I was guilty of taking the easy route. My toes sat comfortably at the very edge of the less-traveled road, and if I was feeling particularly brave, one foot would hover over the rough concrete unacquainted with faint-hearted men. Despite my efforts to appear a daring soul, the sum of all the courage I’ve ever mustered wouldn’t be enough to launch my footsteps.
I was stuck, but I was comfortable. After so long of being wedged between uncertainty and apprehension the walls began to conform to my doleful body. The itch for affection never met my skin. It became natural to watch the world lapse in amity from glazed eyes. That was what scared me – there was nothing humanly natural about this sort of numbness.
Even if what I was could not have been living, I still existed, and I could only exist for so long before I was coerced to discover what was beyond my static veins. Although my barrier was self-imposed, I did not hold the key. I found it in another who experienced the world at its fullest height. I wish I could say I was hesitant to unlock what was fostered upon years of distorted unidentified strength. Such a statement delivered from my lips would be a lie.
My first steps were joyous. Layers of shadows seemed to fall from my shoulders and collect in heaps on the road behind as radiant light overwhelmed me. I felt what I supposed was happiness – or perhaps it was desire. I felt desired myself. I was desperately close to trusting this source of warmth and passion. I began to dream. I must have believed in these dreams too deeply and too committedly, for I awoke from visions to find myself led halfway down a foreign road and abandoned. I had nothing but my fallen shadows to guide me back, and they weakly stitched themselves to my back as I passed.
My detachment wasn’t restored. The barrier I had constructed could have no origin but one untainted by emotion. Mine exploded like fireworks, and I had no way of recollecting them. I could no longer watch the world as an observer from behind one-way glass. Everything was to be experienced. I felt all that was beneath my fingertips. But they were cold, and that scared me more than feeling nothing at all.