Catharsis | Teen Ink


September 11, 2009
By AlexanderK09 BRONZE, La Conner, Washington
AlexanderK09 BRONZE, La Conner, Washington
1 article 1 photo 0 comments

k??thär'sis: a sudden emotional breakdown or climax that constitutes overwhelming feelings of great sorrow, pity, laughter or any extreme change in emotion that results in the restoration, renewal and revitalization for living.

I rushed into the shower, the feeling of pain slowly enveloping my entire body, its vice-grip extending its power through the course of my veins. In a haze, I step into the shower and turn the faucet, this time instead of shocking the pain away with ice-cold, breath-stealing water; I rotate the knob to the opposite spectrum. The hot water pours over me and I stand there as the feeling swallows my Being from the toes upwards, finally wringing out a torrent of tears and agony as it reaches my mind. I do not know how much I cried, for both the hot water and the tears washed down my numbing face, but I do know after looking at the clock when I finally emerged that it had been no shorter than half-an-hour.
I’m surprised about how completely lost and alone I felt, standing, and eventually sitting down in that shower. Time traveled with a slow, agonizing gait as the water continuously poured over my tormented body. There is no pain I have come across that is so completely devouring and as thorough as the pain of heart break. It eats you up like a shark may gobble up a shrimp, and you are left to wallow in the slow-killing enzymes of its grip.
All throughout this extended lapse of pain, all I could think about was the last couple months all revolving around you, even when it was because of you I had secluded myself to the shower. Every moment flashed through my mind like a sharp serrated knife, further drawing up the wrenching pain of loss so that it appeared as a grotesque mask upon my face. I had slowly seen this coming, and just as slowly I had turned a blind eye to it, not wanting to admit the reality of such a position, for at the time, it was an unthinkable idea. And yet I did think of it, and looking back now I could see the hinting of such an act within my memories, the slowly ebbing flame in your eyes plays in my mind like a time-lapse video. I sit and dissect every moment leading to this, and it fills me with the complete sense of surrender. My hand presently wanders to the faucet knob again, and turns it once again to the opposite spectrum of the temperature. The gurgling hose spewed forth its liquid Numb upon my body. I shook from the ice-shock and from the quivering of my thoughts, heart, and soul. I tilt my head back and the water gushes full into my face and down my back after running through my hair. When I looked forward again, the rivulets of water still running through my hair changed course and ran down the base of my head and neck. This sudden change in flow created the imitation of a finger pressing gently against my skull, and my eyes jerk open, expecting to see you standing in front of me with your hand cupping my neck. A fresh wave of tormenting sadness engulfs me as I am disappointed by what I see: nothing.
I sit down again and let the water envelope me once again. I close my eyes and lean myself into the corner. Humans are naturally drawn to lean against the corners in a room; it creates an overpowering feeling of comfort and protection. It really brings up memories of being a little kid, and being cradled in a parent’s embrace.
Huddled under the water, I rest my head against the wall and close my eyes. My breathing slows down and my heart settles for a moment. Closing my eyes, I imagine you’re holding me in your arms and I am leaning my cheek against yours. As I will the illusion to control me, the smell of your unperfumed wrists fills my nose. My fingers interlace, trying to simulate the feeling of your soft hands, but to no avail. My lips ache as the water runs gently over them much like your lips hovering next to mine. My lips twitch and expectantly await the kiss that I knew wouldn’t happen again at that moment. Disappointed again, I sat there in the water.
Had it really been something beyond the words? I asked myself. A knot ties itself in my stomach as I answer in my head. Yes. I had felt It in your fingertips; seen It whenever our gazes locked; I was consumed by It when you kiss my lips; and now It is gone. I am left sitting under the faucet.
After several more minutes of this process I continued to bellow out my stifled cries of pain, not wanting to draw attention to myself and further evoke this feeling beyond what I should stand. Eventually, I turned off the water all-together and just stood in the confined space of the shower. Breathing deeply and letting the feeling burn through me; the tears welled in my eyes, but never left the dams of my lids once the water was spent. I closed my eyes and listened to the steady dripping of water running off of my body and leaking out of the upright showerhead.
The monster of an emotion, Sadness and its demon cousins released their hold upon my entire Being and ran off me with the water. All that was left was a numbing sense of Peace and Tranquility that I have rarely happened upon in my entire life. Even the usually frantic racings of my mind were caught in this Peace and I just stood there in the shower, for an unknown period of time. Peace soothed through me, filling all the broken cavities in my Being and mind. All I wanted to do at that moment was lay in the rain covered grass by the beach; or walk in the rain, feeling the gentle cold of each drop; and just sit down and type, just type everything that was in my head until there was nothing left within so that I may be able to once again obtain the Tranquility that I had experienced in the shower. Sitting down at the desk in the spare room, I put on my bigger pair of headphones and let the calm, soothing music of Hans Zimmer’s “The Last Samurai soundtrack” and Joe Hisaishi’s “Merry-Go-Round of Life, Howl’s Moving Castle Theme” play, the sad, slow tunes accompanying my mood.
I open up a word document, and just begin to type: a flow of thought from my mind to the screen, almost directly bypassing my hands and the keys altogether. I begin to ponder the situation.
“How can Love be so fleeting and uncontrollable?” We cherish it when it happens to land on us, but if we were able to catch it, contain it, and keep it locked up against its will, It is no longer “Love”, but might as well be called “Bird”. That is what makes it Love; it is completely out of our hands, like the raging Sea. It invites us into its mysterious and deep waters, and does with us what it wants. You may be carefully rocked in its caressing tides, or violently thrown in its choppy surface. The only way to survive it is to surrender to it completely, and let it run its own course.

The author's comments:
Written as a response to one situation, but reflects onto several others I've been in since.

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