All I see, when I sleep, and even when I close my eyes to blink, all I see is that face. The face, it's always there, it will always be there to stare at me from the space between my pupils and my eyelids; dominating my thoughts and my imaginations. There it is—I see it now!—floating, floating now, in the black misty sea, its mouth closed but its colorless eyes open and enveloping all my thoughts and throwing them with a licked stamp down the chute and out of my mind. I don't remember when it started, but … but it seems like it has been there, just staring back at me, for all of my life; I could not remember a time when it hadn't. There never had been. I had never been free. Never.
But freedom? What is freedom, but escaping from those eyes … that face; what is freedom but haven from it? What would it matter at all if I could escape? Face the ordinary problems of the world? The day, the working day of the Great Boss Ferguson sitting in his thirty by fifty feet office with his intercom and his bearskin rug and his plaqued heads of fired employees on the wall! And the family, the ex-father and ex-mother in law that live down the street, the nagging, arrogant mouth of my older brother with his fifteen million dollar lottery ticket! Or, the fifteen million dollar unopened credit bill – or could it be gas? Electricity, maybe a grocery bill? Still sitting in its pristine, utopian manila envelope inside my mailbox by the street and threatening to burn a hole through the bottom with its acidic contents! Who, of all people, would rather have these freedoms!
I would! I would! I scream, I scream these words; I would rather be free from this to that, rather have time to do things; to be able to sleep and erase those purple tea bags from under my eyes and to color that sweet creamy skin back to the place where the color belongs. Would I do anything—I would do anything. Anything; I would gravel to my boss and my brother; I would sell my soul to the devil to stop him from staring at me. Anything, just anything; that's all it takes, isn't that just all it takes?
So I though of something. It was anything; I thought of anything. Freedom was anything, I would do anything for freedom, freedom to do anything. So anything would I have done! And I thought of anything! I did!
I didn't blink. I didn't close my eyes. I didn't sleep. I didn't. I didn't; I didn't. I didn't close my eyes for four days. I didn't sleep; I didn't blink. And you know what? I didn't see the face. I didn't see those eyes; I didn't see that mouth, and I didn't see that face. It wasn't there, because there was no place to go; there was just my pupils and that was it. My eyelids, they were concealed and safeguarded so that nothing dirty, nothing filthy could latch on to them and stare at me, its eyes to my eyes. I stood, I walked, I saw, and I talked, and I breathed. But I didn't close my eyes. I was a walking corpse, a missionary from the dead to the living. And, good enough, people … avoided me. They were scared of me, I think. Was I a ghost? I could have been. But at least ghosts don't have to go to work or go to uncomfortable family gatherings or walking, earthly bound, down the street to get a carton of milk and a bag of chips.
After four days, though … after four days, my vision started to act bad … I couldn't see very well, all I could see was a vague light from the lamp on my desk and the vague outline of the face's eyes through the mist. Yes, lo and behold—the face it was back. As I went blind, the face got clearer and clearer, so that now I not only saw the face but I heard it and I felt it and I tasted it … and it truly enveloped my senses. Now, I can never escape it's haunting stare, eyes open or not …