Down, Down, Down…

This creative essay was written by spechaar contributor, Luke Yazbek.

Trigger warning: the following piece includes mentions of or allusions to certain topics that some readers may find triggering or distressing, such as eating disorders, self-harm and conflict with sexuality. In publishing contributors’ works, spechaar does not promote or glorify these sensitive issues. We advise approaching with caution and seeking help if you do experience any such issue yourself.

Editor’s note: in the discussions and editing process which led up to the publication of this deeply personal piece, Luke expressed and always stuck to his fervent wish for this piece to be published on a platform that anyone can access. He also hopes that anyone who reads this will view it as nothing but a creative essay in which he draws upon his own experiences and talent for creative writing to express himself.

I stood at the precipice of destiny. My fragile feet scraped along the rough concrete of the Bloukraans Bridge bungee-jumping platform and I gazed at the gorge in front of me – that fickle audience of trees watching earnestly to see if this one would actually jump; the majestic yet foreboding water beneath. I turned to my father, and despite the forceful wind lashing his hair against his face, he remained as stoic as ever. Speechless. I knew what I had to do. With each step closer to the edge I felt more unstable, unsupported. The birds began circling – vultures – and I plunged with them… down, down, down… the breath torn from my lungs, my vision blurry… down, down down…

… Into the dark… the sombre lighting giving way to the incessant pleasures of the night. The tactful caresses of the other partygoers luring me to whisper, convincing me to mingle. The haze of the dark room, this hidden room, was electric. A throbbing, rhythmical lust beat in the hearts of those around me – but not mine. The current of the evening dragged me to the dance floor; I tried clawing away, I did. I felt my nails tear. I haemorrhaged. The passion with each touch, the wounds ruptured like a ship’s hull giving way with each kiss… left me void. These people wanted a part of me I could not give them – an urge they had for me. Yet it was the same desperation I had for others. I felt ravaged, plundered for a desire that I did not share. A girl, a lady, whose beauty was not meant for me to behold. But they beheld mine. They held me tightly. My silent screams for the other did not stop them and they stole my beauty. My bitter ugliness, reflected in the jagged shards of mirrors, of wine glasses. That hollow countenance crept upon my visage… reflected… inundated… overwhelmed…

… Reflected in the black, voluptuous, ominousness that enrobed the piano. I held the attention of the audience in my hand, nurturing, aggravating it until the ecstasy of the music suddenly jerked my soul back and forth, side to side, and I then threw it out to the splendour of the universe. The plunge off the bridge, the rage at that godless passion all at once and a flood in my eyes. The notes I hammered into the keys and so too the nails I pounded into my heart. I felt on the edge of some unfortunate destiny. I began to play erratically, jaggedly, throwing those damned shards of glass within and without.

I spiralled, falling faster, down and down and down… and then I shattered into a million particles of torment and brokenness as I finished playing, then falling, then… crash. My audience seemed to be in rapture, but I felt forced, pressured, squeezed. No, crushed. With each step towards the edge of the stage I felt weaker. I felt dizzier. My knees… weak. My… spinning, head… “I’ve purged, starved myself for three days”… I am crumbling and I faint into the arms, masked smiles of my demise…

… I plunge again. The year in which I imprisoned myself. I nearly killed myself to show that I was brave enough. I let others violate the sanctity of my body to demonstrate a ‘normal’ sexuality. I drained my soul of warmth, of substance. I gave way to an incessant throbbing of my own – to try and prove to myself that I was someone, something else worth loving. I collapsed before my muse, unable to give to music what it could render to me – stability. I did it all to myself, I…

I knew what I had to do then. I know what I have to do now. I was waiting for someone else to love me. I was waiting for myself… No more. And with mended sanity… so I jump…