Prometheus of Pains

By The New-Age Thinker

Jennifer is in her room, alone. She has come home from a day out in the town, mingling with the folk and dreaming of her love. She lives a lethargic life. Born into money, she need do nothing for herself but marry when the time is right. She sits in front of her bureau, taking her hair out of the clips it has been in all day for the world to see and beginning to arrange it in a manner more comfortable for herself. She sighs, consistently.

Jennifer: Where are you, my dear?

She mutters to herself, for no one else to hear.

But someone else did hear...
From the shadows behind Jennifer there appears, slowly, a large figure, his head bent low, his face remaining hidden in the shadows.

Jennifer: Oh! Vaysan! You startled me! I was not expecting you at this hour...

Vaysan remains in the shadows, as Jennifer continues to comb her hair.

Vaysan: Sleep is for those who earn it; I must live with my suffering.

He looks tired, of the world. The world that has shunned him, yet needs him.

Vaysan: Jennifer… forgive me, for I am not who you expected.

His face remains hidden and his breathing is heavy, as if he is fighting for his own breaths.

Jennifer: Well I can honestly say that I would not have liked to find my love hidden in the shadows in a corner of my room!

She laughs at this, then sees that Vaysan does not come out of the shadows. He remains where he is, his breathing raspy and his body solidified, as if he is one with the dark surrounding him.

Vaysan: At least you know where your love is. Mine has forever been locked away in my heart, the heart I lost all those years ago. At least you know that your love would not be hiding in the shadows. My love is with all my other emotions, basking in the heat of the flames...

Jennifer: Vaysan, what's wrong?

She says this with not so much as a frown; her smile does not falter from her perfect lips as she lays her perfect eyes on the pathetic figure behind her through the mirror. At last, she finishes brushing her hair. She now turns in her seat to look at Vaysan. She stares at him with such intent, innocent or not, that he has to turn away.

Vaysan: How can you ask me what is wrong… I have clipped my soul, as I have clipped my wings. I come to you for closure; I come to you because you are the only immaculate being on this earth. Do not think of love, do not think of men, do not think of life. Your life, as it is now, innocent and free of worry, is all I need. I need you to be you…

Jennifer: Nonsense, Vaysan! Do not speak nonsense!

She continues to smile at him. She has known him for all of her life. Since she was a child she would see him watching her, almost as if he were her caretaker. But as she grew older, she began to understand that he did not come to her side when all the wolves had gone to sleep to comfort her, for there was nothing wrong in her life. She began to realize that it was she that was helping him; he benefited from her. She sustained him, she helped him cope with the existence that he had forever loathed, since he had been appointed- rather, sentenced- to hold the pains of the world. And what had he done for such a punishment?

Jennifer: What have you done for such a punishment, Vaysan?

She asks him, as she had done every other night he came to see her. She knows nothing of him, and Vaysan had made it clear that she would never know. She was not even permitted to comprehend that he existed. As long as she knew nothing of him, he would be but a figment of her imagination when he would finally go away.

Vaysan: Do not bother with that. You need not know, not now, not ever. Don’t talk to me in that worried tone… you are innocent. You need not think of what I have done; you need not think of anything. Please. Just let it be… let me be here. Talk to me, as if I were real.

Jennifer knew not to deny him this request. It always seemed to lift his spirits when she spoke of her problems. She loved to see him happy, even though when he was happy he did nothing but leave her side. And so, she spoke. She spoke of the nonsense of her day, of things she deemed important, things that would be important to a young girl. Things that one such as Vaysan knew nothing about, for things of that nature bothered only the ignorant. As she spoke, Vaysan advanced ever so slowly from the shadows. As he inched forward she could see, ever so slowly, coming out of the shadows, the glorious wings that had been endowed on Vaysan. She saw the wings that she had always yearned to have, always held her breath in anticipation of their magnificence. As dark and sorrowful as Vaysan was, that was how beautiful his wings were. His body was battered and cut, but his wings retained their holy perfection.

Jennifer catches her breath, stopping mid-sentence, at the sight of Vaysan's wings.

Vaysan: They do not cease to amaze you, do they, Jennifer? Well, they are nothing to me. If I could give them to you, I would do so. What good are my wings if I cannot fly like I was meant to, where I was meant to?

Jennifer: They are beautiful, Vaysan. And they are yours. Love them, for they are a part of you.

Jennifer speaks as though she knew what Vaysan had to feel, what Vaysan had to live with. Her eyes sparkle like the pure white feathers of his wings. What she could not see, what she had never seen, was the joining of his glorious wings and his back, for it was there that Vaysan had tried time and time again to rip off his wings in vain.

Jennifer: Vaysan... you must tell me what is the matter. Who has wronged you so?

He could see it in her eyes... she has grown, he thinks. She has grown and she will not tolerate me any longer. Soon enough, she will grow sick of me. Sick of my existence, sick at the fact that she knows nothing of me. I cannot come here any longer. For her sake.

Vaysan: What is the matter? Let me show you.

With this, Vaysan turns around. Jennifer sees for the first time in all her years of knowing Vaysan a physical, tangible means to his pain and suffering. She sees the bone of his wings, bloodied and battered.

Jennifer: Oh my God...

Vaysan: Where is your God?! Tell me, Jennifer! Please! Tell me so that I may speak with him and question his decisions, question his power, as I have done so many times before! What are these wings for me? What have they done for me?! They are worthless! I do not wish I could fly! I would rather fall, fall into the ground than find my way into the blasphemous clouds!

Jennifer: Vaysan, please! Stop it! This is so painful to hear... why must you torment me so?!

Her eyes swell up, she stands from her seat and paces the room. She never could have imagined that a creature such as Vaysan would open up to her in such a way. Never could have imagined that there was such pain in the world.

Vaysan: This, is pain? This, is torment? HA! I can take every single ounce of pain you have ever felt, feed it to my heart, and it would still remain the same shade of blue it has always been. Pain is not what you feel, Jennifer, it is what you complain about. I am the embodiment of suffering, the epitome of pain and I have felt what you will never have a chance to feel! How can you suffer, if you are not me? I have cried into every ocean, I have bled into every cup, and I have died every single day of this barren life. I am the Prometheus, the archetypical foundation upon which all of society can live. I have been trampled on by experience, overrun with memories and defiled by the nightmare that is our existence. I am the Giver, the keeper of all of your pains, the subject of your inferiority. What you feel, madame, that pain, it is but a mere needle prickling a sheet of metal. If you were to look deep inside me, past my heart and deep into my soul; if you were to delve deeply into my soul you would see what I feel, what real pain is. It is a pack of hungry wolves prickling a deer. That is the pain I feel, the constant suffering. That is my fear. That is my fear! Around every corner there lurks that same pack of wolves, and every day they grow in numbers, hearing about the juicy, debilitated meal that just goes around corners every day of his life. Their teeth exposed, contaminated with the meals of yesterday, they smell the blood. They smell the fear; my blood, and my fear! I turn the corner and I stare back at myself, hopelessly, through their hungry eyes. I am the sum of your parts, Jennifer. Tormented you are, and tormented you shall remain, but it is I that feels pain. It is I that knows the truth of this world: that life is very much recyclable. No, no. I must go. There are much more important matters to tend to than the grievances of a mind such as yours, such as all but my own.

Jennifer: Vaysan I- I do not understand. Why are you so bitter? Why are you so tormented? Tell me, Vaysan! Please! I must know! What has happened to you?

Vaysan: Death has happened to me, Jennifer. A death that I would much rather relive than continue living through its consequences. I am sorry. You shall hear from me no longer.

He walks back into the shadows, disappears. Jennifer stands there in awe, in shock. She wipes the tears from her face, falls back into her seat, and turns to look at herself in the mirror once more. She holds a gaunt expression as the curtain closes.

Prometheus of Pains

Created: Mar 16, 2010


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