Stone Pedestal

Self made into self-hatred, you perch atop your kingdom.
Viewing the common folk, the guards, the merchants, the beggars, the harlots, the thieves, and knowing just where you stand.
Isolated and alone, your fortress is made of stone, but not high enough to observe the human condition and then rip it apart like a lion does to its prey at slaughter.
You need more.
You will always need more.
So you rummage through your goodie bag of tools, the kind you use to dissect your peers, figuring out what makes them tick, what makes their heart swell with joy, what makes their blood rush to their face, what makes their eyes cry.
Because you, my dear, are incapable of this kind of innate knowing.
But after much delay, you find just what you are looking for.
A long, hard, metal pick.
It is just what you need.
You forget for a moment that you have closed off your heart, despite what you say, and your eyes radiate joy, because finally, now, after all these years, you have found a way to feel both connected to humanity and isolated at the same time.
With false confidence, you move swiftly.
There are only enough daylight hours to accomplish what needs to be done and you are a man who will delay the sun.
With the parting of the trees, you see the giant rock.
It’s been waiting for you, calling to you for years, seducing you with its cold magnetism.
You make your first cut.
Like you always have in the past.
It’s deep and the vibrations echo through your entire body, but it is permanent.
You wouldn’t have it any other way.
Sweat beading off your brow, you feel the pain of hard work and forget for just a moment that your kingdom embraces you and you shun them.
You chisel away, the stone now taking formation, and you can see the end result.
It’s high enough to convince you that the world around you doesn’t exist, when in all reality is just moving too fast for your eyes to see.
It’s high enough for you to smugly watch the passersby and feed off of their emotional state because maybe just maybe, something you are actually feeling is lost in their pool of thought.
It’s high enough for you to keep yourself alone, because if you desired something more, you never would have taken the time to build it in the first place.
Do not lie to yourself.
Fingers rough and calloused, you climb your way to the top, digging your nails into the stone.  It’s steep, but you might never leave.
As you ascend to the plateau, the sunset peaks out over the horizon.  It’s glorious, but you won’t bother to see it.
Because the insects are swarming around, putting their hands up to their eyes to see the man who has built his own stone pedestal.
And for a minute, you crave their attention, their curiosity, their confusion.
But the moment passes.
Women and children return home from the market.
The men gather at the nearest drinking hole.
The horses in the street go to sleep.
And you are left on your stone pedestal, isolated, alone, but far above everybody else.
So you count the seconds till morning, when you can feel like a human again, just for a fleeting second.
You will never leave.
And damn, do I wish I was the archer to take you off.

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