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  • Laura M. Galdo

NOTHING

Nothing… I stop to get a cup of coffee, to cook breakfast, to scold a child, to do my bed, to wash my teeth, and … it’s all gone!

….

The Shadow of Nothingness gets comfortably installed in my head blocking my ideas and laughing at the sperm of creativity that try to penetrate my thoughts. She is unforgiving, flawless in her intention, so sure of herself that she makes me feel very little when compared to my determination, which she successfully and effortlessly manages to belittle and finally terminate.


The Shadow of Nothingness is my most feared nightmare. She plays with me like a lover that touches my skin ever so slightly, making me want more and then, with a hasty twist, she runs out, leaving me burned and unattended. I try to capture the last glimpse of her touch and some words begin to run disorderly to try to pass through the thin vertical slit of my imagination; but they can’t make it. Like a crowd of people hoping to catch the last boat to freedom, my words and phrases battle between languages, finally staying behind in a moonless port, where my mind has already drawn the veil of non-existence.


The Shadow of Nothingness stands tall, serene, satisfied, watching my words struggle by the water, lowering their heads and giving up. There’s nothing I can do. Like in a dream, I can only observe and stand in darkness, screaming silently, begging opened-armed to allow me to rescue them before they consume. She doesn’t even look at me. She knows she’s stronger, and I fall into her world defenseless, weightless, letting her crush me by a mere mistake. She blames me. She says she doesn’t enter the minds of those who are strong and fight for their words. I am weak. I thought that if I just opened my port for them to board my ship, it would be sufficient. I thought that if I was confident enough and trusted my talent enough, it would all be simpler. I failed to remember my previous encounters with The Shadow of Nothingness. But I forget quickly. I believe in goodness and new opportunities. I felt that if she believed how determined I was to protect my words, she would no longer find my pier appealing.


But she knows; she always knows. She can smell me in the distance. She is capable of detecting frailty from afar, for the Air is her loyal accomplice. He runs careless, searching for feebleness in a mother who must stop her writing to tend her family. The Air will pick up the time left by a wife who must drop her words to cook dinner, to make love, to put clothes in her washing machine, to steal a kiss, to maintain the sparkle of love alive. The Air can sense when a woman is writhing with her hormones, gagging and trying to vomit her words and tend to responsibilities in record time, to be able to find the space to be alone and sit down to write. The Air knows well about all those moments left behind, unused minutes of existence that never come back.


The Shadow of Nothingness could not have found a better collaborator. She chooses her team wisely. She also works with Hormones, for they have no qualm in front of honesty and loyalty. They don’t belong to any particular woman; much less do they feel remorse. I know mine are arrogant, senseless, carefree, scornful, deceitful, and the word “feeling” does not exist in their lexicon. For a long time now, I’ve known that my hormones and I don’t agree. I’m passionate; they are reckless. I’m sentimental; they feed from suffering. I am assertive; they are murderers. I am a builder; they are destroyers. I am an artist; they are a storm. I fly high; they travel low. I am a dancer; they are stones. I am a singer; they are irritable. I’ve known. I’ve dealt with them for years. They betray me and when I am most vulnerable, they shrink and squeeze the sheer line between my creativity and my frustration. Then, they proudly volunteer to open the door to The Shadow of Nothingness, who is already waiting to make a joke out of me.


I suddenly remember I could also be unpredicted. The Shadow of Nothingness and her team of tricksters are too supercilious to notice that I have a team of warriors. Her egocentricity prevents her from seeing beyond. That’s my antidote and she doesn’t know it. She fails to see that I can also be persistent, strident, determined; even if it means using her to achieve my purpose. I tell my words not to hesitate. The Shadow of Nothingness is blind to my plan. I use her like a board to go across the ocean to reach my freedom. My words can act. They pretend to turn around, lower their heads in disappointment; and meanwhile, they begin to position themselves showing an impressive loyalty to my subliminal command. They find a way, a new route far from the veil that blocks the entrance to the port. They are recursive, valiant, daring. Just like I’ve taught them to be. Poor Shadow of Nothingness. Her black shades are fading and she doesn’t even realize she’s lost. Even The Air has passively scurried to another dimension, and my H


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