my mouth however. I know words and I know how to communicate, but I don’t have the focus to relate information to the outside world. All that mom ever hears from me is a gurgling or grunting when I’m moved.

Only light keeps me focused and my mind from running amok in the tempest of horrific and blinding rages. Only the focus the light brings to my mind can I live this day. Only the light gives me reason to live for tomorrow.

When my eyes can't see the light, my mind races in circles like two flies buzzing around a long-dead carcass. A torrent of all memories I ever had, every word that was ever spoken within my hearing, every thought I ever had congeal into one in my brain.

I hate being in my mind when there is no light. There are too many things crashing around and thoughts and ideas I can’t control. I hear the screams of feelings wanting to escape my mind; I wallow in the avalanche of images that aren’t of light. There is a burning turmoil from a thousand memories of everything I’ve ever seen, a thousand voices from everyone who has ever spoken to me, a thousand scenes replaying themselves, all clamoring for primary attention crashing into one another. Each clamor for their own place in the importance of the forefront of my mind; each blindly banishes the next in favor of itself, only to be shoved aside by another voice, another memory, another firing of a synaptic nerve ending.

The thoughts and ideas that overwhelm me know the answers to almost all the questions I have ever heard. I know why dad is often late coming home from work. I know why mom cries deep into the night. I know why I am left to sit by myself at daycare. I know why people don’t understand me.

What I don’t know is why I can’t take that which is in my mind and share it with the outside world.

My mind won't focus on the stuff mom and dad and others try to tell me, I just need to look into the light. The light is the only thing in my life that really matters to me.

The light keeps me calm and able to function to the extent I function.

When I hear music playing somewhere and the light allows me to hear the beat clearly, the music presents to me a mathematical representation of sound and I sometimes allow my body to sway with the rhythmic beat, but only if my mind allows me to focus and hear the music clearly. There are some rhythms the light is incompatible with and the music is drowned out by the focus the light demands of my mind.

In reality, it's the light I want. I want to look at it all the time. I cherish the light and the comfort it brings me and how it settles my mind. It isn't just one light, it is the light.

Wherever I am, I need to see the brightest thing in my world. If mom or dad takes me outside I want to look at the sun. The sun is my favorite light. It is warm on my eyes and the after images last for a very long time. They put glasses on me to darken it so I won't burn my eyes out, but I like the bright sun.

One time I saw and arc welder and it was brighter than anything I had ever seen. It was a very small and very bright light. The man who was welding saw me staring at the light and stopped welding. He asked if I was stupid, and then he told my mother what I was doing. She was very angry with me, but the small bright light left images for days.

I enjoyed those images and they curried favor with my mind. It was peaceful in my head and my thoughts were clear for many, many hours of what was left of that day and well into the night. I wish that clarity had lasted longer and although I can recall perfectly the image of the light in my head and can imagine how bright it was, only the sight of a light can keep my mind from tearing itself asunder.

When I am in my room, I look at the light in the lamp. It isn’t as bright as the sun or the welder, but I can look at it all the time. I watch it and it will move and morph into visions only I can see.

I see a world only I can see.

If I am put into a room where there is no light on which I can focus, my mind will rebel and I struggle to maintain control; my body will flail until I can see a light on which to focus. I need my mind to focus or everything in my mind will fall into turmoil more confounding and entangled than a kitten’s ball of yarn.

The sweat that drips into my eyes burns terribly and I have difficultly looking at any light for days. My mind battles itself until my vision gets better and I can focus again on a light.

I hate nights because of the darkness. I can remember all six of my years and it is at night that I am most afraid of not having a light for my mind.

I have to use a night light. It took a long time for my parents to realize I need a light on which to focus. After many nights of my mind running amok and my body thrashing around uncontrolled, my parents realized a simple light for me to look at was all I needed.

One time my parents turned it off when I was asleep. I believe they felt I had outgrown needing a light at night. I awoke with nothing to see and I wrecked my crib and broke my arm before I could see a light again.

One other time the light burned out before I fell asleep and I crawled out of my crib to lay with my head on the floor at the bottom of my door so I could see the light in the hallway. Sometime in the middle of the night, long after I had fallen asleep, my dad opened my door and broke my nose and knocked two of my teeth out.

I didn't cry out because I saw beautiful sparkling lights for many minutes, but my mom and dad cried over me. The spinning lights from the ambulance were beautiful for as long as I could see them. A doctor checking me shined a very bright light into my eyes as well. Those are memories I replay again and again when my mind allows me to.

Candles are good to watch because the flame moves. I could watch a candle the rest of my life. I could watch a candle flicker and move in currents of air no one can see. I am not allowed too close to candles because they burn things, as my grandmother found out one day while I was being taken care of at her place.

They don't understand that it is the light that allows me to keep control. Without the light there is nothing to keep my brain from killing me. My body may be that of a broken doll with muscles that twitch and jerk, but my mind is filled with everything I have seen or heard.

I am in here, but I can not control everything that I know. It’s like holding a hundred marbles in one hand. Only perfect and constant focus can keep those marbles from crumbling, except I have thousands of memories and shaking hands.

The light transfixes me and I am thoroughly addicted to it. If my parents didn't force food into me, I would probably starve because watching the light is more important to me. My body’s hunger is not important to my mind and my skeletal appearance bothers my parents, but I don’t care.

My body is not like their bodies. My arms don't reach for them; my legs only walk when forced to. My lips don’t utter the sounds they use to communicate; neither do my eyes search for them when I am alone. I know this bothers them, but my mind won’t allow me the niceties they exchange.

My misshapen body would rather crumble to the floor and watch a glowing light.

Sleep is the only thing that interrupts my watching the light at night. My eyes close because my body gives up to exhaustion and nothing I can do can stop the sleep from overcoming me. I hate sleep unless I can see the after-image of the light when I close my eyes.

Sometimes I dream of the light. I dream of bright lights shining on my face, I dream of a single pin point of light in a dark room that only I can see. I watch the light in my dreams as my body sleeps.

I think I know that it isn't a real light, but it lets my body sleep and gives me a light to see.

I need the light.

I love the light.

And it loves me.