the darkened house

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@ adh from Thomas Raddall Provincial Park

12:00 am? pm? She didn’t know. With windows shuddered, and further darkened by thick curtains, either was possible. But then it made no difference in her daynightdaynight. In the hierarchy of tears.

Sometimes she left the lap top on, wiggler attached so the screen didn’t sleep – creating a glow against the wall. She might open up to the outside just enough for full moon, or sun, cast free of the storm to form puddles of natural light. She might walk the halls, feeling her way along, eyes closed or blanketed by moon/starless night. Her tiny bright red Maglite flashlight dug for in pockets or fingers splayed, searching how far it had rolled after she fell.

To them – it didn’t matter if she had pulled the shutter tight with a dust-moted slam or  if they had forever closed down it with a kick and a hooted laugh. All the same – assumptions. Assumed she choose the life she did. Assumed someone as unimportant, forgettable, unnecessary, unneeded and unwanted as she was better inside a dark hovel. And, they without her

Forget the person trapped the house in the nano-instance it took to see true importance, true need, true specialty in someone else. Someone who rated, who ranked, who should be honoured, loved, admired. So-one who really fit on the hierarchy of tears. Not a poser, a faker, a phony obviously just looking for attention.

“You know the type,” they say, when new folks moved to town, pointing at the darkened house with their all-knowing fingers, “those drama queens who think they matter. She thinks her life is important, ha. The “as if we’d really care.” The egotistical bitch – it’s always about me. The cry-babies who won’t grow up or suck it up.” Then general laughter as all nodded. Everyone knew someone like her: lazy, spoiled, unattractive, “thought she coulds,” but of course couldn’ts, who thought they and what they sought mattered, but, without someone like that, of course, didn’t. In fact, complete losers and failures.

She could close the shutters, hang thicker and thicker curtains, but her bitter, brittle truths, no amount of darkness or white noise sound could make them go away. She had tried going out the door, tried to make up for what she lost. But after pry-barring open the slashed, kicked, cracked-painted door with ten thousand deadbolts, at least 5 thousand on the outside, she saw the circus was always in town.

Many performers, faces blurred, or changed, but the signs they held, the slogans they chanted didn’t. Slam the door again. “Please no more pain” as the sobs doubled her over.

For some, there is only one house – a darkened one. No matter how much people think that’s where the person wants or deserves to stay.

Do people really think the departed what to watch as the tombstone maker remarks to his assistant – “another simple one:


Born. Died.

Time to get at that special one for the woman who . . ..”


@ adh 2016

6 thoughts on “the darkened house

  1. wildchild47 says:

    This is an incredibly powerful, poignant, and heart-breaking story.

    The cruelty and insensitivity of people, the heartlessness, the “we don’t give a damn” attitudes, …. it drives me into a fury and rage – borderline howling mad child – because, sure, there may be some who are “attention whores” (pardon my french) but those who are truly suffering, whose needs are unmet, who are struggling where once they succeeded …. for whatever reasons they have fallen into such a remote, desolate place ….. it is not of their choosing.

    I hate it when people just judge – based on little information or facts, you know, “oh he’s an alcoholic, so like hell, ya, his life stinks, he’s depressed blah blah blah – he deserves it. ” People don’t recognize symptoms – whether its drugs, alcohol, other addictions or self-harming behaviours – they think this is the “dis-ease” and the cause – the main cause. And it makes me want to CURSE them – not only the swearing at aspect – but CURSE them – because they, oh my oh my, don’t realize – it happens to those least expecting and undeserving.

    No one deserves to be treated as a non-entity. No one.


    I can’t imagine the strength it took for you to write this story – but you know, my friend, my heart and thoughts are with you. And I truly wish and hope that where ever you are, the good people, the people willing to see beyond, and honestly give a damn, manage to let you know, that you are worth the air you breathe, the space your body uses, and that your spirit is gold.

    hugs …. tons and tons …. (((((adh)))))


      • wildchild47 says:

        well the ending is never truly over until its over …. and as for our lives ….. despite the hell, if we have but the faintest sliver of hope, then perhaps we can find the strength to make it through …. and well, who is to say what ten minutes, or 2 hours, or a new day may bring.

        As for writing more of the story – sure. It’s important to get the feelings out – and to let others know that this is the kind of crap that goes on – without cause or sense.

        more hugs just because ((((adh))))


        • “My poor, despairing at times, I think, therapist, says –‘ hope enough buried somewhere to walk a few miles or take several trains to come’ to her sessions; “hope enough to keep track of the pills and what they do do and don’t and try to make the medicating folks understand.”
          She added, “sometimes people don’t understand why hope can seem fleeting and self defeating if hope, as I’ve said, gets ya kicked in the gut.”
          “I so admire folks like you, Michael, and your friend,” she sniffled, not meaning to, “who can hold on to hope and turn it into something, can hold it and see the glisten, the glowing splendor even for a nano-second.”
          Sorry — not a good night.

          Liked by 1 person

          • wildchild47 says:

            No need to apologize … for having a bad night or sniffling or crying. None at all. Because, you know, “hidden behind a keyboard” is a safe place, and it takes far greater strength and courage (yes, you don’t feel this way or believe it – I know – some moments I *am there*) to say “wahhhhh” and let others know … you know what, right now, in this moment, I’m hurting – badly.
            And honestly, I am the “last” person who could be said to “spin hope” around – because I am mostly “not in that space” – and I wish I had the answer – even for myself – “WHY” I foolishly? innocently? stubbornly? – still think “nope. not yet.”

            And you know, your therapist IS right. Your depression and all manifestations etc. are signs and symptoms – but they are not the only part of you. There is some spark within you that believes, knows and wants to live and “succeed.” And now, maybe I’m overstepping my bounds here …. and remember, you can always delete the comment, right? or not post it. I won’t be upset or anything – but I think the biggest problem we live is this: we struggle and struggle because we are still defining ourselves as we WERE – not as who we ARE – right in these moments. And – we THINK we can be IN the FUTURE – what we WERE before. When things were better, when we were good to go, when we met and surpassed our demands and expectations. But the sad truth? We can’t. We can never be who we were. Because all of this, it changes us. And the hard part – accepting and knowing this – and deciding, that no matter the “unknowns and what ifs and crippling fears” …. we CaN CHooSE something New. And be strong and well and more than good with it. Our scars and battles may walk with us, our demons too – but it’s because we (naturally) give them power over us – because we want to be what we no longer can be – ever again – that’s we stay so lost. And the challenge – it seems far too overwhelming, but I think the “truth is there” …. we just need to step slowly, and take what is the best of before, and walk with the bits of that, that encourage us, and STILL resonate, but leave the rest behind.
            Tough order – I know. I really do.
            But you are still here – and that’s because the spark – it still burns – and wants you to let it slowly ignite and catch yourself up into a world of wonder – and how you will eventually come to make it work? Only you get to write the lyrics and music – and those who really care? They will be with you.


the time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things . . .

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