I have no idea how much time has passed since I closed myself in this place. From time to time the door starts screeching on its hinges, as someone comes in. He brings in food, which I know because the plate rattles against the surface of the floor, before his footfalls fade away. Whoever he is I grant him nothing, not even as much as a glance, and I leave the food untouched.
Yet even as I want to be left alone, I find myself dreading my loneliness.
My heart pounds, my strength fails me.
Even the light has gone from my eyes.
My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds.
My neighbors stay far away.
Then, somehow, I know that it is morning. I hear my troops coming back, passing through the inner and outer gate, directly below this room. Some are moaning because of their wounds. Others are laughing, happy to be alive. Many of them ask why I am not out there to congratulate them for such an unexpected triumph.
Someone, perhaps the gate keeper, must be pressing a finger to his lips to hush them, because at once they lower their voices. And I know that for the whole army, the victory this day is turned into mourning, because of me. They steal into the city this day as men steal in who are ashamed when they flee from battle.
I can block loud talk, but whispers have a way of penetrating me. I wish I could forget words. I do not want to hear what happened. Let someone else listen. Let someone else write about it.
David in The Edge of Revolt
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