I am standing here.
I can’t move. I am immobile, but not solitary.
There are many behind me, beside me and before me. More than I could ever count. I see them there. On occasion we reach out to one another, but for the most part we are alone in the crowds.
We gather information, it feeds us and we grow. We have no limits in how tall and wide we expand. The more we branch out the more people we touch, and the more we are exposed to, which in turn allows us to learn more.
I’ve stopped growing once…almost. Slowed so much my vines stopped thriving. They withered, but never completely shed. Parts of my life hanging limply in my mind. I had likely regressed a little.
I’ve seen some around me flourish. I’ve also seen many slow to a crawl, or less. So many start to die from the inside; that death will never go away. I’ve seen so many start to wither so bad that they just shrivel into the shade of those around them. So damaged that even if the had the motivation to fight back, they couldn’t even imagine how to against a world abundantly stronger than they are.
I have touched many in an attempt to provide the life-giving hug I once needed so badly and eventually found, only to be stung by them…poisoned by their greediness, and struggled for a while again.
I have seen many only allow themselves to grow in a certain way; reaching straight but long in one direction or forever growing taller but never reaching wide to hardly ever be touched by anyone else. I’ve seen some that grow with no real direction, sometimes around in circles, up and down, or over and under. Or some that just stretch out above the others.
I have seen some wither away into nothingness…
I have seen some drop from existence. I have seen some die in the embrace of those who loved them, who they loved in return. Some plowed down, some poisoned, some that chose to rot away.
It is a shame to watch them fall, to witness them wither and die, to feel them pass away and to experience them wasting away. Sometimes it’s enough to make you want to just stop growing as well.
Sometimes they come back…the twisted dead alive again. Some remain idle and harmless for a while, but their souls are faded inside of bodies still living. They are hard to look at and they burn to touch.
They always reach out to touch you. They touch everything they can and slowly poison you with their embrace. It is a poison that travels through your and into those that you’re holding; those you love, those you’re nursing to health and those you’ve just begun knowing.
They are always there. They will die someday…completely, but they do a lot of damage. They hurt a lot of people and they choose to do it. Most of them don’t know that and they never will, but they allowed themselves to transform into beasts that squeeze the life out of you and burn you with their uninvited touch.
We do not start out venomous, the level of our poison or our strength that we pass on is up to us.
It is true that the taller we grow, the father we have to fall….
…but the taller we grow, the more time we have to catch ourselves on the way down.