Partition

Chapter One

Kyle Cunningham, Staff Writer

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Eyes. Not simply the door to the human soul, or any soul for that matter; eyes are the answers to existence. Though souls are found behind them, salvation lies before. This is a truth one learns slowly, if they are so lucky as to come to such an epiphany at all. You see, we are all told the ‘secrets’ of life; each of us has heard the information that could satisfy our hungers; but hearing alone cannot suffice. It will not do. Mankind is bound by a blindfold; we hear marvels about eyes but do nothing to use our own.

This changed for me, suddenly, five years ago. August 9th, 2013. It was the last and first night I remember. All from before is lost to me, as if a sea of experience evaporated overnight, a multitude of memory was swept away with the tides of darkness. The following morning, I was left with the fallout; an empty ocean and a blank slate.

It was a party, and that was an understatement. Oh, how I must have loved to party! The morning after, I came to my senses and lost my identity; however, this was not the case for others. A woman slept across the room from where I sat; she was the first thing I remember having seen. As my eyes fell upon her, passion within me broke free of its cocoon. Could she be my wife? My girlfriend? Or is she but a stranger, tied to me by nothing but our apparent need to socialize? These questions began heating my mind until it boiled and I quickly diverted my eyes. A living room. That’s where I was. A coffee-stained, coffee-colored couch, adjacent to the coffee table. I presume the house’s owner must have been fond of coffee. The blinds, crooked, were cracked open and sunlight stealthily crept into the room. It was morning. It was beautiful. Who am I?

I reasoned that it was, at that point, daybreak. That was when I was first acquainted with my longest friend. Pain. He introduced himself three inches behind my left ear; really sharp, I mean like a knife. Laughing, Pain co-signed the lease to my body—he was here to stay. What some people fail to understand, typically as a result of generalizations or philosophizing, is that a feeling like pain can hardly be boxed. Some guarantee that pain is either short and sharp or dull and expansive. I can attest, Pain can certainly be both. He was with me. The worst hurt I ever felt, I felt for five straight years. It is peculiar, how Pain maneuvers. He does not, at least not in my experience, become less extreme the longer you know him, as some claim he does. Pain is the type that never changes with time; the first impression, especially striking in Pain’s case, is what you get for the duration of the relationship. Yet, I was never opposed to his presence; it was a constant, uncomfortable comfort. Pain was dependable. Sometimes, I miss him.

However, as Pain made his grandiose entrance, I was a less than hospitable host. I writhed in agony, gripping my neck, hoping that grabbing the source of the suffering would somehow curtail it. But it didn’t. I sprinted about the living room, unsure of anything except the crippling sensation three inches behind my left ear. I stopped. Pain’s guard was let down, and the strength of my thoughts overpowered him, albeit momentarily. I looked around, realizing how desperate a situation I had been placed in. I knew nothing of these people, where I was. I hadn’t even the slightest clue whom I was; I had been effectively reborn.

The clock on the wall, rather old fashioned with wooden finish and ceramic hands, struck 8:00. The sun was above the horizon. Those people at the party, likely hung over, began blindly to open their eyes. In their rousing, I noticed how unaware they were; I felt, and have not stopped feeling since, the true loneliness of being the sole person to truly see. To truly open my eyes. Nonetheless, I made a very sound and important decision that autumn morning. I returned to the girl, the wife/girlfriend who had earlier caught my eye. Though I could not recall how I knew her, she drew me in. Again, I felt emotion swirl in my stomach as I took in her beauty. And how beautiful she was, even at this early hour. Her long brunette hair flowed like a luxuriant waterfall and her silent smile was the furnace of the room. I was moved to speak, the first words I recall ever using. “Good Morning,” it emerged from my lips more question than statement. “Mornin’ Jan,” she sweetly replied. Jan. that is my name. I countered, eager to learn more. “How did you sleep?” I inquired, to which she coyly responded, “Fine enough. Could have been much better if somebody wasn’t always going wild at parties…” Me. She meant me. Well, if she is with me, she must love me a lot, I thought with a chuckle. I then took a leap, “I’m sorry, really. I feel awful though, almost like I don’t know who I am anymore.” ”Jan Tischner,” she said humorously, “You are Jan Tischner, probably the worst husband in the world.” Well. At least, it was a start.

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