By Antony Buonomo

 

I think I was twelve or thirteen when I first felt the rush. It always happened in early spring, possibly the first sunny day. A hard and bright punctuation mark after days of gloom. I didn't know it was going to happen until I woke. The curtains are thrown open and the sunlight hits me like a cannonball in the chest. I literally gasp, and for a couple of minutes it's hard to breathe properly. I know that for the next two or three days I will not be sleepy, or even tired. My breathing will be quicker, my mind will race, my chest will be tight, struggling to contain… I don't know what.

 

I carry that tightness around, it's something like extreme impatience. But I have no idea what I'm waiting for. My skin seems to shimmer and vibrate, and my stomach lurches with the feeling that at any moment I will make a monumental discovery. Something immense and shattering to my very being. Everything I touch, hear, see and feel increases the tightness, ratchets up the impatience. Very soon I am running headlong down a hill, out of control, eyes wide, on the brink of beautiful chaos.

 

Colours scream at me. Shapes and patterns align, and there is indescribable harmony in everything I see. It's impossible to concentrate on any one thing, to do anything coherent.

 

I see beauty and miracles everywhere. It is painful sometimes. When I was older, nearly a man, and I was going through this, a new sensation became forever entangled with these periods; yearning. A deep heart-breaking yearning. To connect to someone. To share and embrace. To marvel at the loveliness.

 

Sleep is impossible; terrifying thoughts swim, swirl and fly, side-by-side with thoughts of excitement and elation.

 

The only thing that seems to quieten the turmoil is to sit in the sunshine, letting the warmth wash and soothe me.

 

And always the feeling of being on the brink of revelation. A sense of something just out of reach, lost in the fog of the instant about to come. But the instant arrives and passes, and still the feeling of restless agitation never goes away.

 

I carry around the sense of elusion, of being unfulfilled. Then this feeling slowly reshapes into a fathomless melancholy. A deep abyss which I try to keep at my back while I filter the lights and colours burning into me. But everywhere I go I can feel the vast gravity of the chasm behind me trying to drag me in. I realised later in my life that this was loneliness.

 

As the years went by the intensity shadowed and lessened. I missed it. I miss it still. The glimpse of the awesome beauty of life. The feeling that my life too often is lived covered in a mundane veil.

 

But sometimes it does happen even now. For a few fleeting moments something unaccountable will burst and bloom in me. In my skull I will carry the sun, and I will want to laugh and cry at the same time.

Spring