I rubbed and polished it with my cloth fresh and new, unsuspecting and ever willing, still stiff and crisp. The more I scoured, the brighter it shone.
I took it everywhere. I kept it in my pocket, under my hat or tucked into the toe of my right shoe. At night, it rested underneath my downy pillow, just below my dreaming mind. In the shower, hot soapy water spilled over it, suds trailing the day’s slough down the drain and deep into the pipes.
For a while, well, years really, I barely noticed it apart from the effort it took to make it glisten. But as time went on, my polishing cloth grew black and flecked with holes, limp and lifeless, and what was once light became cumbersome, too big to keep in my shoe or under my hat.
More years passed and despite great efforts, my ratty cloth, now a rag, didn’t bring even a hint of shine, its once brilliant gleam forever lost under many layers of shadows and clouds.
The days, months…years slipped by and it lived on, more than lived, it thrived, growing bulky, bigger, heavier and harder than ever before. Once coveted and craved, now clunky and colossal.
Towing it behind, I trudged through the murk and came to a stop. This was the place…the point where I couldn’t carry it anymore, my body refusing to take one more step.
After years, a lifetime, I, at long last, let it go. Heaved away, it spiraled outwards in a frenzy of rejection and I watched, waiting for it to descend to the dismal, dreary bottom. Drained, exhausted, it took me some time to realize that it was not sinking; it was instead me, rising to the top.