His childhood souvenir is a knot—his knot


Lynlee Derrick

A picture of a blue-grey bedsheet.

Abounding affection from those indigo eyes ceased his first cry, constituting his first memory on the concealed path of life. Life was so shaky, so indefinite and remote to his newborn mind, so when those hands—larger than his head, larger than his mind could fathom—offered stability, he collapsed into the warmth.

That warmth was comfort; it was smiles in the morning and kisses at night. It was normalcy for his growing body, his growing mind, his growing eyes that were ready to devour the world. Life wrapped in that blanket was stable and grinning as if evil was just in the pages of the stories that lulled him to sleep in the inky hours of night and not in the hidden corners of the house.

During his jovial juvenescence—or what he deemed to be that ruined word—his mindless eyes, still young and unknown to the world like a buried gem, wandered back to the incandescent indigo. A bittersweet trap, he always found his tiny feet running back into them—running back to the pool of crinkled cobalt and lying lavender.

He wanted to swim in that pool; those eyes had given him so much that it almost felt necessary for him to dive headfirst, exchanging what was given for what he felt was owed. And he was given the world, or what he had believed was the world, so he tied himself to them.

He willingly wrapped the silky sheet of rope around his own ankles. He knowingly knotted it once, and then twice, and finished it with a third that would become the penitentiary around his mind.

Yet to him, to his petite palms, these knots were everything but malicious. His youth yearned for the rest of his life to be this sweet. Every night he laid his head down on his superhero sheets, he would only see the good as he did now—he would disregard the vignetted depravity because that was normal and, in a sense, forgotten.

A bittersweet trap, he always found his tiny feet running back into themrunning back to the pool of crinkled cobalt and lying lavender.”

Those knots were tight, but the rope was silky at first. He was only a mere child in his eyes, and there was ample space. And he grew heartfully and hopefully, filling out those knots that reminded him of the dedication and love he feebly possessed for that indigo color in his dreams before they became devilish nightmares. He remembers wanting to be there in the middle of it all—in the middle of that ocean pool of blissful blue—for the rest of his life, and he remembers doing anything to prove that.

But some days were not full of adoration and laughs and saccharine sweet smiles that the eyes had sung to him.

Some days were cracked and crumpled and cold: the exact opposite of that warmth woven into his infantile mind. Some days wouldn’t be masked by the myths of normalcy, for those belonged in those books at night, not in his tears at daybreak.

As his clothes were exchanged for larger and longer sizes, he felt the spirituous, euphoric days trade for desolate, despondent weeks as the sheets became rusted wire against his ankles.

He appeared confined, trapped, and oh so helpless when the mask fell and the truth was left standing on the stage of virtuous verity for his eyes—once hungry to devour of the world yet now in his adolescence craving to be safely tucked away—to see. His heart ached as he realized all the bluffs beautified by childhood innocence that were exposed for the reality that lay beneath them.

But his ankles hurt more; they hurt more than his glowing eyes and his heart and his wounded mind. They were raw, rubbed to shreds by constraint and control that bit away at him aloud under the guise of warmth. 

So he fought with them, those barbed ropes. And he grew with them too. Now they pain him, peeling his emotions apart, but they remind him of those guiltless days of junior-sized clothes like an intoxicating memory he just can’t shake. 

Each night he lays his head once more against his sheets—this time they’re grey, lackluster and unloved—he feels them tighten after a crippling clash to let them loose.

And he feels himself drowning in that indigo pool, the one from those deceiving eyes with deceiving lies and deceiving childhood, and sinking as those tainted ties weigh him down. 

He can only hope they loosen somehow as he grows, for he wants more from life, from love, from laughs, and he wants to swim in those pools once more.

He wants more from himself.