I know you cannot see them, but believe me – if you can summon in your hearts a belief for someone who gives words to what you know – that they are there. My walks have turned along their edges and what you call the duality of me is but the shadow of those bars on my body, when you shine light on my being. You think I am standing idle and you chide me for not doing more. It is not that I can’t but that I can and hence, cannot. Listen to me carefully, sweet Medusa, for only you can get me out of here.
Listen to me but do not look towards me for the cages know. Listen to me but talk to the rest of the world about moneys and citadels and the latest show on the nearest silver screen. But listen carefully for what I say is never understood the first time by these prison walls and if you miss it, I can’t repeat it because then they will understand. It is always the first time that counts. Thereafter it is a plea and the prisons multiply with hope. So I cannot hope as I tell you, ask you to free me. But only you can free me from here but do not look here. Look elsewhere and praise the sunrise or admire the new Cadillac. Look elsewhere while your inner eyes bore through your head and look at me, for walls and chains are blind to the inner being.
These prisons are not the scions of a fertile mind gone along a path which “normal” human beings don’t take. Please realise that these cages are real and when you understand you will see them. Then you will forge a key from your soul and that one key will shatter all these walls. But the key cannot tremble in your hands, for these bars are made of the finest uncertainties and will make a good cage out of you. When you walk up to these gates, bear that in mind that while you are looking at the lady pushing the crate of beer bottles and talking about Korean immigration issues with your friend on his way to the lecture hall, your hands cannot quiver. Hence, speak of less passionate subjects and do not see your dead wife in that passing woman whose curls resemble Rosaline’s. She is not Rosaline. Rosaline is another cage here and quite sturdy.
Listen carefully, these gates open only when you don’t want to open them but have, in provable ways, accidentally opened them. You can gasp and let out an “Oh!” when you do that but it has to be honest, even if borne on the wings of cunning. The keyhole? Don’t ask me questions because the gates can hear conversation. I will sing them a song now. Hold on.
Now listen, any place you believe the keyhole to be, is where the keyhole is. The gates provide that so that you can be careless and they make a good cage of you, nice chrome with twisted bars and a fancy brass padlock. You must know that the keyhole is where you introduce your soul but you must continue talking about deaths in the Ugandan mountains while looking at the man fixing the telephone wires. Of course, he is in a cage too, but he doesn’t know it. Don’t worry about him. You can’t free a person who doesn’t know he is trapped. The keyholes dance but open up to a soul that isn’t trying to unlock the gates, so you must be careful in not wanting to open the gates. You don’t want to. You were never told that there were jailhouses here. You were simply walking along gazing at shy Bolivian waitresses (no Rosaline) and talking about whaling off Siberia when your soul emerged as it often does (honestly) on summer evenings and lo! a gate opened! Oh!
Don’t tell me you can’t do it. You are not doing me a favour. You will one day need someone to open your prison gates and I can do it only when you let me out. These cages are there when you realise they are there and then they cannot be realised into oblivion. Once you know, you are doomed. Then you will need someone who doesn’t know but believes you and walks up silently and… you know the routine.
I have been here for ages now and I must get out. The walls must collapse because they are growing stronger and they crumble most effortlessly when they are strongest. Now is that peak. I have strengthened them beyond measure by humaneness and faith. I walk to the edge of one and I have to choose, but when I do, I walk into another cage. I could return but the price is too heavy. The new one is not better or worse but simply stronger and holds me firmer to the world of cages. Yes, I knew you would see it. Make more of them, walk more, choose more, make them stronger and then… hope that someone comes along. But in hope they become alert and weaker and that weakens them (thereby strengthening the world of cages) faster than I could ever choose and make life as everyone does: based on choice. So I lose hope while making more choices but hope walks outside the cages and I do not extend my arm, though it is there. Then you come along, with your back turned towards me, looking at the man dumping garbage in the bin and talking about the bald tire you need to replace while your inner eyes look at me and your soul fills the dye of a key. No, don’t look.
Yes, keep walking and thinking about whether gnocchi is available in Alaska. Maybe it is not. Keep looking at that man scratching his groin and tugging at his belt – sheepskin, third hole pierced by the buckle’s lance. Keep thinking about how strange it is that you are walking forward when actually reaching backward and that soul slides into your palm though you don’t know why it is there – what key? what keyhole? what cage?
I told you, no trembling. No trembling! NO TREMBLING!
What? That is all you can think of? Damn it! Rosaline’s over there. Get out of my sight. Yes, you have to choose at the edges. Everyone has to choose at the edges and walk into another cage. Everyone.