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lzbeth97
June 6th, 2016, 04:06 AM
From a young age, I learned I could shut off my emotions and feel absolutely nothing. It was easy, like flipping the light switch on and off when you leave and enter the room. Most of my friends would describe me as a funny, emotion-filled, enthusiastic girl, but they never failed to notice when my usually bright and happy room was suddenly dark and void of everything. They would always ask, "Liz, are you okay?" or "Liz, why don't you seem yourself today?" My response would always be, "I'm fine."

Eventually I told a friend about my amazing gift and how I would use it when I felt like I needed to clear my head or get away from my emotions. Unfortunately, she asked how it felt, what drove me to doing it, and how I felt when coming back from the nothingness. But how do you describe the feeling of nothing? It is not happy nor is it sad. Nothingness is not bright nor cheery, sad nor weary. It is the absent of everything; it is a pitch black room that has zero objects in it. It is the void of emotions as if you were floating in space and not even a breeze was passing by you. The air around you is still and calm, there is nothing here nor there to cause any pain, joy, sadness, anger, or laughter. It cannot be explained or understood, because it is nothing.

When explaining to her my reasoning for doing so I had to explain, that I chose to do this when my emotions and stress levels were too high for me to function, but for some reason, she didn't seem to understand. It was a relief for me when my emotions would start to shut down. At first, they would dull so I would feel less and less pain and/or anger, and then, they would slip away from me slowly, like a fading dream when you wake up. I would enter a new world full of nothing and nothing would help me process things rationally and keep me from making any mistakes that might harm someone. I don't know, but emotions don't really seem necessary to me. They prevent me from living a life full of rationality. When I'm in this land of nothing, I am invincible. I cannot be emotionally altered, and I cannot show any emotions that could give away my actions. It really is quite beautiful

I thought awhile before I could think of how coming out of the nothingness felt. Do you know those dreams you have where you're falling and you jolt awake panting out of fear? Well, if so, coming out of the nothingness is like that for me. It's like all of my cells are breathing life again and struggling to grasp for a ledge I can't find. The tidal wave of emotions causes me to be disoriented, and then, I'll feel the emotions I felt before the numbness all return. There's always that fear of losing myself before I slip into the numbness or the on and off switch breaking and leaving me in the altered state of numbness, but the nothingness is apart of me. It is me. I am nothing, yet I am everything. I can be the dark room of nothing, and I can be the brightly vibrant room that is full of life. My only fear is that one day the nothingness will take hold of me, and the switch that I am in control of will break, leaving me a cold, empty shell.

afk4life
June 6th, 2016, 04:42 AM
Well written and a little too relatable lol. I don't have much to say in terms of critique, it's well written with very good visuals. I'm curious whether this is a start of a story, or the whole thing. But I like it either way.

escorial
June 6th, 2016, 08:47 AM
not the most engaging of reads but one gets the feeling a piece that was a release and it didn't stray far or change much....often dark and bleak and a heavy read but i enjoyed it

bdcharles
June 6th, 2016, 09:40 AM
Hi, I think this is an interesting piece. I was reading about sociopaths the other day (as you do) and wondered if one could train oneself to be one. My imaginings went a little like your writing.

My question is: is this a standalone work, or an intro, or character synopsis etc? What more will we see from Liz? As it is, the writing's perfectly good but ... don't leave us hanging, tell us more!

Bard_Daniel
June 6th, 2016, 08:54 PM
I think this is quite well written. You kept my attention. Good work!

lzbeth97
June 10th, 2016, 04:07 AM
Thank you all for your reviews! I really appreciate the feedback!

PrinzeCharming
June 11th, 2016, 04:12 AM
Ah, I can understand the first paragraph well. It's never just fine. That's a filler for all complex emotions. "Do you have enough time for me to explain or can you take a 'fine' for now?" It happens too often. The next paragraph opens my mind to what you're trying to express. I can have moments like that. There are a few moments of neutrality. This is an intriguing post with peaceful imagery reflecting upon nothingness. Thanks for sharing.

DATo
July 7th, 2016, 10:07 AM
Interesting story. It reminds me a bit of the short story, Silent Snow, Secret Snow by Conrad Aiken.

lzbeth97
August 17th, 2016, 10:40 PM
@DATo I actually haven't read it.

QuentinJW
August 18th, 2016, 01:24 PM
I like it, there's a lot of great descriptive words going on, and it really helps us visualize how this kind of a thing actually is. If you ever wanted to, I think this could be turned into a pretty great story. Good Luck!- QJW

Agrippa91
August 31st, 2016, 07:06 PM
I love this. Found an error or two that I highlighted -- and fixed -- for you!

--

From a young age, I learned I could shut off my emotions and feel absolutely nothing. It was easy, like flipping the light switch on and off when you leave and enter the room. Most of my friends would describe me as a funny, emotion-filled, enthusiastic girl, but they never failed to notice when my usually bright and happy room was suddenly dark and void of everything. They would always ask, "Liz, are you okay?" or "Liz, why don't you seem yourself today?" My response would always be, "I'm fine."

Eventually I told a friend about my amazing gift and how I would use it when I felt like I needed to clear my head or get away from my emotions. Unfortunately, she asked how it felt, what drove me to doing it, and how I felt when coming back from the nothingness. But how do you describe the feeling of nothing? It is not happy nor is it sad. Nothingness is not bright nor cheery, sad nor weary. It is the absence of everything; it is a pitch-black room that has zero objects in it. It is the void of emotions as if you were floating in space and not even a breeze was passing by you. The air around you is still and calm, there is nothing here nor there to cause any pain, joy, sadness, anger, or laughter. It cannot be explained or understood, because it is nothing.

When explaining to her my reasoning for doing so I had to explain, that I chose to do this when my emotions and stress levels were too high for me to function, but for some reason, she didn't seem to understand. It was a relief for me when my emotions would start to shut down. At first, they would dull so I would feel less and less pain and/or anger, and then, they would slip away from me slowly, like a fading dream when you wake up. I would enter a new world full of nothing and nothing would help me process things rationally and keep me from making any mistakes that might harm someone. I don't know, but emotions don't really seem necessary to me. They prevent me from living a life full of rationality. When I'm in this land of nothing, I am invincible. I cannot be emotionally altered, and I cannot show any emotions that could give away my actions. It really is quite beautiful

I thought awhile before I could think of how coming out of the nothingness felt. Do you know those dreams you have where you're falling and you jolt awake panting out of fear? Well, if so, coming out of the nothingness is like that for me. It's like all of my cells are breathing life again and struggling to grasp for a ledge I can't find. The tidal wave of emotions causes me to be disoriented, and then, I'll feel the emotions I felt before the numbness all return. There's always that fear of losing myself before I slip into the numbness or the on and off switch breaking and leaving me in the altered state of numbness, but the nothingness is apart of me. It is me. I am nothing, yet I am everything. I can be the dark room of nothing, and I can be the brightly vibrant room that is full of life. My only fear is that one day the nothingness will take hold of me, and the switch that I am in control of will break, leaving me..

Agrippa91
August 31st, 2016, 07:07 PM
Great piece! Found one mistake for you -- "absent" should read "absence" in the first paragraph!

lightInTheDark
September 1st, 2016, 05:14 PM
For some people this is supper relatable (myself included), and even for people that don't understand the description is good enough to visualize. The message was clear and to the point, and would function as a great little intro to a bigger story.

Nixrp
September 7th, 2016, 11:22 PM
Wow, yeah sometimes instead of getting emotional I just sort of shut down and am like "whatever" with a lot of things. Relatable, well written, descriptive. 👍 Good stuff. Didn't notice anything to really critique. I noticed that you are really writing from the heart though and can tell it really just flowed out.

thepancreas11
September 12th, 2016, 04:59 PM
This is more of an essay to me than a story. As an essay, it rings true with me. You have a very fluid and understandable voice, and I can almost hear you as you type. That's the sign of a writer that's surprisingly in touch with their emotions, even if you can shut them off. It lends itself well to first person stories, too, because you have a strong talent for slipping into that character, much like method acting. I would love to read a story of yours that you wrote in the first person.

While this succeeds in defining a strong want and a strong draw to read, it's not so much a cohesive story to me and lacks the elements of being a short story that it would need in order to get published by a lit mag, in my opinion. I'm not sure that's what you're going for here though, so I could be totally off base. If you did want to adapt it to a story, maybe take this character (which might be you) and throw them into a situation where the switch in sociopathy negatively effects them in a way that they have to really deal with it. Explaining oneself to a friend just isn't enough of a real pressure point to me to say that this has that ride a story takes you on.

You're a really good writer, though. I can totally relate to this numbness.