(spoiler warning...for those who care about being spoiled...=P)
Our feet land in the miniature dunes with a barely detectable thumping sound. The little grains cling to the water droplets on Mat’s brown ankles. I glance down to see sand collecting between my ten wet toes and sticking to the damp hair on my legs. I look back ahead to Matias. His shoulders relaxed, his gait slow and even, each step he takes draws us further down the shoreline. His feet kick up the white dust, sparkling with an ethereal splendor in the light of the setting sun. I observe how his ankles bend and the muscles of his legs flex as he treads the pathway by the seaside, seemingly not caring about the minutes passing, the crabs skittering about just in front of him, or myself, his silent shadow.
I think about the nicotine, the alcohol, the caffeine, and the cannabis in his blood and I wonder if the foreign chemicals ever leave his system. But walking behind him, on the surface of his skin, he looks and feels so natural, so human, that the line between his humanity and mine feels all the more a starck contrast of reality versus fabrication. To live like that appears to me as utter self destruction, but at my core I know he has more freedom than I ever did. And furthermore, the price he pays to be free doesn’t come as a consequence to this idiot spirit walking before me; instead, it is all part of the process of life. I don’t know what it is that makes him so outwardly tranquil; how does he mask his pain so well? The voice of logic says the drugs in his head makes him this way, but how I long for a deeper explanation. I cannot think of any answer, so now I long to have a reason for my lack thereof.
Why is it that he appears as if his entire body could dissolve into the sea and sand, as if he could become part of this ancient shore while I must dissolve into nothingness? Why am I so disconnected from everything in this universe, but he seems at harmony with all around him? Gosh, I just want to see him lose his temper once without a smile on his face. I want to see him get truly upset for once; I want to believe you can achieve this peaceful demeanor and still care something about the world around you.
That’s not possible, my voice of reason cries, he might look like he’s in it for the ride, but you know that he’s not okay at all on the inside. You understand that the only way he feels any peace at all is by cutting everyone else out of his life. His heart hurts so much that he’s hit the off-button, not to be bothered with it anymore. Yet he knows something is missing, so he hides the hole in his chest by filling it with things that lower his awareness of it. He’s a wreck; a horrible tragedy waiting to happen. Don’t wish you could be like him. His frail excuse for peace will all be over someday. Better to walk the highroad and climb the rocks than to close your eyes and pretend none of it exists.
“But he knows it all exists,” I mutter. Mat halts his walking and turns to face me. The sun, having already slipped out of view behind the dunes, casts the entire beach in a rainbow of sherbet orange, blood red, and rosy pink. The deep breath of the sea, exhaled from the farthest reaches of the earth, plays with the black waves adorning his forehead; the sun brings out the darkest copper tones of his flawless complexion.
But his eyes.
His eyes, so brown I cannot tell iris from pupil, look like they are being tortured.
Fear. Loneliness. Anger. Doubt. Worthlessness. The darkest emotions known to man, burning to black ashes the heart of this nineteen-year-old little boy in front of me. Just beneath his skin, Mat is dying. He is terrified and alone. The climb doesn’t seem like the highroad, it seems like an eternal maze of dead ends. Broken dreams, failed new beginnings. Lost time, lost hearts, lost everything.
He can’t see the point in his birth anymore. He’s no good, he’s no future, he’s no love. He’s nothing.
Quite abruptly, I feel a pang in my heart; one I haven’t felt in a long time. It’s a sour but sweet feeling; so intense it makes me want to clutch my chest and drop to my knees, not simply out of pain but something between it and glorious happiness.
I feel love.
Wooooooaaaaah, some dark stuff tonight. Okay, maybe not by all definitions dark, but I tried. Well...lately, I've been pouring a lot into Mat and Jens, so maybe it's coming naturally. I sure hope this doesn't mean that Ryan is going to become a cardboard posterchild with no character. O_O Anyway, enjoy my little scrooge finally being a man about it and dealing with Mat's problems maturely. He hasn't been looking forward to burdensome Matias throwing off all of his issues on him, yet he knew early on that he wouldn't be able to resist caring about Mat in the future. XD
At any rate, sorry if the excerpt is confusing...it comes from a point pretty far along in the two-week journey of these five housemates. :)