Running With the Devil

Come to me, come to me

To the dark side where love sleeps

Come and take a walk with me

Where the angels fear to tread

-Inkubus Sukkubus

Today the Driver's Ed class is loud, and so Sir puts on a video to keep us quiet. The film is unremarkable: video footage of people engaging in extreme sports as random techno music plays. But there is nothing else to do, and so the students watch.

As I have no interest in extreme sports, my eyes start to wander after about twelve seconds. I watch instead the students, quiet, slouched and slack-jawed, as they watch the video.

Then it hits me. This is life here; this is what we do. We watch other people do things and do nothing ourselves. The knowledge is an iron band around my heart: this is my life, my time, my town, my nothing.

Mine? Ours, all of ours. Our prison.

I want to jump up and tear out of the room, out of the school and just keep running and running until I find one of those lives that the people we watch all seem to have.

I tear my eyes away from the scene that has just, to me, become grotesque, and focus them instead on the bare wall directly in front of me in an effort to stop these thoughts and calm down.

Bare white wall. Ah, that does not cause calm! That causes the desire to write and draw, to mark up this flat white surface that stretches so invitingly in front of me like a sheet of paper.

Some have taken the wall up on its invitation, have scrawled in pen or pencil some sentiments along the lines of Not good enough, I think. I want to draw ornate designs like tapestries, write poetry, cover the walls with the name of my beloved, with the name of my devil. I must, I think, proclaim to the world that the Devil has gone down to Georgia once again, He has left me alone and dissatisfied and bleeding from the soul where He touched me. Give me again the excitement of the Devil!

The wanderlust awakens in me again, the Devil's parting gift. The room is too small, I think; I cannot stay here! I want to storm castles, slay dragons, dance in graveyards. I want to shed these mundane restrictions and fly barefoot down the path in the woods until I reach a land of fantasy. I want to escape this tiny life by dressing as a man and going to war against some great Dark Lord—how many storybook women have escaped their bowers thus, mimicking the heroes of the ancient tales? It is not just me; I am not alone and crazy for wanting this. They wanted it too!

And so do you. Don't tell me you don't—think on it. Doesn't the quiet ever get to you, just a little bit? Doesn't your life ever seem to not fit quite right? Doesn't hearing of other people's adventures make you want to go on an adventure yourself? Don't you want to slay dragons?

And what of your beloved, and your Devil? Ah, don't tell me you don't have a Devil. Everyone should, else they'll become complacent. For you see, the Devil sets all the little fires. The Devil is the one who talks of faraway places, then goes there, leaving you wanting to follow. He is the one who makes just enough noise so that when He leaves, the prior silence is deafening. He is the one who eases your mind open so your scruples fall apart with your judgments. He is the one who bites you so that your skin later cries out for it again, the cutter's craving. Your beloved is the one you want to run to a far-off country with, but it is your Devil who makes you really want to run.

Ah, my Devil, my Devil, dark spirit of wanderlust! For as much as I miss my beloved, at this moment it is my Devil's touch I long for: the touch of the Fallen, leaving scars on my skin that can forevermore be felt. I miss His long fingers running through my hair, and His lips on my forehead, lips that speak but to put thoughts in my head that supposedly should not be there, that never were before, but that always will be.

I do not want to throw off the hold my Devil has on me, for His influence aids and adds to the cherished wildness of my spirit. I do not want to be content here; I must want to slay dragons, else I never will. My beloved gives me protection, my Devil gives me drive, and on my own I must make myself worthy of them both.

He says He was human once, my Devil. He says He was like me, stifled and lonely and dark. But what of His words do I believe? He says many things with that forked tongue of His, always the perfect words. He says He was once just a trapped youth like myself—does He say that because it is true, or because it is what I need to hear? Is that why He seems to understand me so well, or is it just because He is a Devil?

And you? Has your Devil been working? Has He or She been setting fires, awakening the wanderlust in you? Or are you still content with the mundane world? Answer me—are you still content?