Dylan rolled over in his bed and looked at the blinking light on the clock on his nightstand. Time seemed to stand still as the seconds felt like hours and the blinks slowed until they seemed to almost come to a stop somewhere around three in the morning.
He lay there caught in the twilight between the darkness and the dawn, attempting to keep his thoughts in check and the voices in his head from telling him what he already knew, but didn’t want to hear anymore. He held them at bay by running through his mind his schedule for the day ahead. He had an early morning meeting with the label company and then he had been lucky to book two solid hours in the studio. His desk at home was littered with crumpled up papers and pages filled with discarded ideas for his next song. The second album he was working on was almost done, as long as he could get together with Joshua to finalize the lyrics and harmony for that last stanza and actually write the last song, they would be good to go.
“Yes, I can do it.” Dylan said aloud to the empty room, dimming the voices of doubt beginning to creep back up from the recesses where he tried to keep them locked away. He turned back towards the blinking clock and saw that time had only moved a few minutes more, though for as long as he lay there, he had felt as if an eternity had passed, sleep evaded him, and morning light seemed distant and out of reach.
He didn’t expect slumber to take him anymore, he only got lucky half the time when it did, falling asleep as the sun would start to peek out across the horizon. He stood up and walked over to the window and pulled the curtains back, revealing a floor length window that looked out into the city of New York. He had been living here for almost four years now, having moved to the East Coast from sunny Los Angeles. His old manager had told him that it was foolish to leave Los Angeles, but he had very personal reasons for leaving that life behind. Los Angeles held little memory of bright days and warm sunshiny afternoons. Darkness was what he remembered, for darkness is where he had lived
He absentmindedly reached up to the chip that hung next to his dog tags on the chain around his neck. He felt the cool metal and the etching under his fingertips where the number “100” was. He’d finally found a good group to attend meetings with after being in New York for six months. He had built up a good camaraderie with a few of his fellow A.A. buddies. His sponsor, Jacob, was triple his age and had been through much more than he. Lucky for Dylan, Jacob had cared, cared enough to save his life on many of an occasion since he got to New York, stopping him from giving into the demons that fought to take Dylan back. Jacob had saved Dylan from himself more times than Dylan could count.
Though Dylan had been sober for much longer than 100 days, he kept this chip around his neck as a reminder of where he was and the formidable life he had left behind in Los Angeles on that hundredth day of his sobriety. He kept it as a reminder to never go back, to never answer the call of the demons that whispered to him, the demons that wanted to drag him back.
Dylan wrote down a note at his desk to speak to Josh about that last stanza of their current work in progress. His thoughts wandered to their beginnings, when Josh and Dylan had met at an open mic night, on Dylan’s first outing in New York. He had been trying to start over in this big wide city and Josh’s manager had picked him out amongst the many other upstarts at the little dive bar Dylan had performed out. Josh’s manager had seen that the two of them had something special to offer if they decided to collaborate and become a duo.
Dylan was hesitant at first, but Josh was patient, and Josh let him take his time deciding, all the while helping him get acquainted with the city. Dylan also found a fellow companion in Josh when he was desperate to attend an A.A. meeting and Josh knew exactly where to take him. Josh, though not fighting his own demons, had helped his brother fight the good fight, but had lost him to the dark war that had ravaged his mind.
Dylan went back to the window and looked out at the twinkling lights of the city, always drawn to the allure of the night and it’s magical wonders. He jaunted back to his desk and pulled out a small notebook and his jacket coat off the back of his chair, throwing on a pair of sandals. He took the elevator to the roof and went to sit out on a small bench on the rooftop. He looked around the city, hearing the faint sound of the cars honking below in the city that happened to be awake even at three am. He opened up his notebook to a blank page and his pencil still above the page, no words coming out yet.
He inhaled sharply and looked back out over the city as he let his thoughts finally wander to her. He had kept her from his mind as much as he could for four years now. He knew that if he surrendered to that pain, that it would take him away in a current he couldn’t fight and that he’d eventually drown in.
Dylan let the pain of having let her go, of leaving her behind, rip into him. He reached for a strength inside to keep his head above water as he let himself go through all that he had done. He regretted it, the pain he had caused her. He didn’t deserve her, he knew that, he thought about her now and what could have been if he had treated her right, if he had not let the demons of the dark take over him mind, body, and soul. He hated himself for his actions and he had yet to forgive himself, but he hoped in some way, maybe, she would hear his cry in his music, hear his apology and know that he still loved her, in spite of himself, in spite of his shortcomings, in spite of his demons, he hoped to one day give her the closure she deserved.
He surrendered himself to the page, and wrote a song that he had kept buried deep inside since he had walked out of her life ever so harshly. He knew the day had come to let this out, to let the pain out and give it up once and for all.
At the top of the page, he wrote “Mia.”
Photo Source Unknown
Song Inspiration: Linkin Park – Invisible