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halcyon

United States

grace // 18 // local dreamer

Message to Readers

Is this story similar to your interpretation of this song (if you've heard it)? Does this make you want to listen to the song? Are there any ways I can improve this piece?

Heavydirtysoul

December 13, 2017

FREE WRITING

3

The first time I cried was also the first time I crashed a car.

I don’t remember the night like it was yesterday, or this morning. I remember it like it’s still happening. It is, in a way. In my head the screeching tires still play out loud, over and over and over again. Both liberating and terrifying. Both loud and gentle. It’s a recurring dream that happens when I am wide awake. A dangerous spiral in my mind.

My thoughts always begin the same way. I’m facing the street at night again. The street lights bounce off the wet pavement and reflect in my broken-glass eyes. Tattoos line my arms, creeping up over my veins and muscles. My hair is shaded over my face, and I’m breathing hard.

When it had first happened, I’d paused for less than a second on the side of the road before rushing out into the street. In my memory it seems to take hours. I breathe in, out, in, out, devouring the neon color of the city around me. A door slams in the background. I have to go. I have to find my car, drive into the forest, never turn around.

“STOP!” the words shattered the night. I hadn’t realized how quiet it was until they did so. I didn’t dare glance behind me, but I know who followed on pounding feet. The man with green-smoke tattoos and eyes that were too hard to look into. I began running, despite his calls of “get back here.” I had seen enough. I no longer wanted to be caught up in his stupid gang, doing horrible, stupid things to other people.

I had thought a long time about leaving, but it wasn’t until tonight that I realized I absolutely had to. After seeing what he had done back there to that person, in the name of a gang and its members, shook me to my core. I was tired of slinking through the darkness, making people fear me. I was tired of smashed beer bottles and cigarettes still smoking on the pavement. I was tired of the layers of abuse and cruelty to others that seperated my heart from my brain.

I hadn’t meant for it to be this dramatic- I was going to slip off one night, disappearing into the darkness and not looking back. But things don’t always work out that way.

And now I ran. The things I had witnessed tonight were the final straw. The push over the cliff.

The car was cold inside, and seemed to take a painfully long time to rev. Finally, though, the floor of the car vibrated with the engine. I pressed my foot to the pedal, and the car exploded from the side of the road. The man behind me reached out, and I was happy to see his familiar hands brushing against the side of the car, unable to stop me.

I went faster than ever before, not giving a thought to the speed limit. What was one more broken rule.

I don’t know how long I drove. I don’t know how many things I passed. I just knew I had to get away. I had to leave behind this place, and abandon my old self on the roadside. The city began to vanish behind me, twisting and turning on the road until it was out of sight.

Trees. These were the first things I saw as the neon city lights faded behind me. Pines exploded into my vision as the anger in my veins cleared and I could see what I was looking at. They rose regally into the sky, arching their backs against the road that was beginning to wind dangerously.

As I went down the track, everything I had gone through came flooding back. I was born into an abusive house, both of my parents addicted to drugs and the emotion of sadness. I had learned not to speak my mind at a young age, and suffered because of it. I brought the pent up aggression to the gang when I was fifteen, roaming the streets with people I convinced myself were like family, even though I never felt safe from their groping hands.

I drove faster and faster as the forest swallowed me whole. Trees flashed past in streaks of green. The tires skidded on pavement, the smell of them burning going through my nostrils.

It was a good thing I slowed down as I rose over the crest of the mountain to look at the scene below. Because in my rage, I was not thinking, and a twitch of my wrists sent the car spiralling.

It crashed across the highway in the direction of the forest to the left. Thankfully.

Suddenly, everything I knew was flipped upside down. The beast I was commanding suddenly had a mind of its own, tires scrambling for traction and windshield bursting into more pieces than myself. Thunder from the engine crackled. Fear. Bursts of light. Flying and then falling. The color of headlights in the darkness.

The air burst through the open window, and I took a breath of air before the car crashed to the side of the road. Trees bowed under its weight against their trunks. A deer bounded into the forest, unseen. I felt a jolt, and realized I wore no seatbelt. Flying. I flew into the night from the broken windshield.

Pain. It enveloped me. Up my arms, my legs, in my head. As I dove through the window, the car continued to roll into the forest before coming to a stop in a smoking heap. I was laid out on the forest floor, feet still dangling from the pine needles onto the asphalt road. Fuzziness swept through my mind, and I couldn’t feel whether or not I was broken.

There was a moment of quiet in which I simply hurt. Needles of hotness pricked my arms and legs. My head. My neck. The moon was overhead, shining its white face down upon my bleeding body.

I was hurt and in danger of being hit… but for some reason, I only felt a single overwhelming emotion. Maybe it was because of a hit to the head, or the way that everything needed to be held together. But as I lay there, hurt mentally and physically, I felt real for the very first time. It was strange.

The pain made me alive. I raised a broken head from the ground, and looked around. Tears began to flood my eyes as I realized there were no gang members here. There was nothing to return to, and it was the most freeing feeling. I was now allowed to be hurt and quiet. I was now allowed to feel the world.

Sirens. An ambulance had found me. White-red lights against the shadows of pine trees. Cold air matching the cold noises.
I reached out a hand, and then began to crawl into the forest. Pine needles seemed to freeze under my touch. The coldness of the air went into my bones and made me feel alive. The way the trees rose with such sincerity held my heart captive.
I was feeling again. I cried, for the first time since I could remember. Cold tears, not hot ones. Tears of relief. I knew from now on, I could step towards the light. Towards feeling again. By escaping the gang I had snapped the chains at my arms, breaking free of all restraint. I was free to touch the wood of these trees, and feel, and fall in love and hurt.

These thoughts were comforting, and made me long to resist the touch of the paramedics as they gathered me into their arms. But I knew, in my heart of hearts, that this was the beginning to being alive again. This was the start to staring at the stars in the night sky and being myself.

Free.
Creative interpretation of the song Heavy Dirty Soul by Twenty One Pilots, and what it means to me. 

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