Objects at Rest
The world is cool and dark in the moonlight. It’s peaceful. And right now, that peace is the only thing that’s keeping me sane. I keep trying to sleep. Trying to relax, trying to take in the peace around me. However, it’s hard to sleep when you have a mind of steel and a heart of stone.
Every time I lay down, I am greeted with a piercing symphony of noise. The ringing in my ears gets more and more violent until it drives me completely insane.
I walk down the stairs into my living room. Nothing has moved, its all still the same. The fireplace still remains dormant, and the curtains still remain closed. The picture frames still hang on the walls, documenting our journey. All of the best moments in our lives, frozen in a frame. The only thing that dares to move is the clock, still ticking. Time moves on yet, we stand still. “Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.”
The man in the pictures is not the same man as the one in the mirror. The man in the pictures has eyes of hope. He is young and in love, naive of the fact that tragedy could ever strike him. He had no reason to believe it would. He was a good man, and everything was going well. All of the evidence he could possibly collect would support the point that his life would continue on this path. What a fool he is. Doesn’t he know that all good things must end?
The man in the mirror is much wearier. It is as if he has aged a hundred years since it all fell apart. This is a man who knows what life really is. He is weakened by his exposure to the harshness of reality. That all good things, happiness and love, are just temporary. You could use this same argument to say that bad things are only for now, and while that is true, the bad things leave more permanent damage.
And now, here I stand. Time is moving on, and I am fighting the urge to move with it. I want to stay with the people in the pictures. The newlywed man and wife, experiencing a deafening source of happiness. Happiness so overwhelming that they think that it will last forever. But alas, the woman in the picture remains frozen in time, whilst the man is long gone. She doesn’t travel with the time any longer. I want to stay with her, but I know that it is impossible for me to do so. It’s basic physics. Objects in motion stay in motion, objects at rest stay at rest.
I keep trying to sleep again, but to no avail. Each time I try it gets harder and harder. It’s been weeks. I just need to move on.
I get in my car and go for a drive. I just need to clear my head. The city streets are so peaceful at night. At night, I can almost ignore the passing of time. Everyone is still and silent. Frozen. And it is among the other frozen people that I can finally move freely, once and for all.
The rain keeps the rhythm for my thoughts. I try to turn up the radio again, but my own mind constantly drowns out the music. I just need sanity. Someone, please give me sanity. I want my brain to be clear of all this negativity. I want to be free.
Until all of a sudden the brakes are pressed, halting my car and my thinking, launching me forward into the future. Objects in motion stay in motion, objects at rest stay at rest. But now I am still, and I see a figure standing in the graveyard. It is a person, in a long black coat with a black umbrella. Standing there. What could a person possibly be doing in a graveyard at this time of night? I get out of my car to investigate.
The person is facing the opposite direction as me, so I cannot see their face as I approach them. They are muttering some words I cannot hear, some prayers in a foreign tongue. I slowly move up to them, each step of mine accompanied by a chorus of rain. My hand moves to their shoulder, quickly out of curiosity but slowly as to not disturb their peace. It creeps up behind them until suddenly, they turn around. And it is then that I see her.
The woman standing in front of me is the woman from the pictures. Her long brown hair still frames her face, the week-old mascara still smudged under her eyes. She is holding a bouquet of roses. And we just stand there. Looking into each other’s eyes as if for the first time. Frozen. Neither of us dares to say a word, nor move. A smile slowly rises on her face. I replicate this process myself. And for the first time in weeks, I become the man in the pictures again.
Until all of a sudden, the hope is drained from her eyes once more, as if I was only a cruel delusion, or a mirage. She turns away.
I keep trying to get her attention again. Trying to show her that I am here. Trying to make her see me. Trying to give her hope again, but to no avail. She cannot see me. I was simply screaming into the void.
At last, I turn away, for my love cannot see me anymore. As I walk off into the distance, I turn around one last time. And for just a moment, she turns around as well. And it was in that moment when I finally noticed the haunting gravestone that stood in front of her. I try to continue walking, but I am frozen. She bends down and gently places the roses upon it. As the sun begins to rise from behind, I can feel myself fading away with the darkness, unable to move. And as her tears meld with the rain, I can finally see the face pictured on the tombstone clearly. My own reflection stares at me as I fade into the past, being washed out by the incoming day. Because in the end we are only humans, and we still must obey the basic laws of physics.
Objects in motion stay in motion, objects at rest stay at rest.