The Verse’s Connor Hamilton showcases his piece of creative writing called ‘A Man Stuck on Beauty’.
He disappeared for a while in January. He’d been here every day for the past month, infatuated with the red poppies and daisies which weaved around the beer garden. Drinking his life away, searching for purpose in a bottomless beer glass, sighing outwardly, but inwardly deafening himself with his own screams. His skin a pale white, his hair a flaming red, as if painted like art, with the stroke of a brush to capture my eyes. He didn’t know it yet; nor maybe ever, but I love him.
As February came around, the harsh winters worsened and completely swept him away from the beer gardens, isolating him in his room. A man so easily stuck on the beauty of life. Fixated on the implausibilities of twisting a doorknob and exposing himself to the wintery days. I can hear his screams as I sit nearby, as days become nights, and nights become days. The cries for help as people pass by laughing, or worse yet, oblivious. Painting a lamp within his mind to snuff out all the internal darkness, but the bulbs don’t last forever. And the paint runs dryer by day.
By March, his heart had grown weary of loving, for even the most beautiful flower never turned his head. The red poppies and pink roses uninspiring. I’d often sit, wishing he’d see himself through my eyes, and that perhaps, it would inspire within him passion and a thirst for beauty which was dying. I still loved him, though perhaps he didn’t know what love was anymore. Some mornings he’d love the sunsets themselves, the fading interiors of cottages setting off a fire within his heart, his passion gleaming behind his eyes until, like a gunshot, he sinks deeper within himself. I feared one day he wouldn’t make it back out.
Spring began to blossom, and I saw him more frequently. I sat in the grass fields watching him. Painting away, his hand precise, his soul skipping through the fields, dancing with the flowers. Colour lifting itself off of his canvas and embracing him and the brush. But the days turned to nights, the churches turned to sour memories of things to come. The colours rotting, fading to black, tarnished, his soul dead within the greenery of the fields.
Nothing prepared me for the summer to come, for the warm nights which sent chills down my spine, for the paintings that never were, for the love I had but never gave. I often wondered what would’ve happened had I just spoken to him a little longer. Had I not feared beauty itself, had I not forgotten the appeal of the unappealing. I loved him when nobody else did, even when the gunshot rang out. When his blood and paint become one. When he’d created for himself no exits out of an unlocked room. Beauty had never been embraced as he’d embraced it, a man so stuck on beauty, who finds himself lying with the darkness.
In the end, my dear Vincent, beauty was the death of you, but your beauty will always be the life in me.
Featured Image created by Max Bandelow