Cover Photo: Photo by Emily
Photo by Emily


Inhaling the gasses of complexity and craving the innocence of blackness

Wafts of gasses rise in the evening air, sultry and salty with fumes from the factory. I sit on the rooftop of the abandoned warehouse, and I breathe in the tainted air. It feels familiar and juicy to my senses. I know its poisonous and intoxifying qualities are anything but natural, but the artificial streams soothe my consciousness and remind me that this is home.

The summer sun sets heavily with a pink haze around it and a burning red hue within. The sounds of cars on the busy Singapore streets below caress the waves of my consciousness. My heart feels dense and my knees ache from hours spent working on my feet, lifting, scrubbing, and sweeping, in this moment I do not remember what. I leave the small but sweaty restaurant behind, and I lean my head back to view wisps of water masquerading as little faint clouds above, like smudges on a dirty window that leads to the heavens.

I begin to count them. I become aware of the once thickly tarred surface beneath my hands and bottom that still holds heat from the seething day. The day. The day full of scampering feet, demanding people, with their needs loud and their attention perseverant to their cause. The day full of pleases and thankyous, smiles placed decoratively on the sore muscles of my face. Exchanges within a framework that hides so much, empty in essence, sensitive at its core.

Then I forget it, I send it up to disappear with the tangerine tufts placating the hazel blue sky above. I forget their names, their faces, their colors and hues. I forget the smells and I release the imprints upon my mask that they have carved out.

Exhaling the fumes of the factory, I am thankful for the coming of the night. I accept the dissonance that settles in my bones with the city lights. They shimmer like a scandal, with an inner darkness that pulls me into its foreboding,  fear, and emptiness. There I find comfort in the absence of faith. Bare cement, walls and structures hold in the nothingness. I exist here and am held in the anonymity. I know not why. I know not how I am held. I do not need to know how I am held. I do not need to know for I crave the empty canvass, the bottomless crevasse. From there I can only rise up.

Emily's book "Glass Slippers: A Journey of Mental Illness" is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble online, and at Lopez Bookshop (Lopez, WA).  Blogger at [Creativity, Spirituality, Mental Illness] @moonflickerstone