You gather your armor, beaten, somehow heavier from the years of use, and you fight the demons once more.
You fight the demons and you rage against their walls. Storming fortresses in the hopes of destroying the dungeons they mean to place you in, the tiny dark holes wherein you’ll die and be left for forgotten.
As you lash out and against, you hear a Voice continually humming in the back of your brain like a semi-automatic tattoo gun, inking onto your mind the suggestion that you should just give up, just stop already, just go to sleep.
Just go to sleep.
A distraction at first, it coyly swallows every last demon warring against you till it becomes the entirety of your war. In an effort to dismantle dark forgotten holes, it begs you to enter one of your very own construct, but only once. Once, and forever and ever amen more.
You can say no, but in so doing, understand that the demons will reappear. The goddamned demons will reappear, stronger and angrier than before.
Say no anyway.
Make no mistake, this will be a continual war. The demons need not food nor rest nor restocking. The Voice itself prattles on, dolloping constant bloody stain that’ll continue to blacken even a weary mind retired for the night. The war will rage, in starts and stops, maybe even for the remainder of your life.
Say no anyway.
The war will rage on, in starts and stops, maybe yes, even for the remainder of your life. I know it has so in mine at least. And the armor continues to become heavier every time I pick it up, but still I do.
And it’s not because I’m any sort of hero, but rather, a coward. A coward too frightened to enter into that dark forgetting hole of my own construct, but only once. A coward too afraid to admit defeat. Even after defeat upon defeat upon defeat.
A coward who’s survived.
And in the case of this war at least, being so is just enough to be a victor. Today, tomorrow, and every day after. Possibly even til the day when the demons are vanquished and the Voice silenced once and for all. Forever and ever amen.
It can happen after all, you know
I don’t know why I’m sharing this, except that maybe I have heard recently of far too many who were not cowards, far too many lost to us too soon and far too forever as a result.
And maybe I think, someone who needs these words – someone who is getting ready themselves to make the mistake this time of saying yes once and forever – someone like that might find this scribbled thought and see, and in seeing, See.
I hope so. I hope I can do at least that in my what I would call a life. I know it’s helped me to realize that others have succeeded where I sometimes fear I will fail; to know that I’m not the only one fighting, that I’m not alone. To know that I am loved by other cowards who also continue to survive.
You too, are not alone.
You too, are loved.
If by no one else, then at least by me.
Come, please, gather your beaten armor, and beside me fight another day, OK?