Inktober 05/10/19: Build

Today, you will hide in darkness. Sweaty sheets will make your nose twitch, biscuit crumbs on  your back will make you toss and turn and the sound of next door’s dishwasher will sit in that darkness with you. You will not escape your prison by tunnelling, little rabbit, but it is okay to remain in your burrow today.

It won’t be today that you start to move upwards, but that day will come. Shivering on the surface of the earth, you will build a new home where the light can penetrate, and others can come to visit. The friends you haven’t called for weeks will love you still, and when the crashes and clangs of the world hurt your sensitive ears they will put brick on brick together with you. Some of those bricks will be cups of tea and biscuits, or straight-to-DVD Disney sequels. Some of them will look like pills, cemented together with the snotty off-brand tissues you throw away at crying sessions that cost £2 a minute. It is okay to build with pills and tissues.

When you go outside your new home you will tire quickly, because you lost all your stamina when you were in the burrow. It will come back, and as you move you will find more building materials. Now your cups of tea with limescale chunks and stale biscuits are cinnamon mochas with extra cream and pieces of victoria sponge. Your films will come to you in cinemas and for the first time you will imagine yourself as the hero running away from explosions and saving the day. You are running away from explosions and saving the day. It is okay to have mochas and cakes and be a tired superhero.

The sun still shines. Take the trees and flowers and plant them in your garden. Paint the blue sky above in your mind. When you think you are done, you must put a sturdy roof on everything because the storms will come as they always have. When the storms come, it is okay to be frightened.

Your tear-stained face is sceptical, little rabbit. You tell me that the land beneath you is a swamp. The house will sink, as it has sunk before: dead bones of hope interred in the churning earth. You wait for me to contradict you, and I don’t. Perhaps it will sink. Until that time comes, it is better to live above ground than beneath it. If it sinks, you can build it again as many times as you need to. It is okay to be sceptical.

You won’t lay the foundation today, and perhaps you’re not ready to be told how. But the sun still shines above your burrow. It is okay to start to believe that you deserve to see it.

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