What Comes Up Must Come Down

I had a dream last night that I stopped by the old swing set. I can’t remember why I went there or how. The name hadn’t crossed my mind in years; I simply didn’t allow it. Perhaps it was remorse who clasped my wrist and dragged me through solemn streets of unmowed lawns and faded stoplights. His grip was forceful and threatening, yet his words were wavering and distant. Or perhaps it was nostalgia. Her sweet venom was deceiving, always begging for attention. All she said was “trust me,” and before I could open my mouth to protest, we were already rushing light years away. We went over rooftops and hills. We crawled beneath tunnels and ran through fields, only to wind up at that same dreaded spot. Maybe it was them who brought me there, but it sure as hell wasn’t me. 

The place is practically unrecognizable now. The plants have found a home in what I once considered my own. Dead leaves and broken branches cloak the worn-in seating as ivy adorn its rusted edges. But how many more plants have to grow until I learn to finally surrender? How many more bad dreams must I endure until one can be deemed a nightmare? 

Sometimes when I wake up, I can still see myself clasping those very same ivy-woven handles with my head leaned back. I wanted to reach higher and higher. I wanted to taste the velvet clouds between my lips and hear the tepid secrets whispered among the treetops. So I kept pushing higher, the magic in my eyes growing larger as my feet lifted off the ground. 

But there’s a certain point in the atmosphere where the air fades away and brooding euphoria disintegrates into pure pain. The sky was beckoning, yes, yet all that shrouded my mind was the torment of my inevitable departure. No amount of glorious sunlight could shake the thought that my momentary ecstasy was simply that-- momentary. I was merely suspended by the mercy of gravity, waiting for the fall. What happens when the sun dies out? What happens when there are no more songs to be sung? What happens when all the best stories have already been told? 

What happens when I come down? 

By Rawan Olma