There are times when laughs pass like cold air from my throat, leaving shards of ice along its trail and freezing over any semblance of life. Times when black nights fill with white panic. Times when the brightest of days show the darkest of skies. Times (Oh, such long durations!) when the youth of the face is dulled by the age of the eyes, the subtle dark lines which dig trenches around them and the screeching red vines which strangle the pupils. 

And where lies the elusive denouement? None may be illuminated without a switch which may instantaneously consume the light, none of the chains may be broken without some lonely steel cuff dragging along this blistered ankle. 

But from where must these chains come but Justice herself? “Dullard dolt degenerate, disgusting duplicitous dictator! Your tyranny is at its end!” says she. And what am I to do? Am I to be brave like Socrates, let the consequences of my contract beat against my back like cannonballs? Or am I to search desperately for escape, leaving Lady Justice unsatisfied and my hyde scarred only by my own cowardice?

Ye who have not felt the cruel sting of Justice, how I envy thee! How I wish for her mercy, how mine eyes are scorched by the blissful light which you live in! Yet how I despise thee also. How your smiles and laughs slash at my being, cut its barely regenerated legs from right under it! You have something which I cannot have, something I want so desperately, yet, having been bathed within the darkness, something I desperately do not want.

Is it possible that I may reclaim the bliss of ignorance without retreating into ignorance itself? Is there some path to reclaiming the joys of the world while still retaining my bitterness towards it?

I do not know. Nor do I know anything at all beyond the suffering I have endured. But perhaps, though I am certain I cannot escape, I may charge forward regardless. The dungeon’s doors are locked, but should I bathe my soul in the light of a small window, I will gain some profound balance of light and dark greater than any extreme of the two, one which allows this old shadow to have his fill of freedom.

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