• When the powers created the world–my world at least– they first and foremost created pain. Yeah– that sounds about right.
    First there was pain, only pain, it was everywhere, running through my veins, burning through my mind, seeping into every corner of my dull consciousness.
    Obviously, second came me. It stayed like that for awhile; darkness and pain and me. Then came hunger, insatiable hunger, gnawing at me eating itself until there was nothing left and it turned inside out more ravenous than before. So there I was, all alone in the darkness, my only companions pain and hunger when suddenly, a lance of light speared itself into my mind, searing the ache to an all new level of pain. But after the bright, scorching light as it was fading into nothing more than a proverbial afterimage on my proverbial retina came a memory, a small snippet of a memory, more a snapshot than anything, but in the darkness and the pain and the hunger, it counted as more.
    As I lay there, alone with myself and my new best friends I examined this little fragment of recollection and was shocked at the sheer amount of information it contained.
    There were bodies, many upon many upon many bodies, all packed together, far too close to be comfortable and yet they were– joyous even. They were under a dark sky, far enough away from civilization that the stars could shine down upon them but still close enough that they were dull and stained by the yellow lights of man and they trespassed on their sky. The people pressing against me were familiar, like family, and they writhed and turned in a single being, swaying to...music. A wonderful string of sounds and words– more fell into place, pain and hunger hissed as they were now accompanied by two powerful rivals: joy and music– that throbbed through me. The ground vibrated from the force of it, traveling up my feet and shaking every fiber of my being, all the way to my heart which beat ecstatically as a faint, backup bass. Among the people that felt-like-family-but-weren’t there was another, one who felt-like-family-but-was-much-more. This one, I loved this one. Apparently, if I pushed far enough into the memory, into my thoughts and feelings, I discovered it was an old love, an instantaneous love, one that made my blood boil and fizz with an excited not-so-painful-devouring-hunger.
    And suddenly I wasn’t alone, love dropped into my little world of darkness and pain and hunger and music and joy. And while pain and hunger hissed and muttered and slithered about, love sang and it gave me the courage to push. I replayed the memory again and this time; when I got to the end, I noticed the wall, that solid, thick barrier that cut it off and I pushed. I pushed and love helped me and a tiny hole appeared through the wall through which I looked.
    This old-instantaneous-more-than-family-burning-blood love twined his body with me and pulled me close and pressed his lips to mine– and there was fire and brightness and an arcing dome of blue soared above scuffed and chipped by splotches of white and I was on fire and it burned all around me and I gasped but there was no air in my lungs and my head was spinning as I choked and suddenly it came to me. A single word that encompassed my whole world and all my questions. Bryn.