Chester Bennington – the Light that went out

You stare at the reflection you can’t actually see in a shattered mirror, broken from within.

You see the figure shaking violently, sobbing, as you sit in the darkness mercilessly believing that’s where you belong and that’s what you deserve. An empty bottle of alcohol is lying in the opposite corner of your bedroom.

You glance at the razor blade and you see it drowning in a pool of blood from the fresh cut you made on your left arm. All the scars a story you can’t tell. The tears dripping fall short of irrigating the withering flower that once gleamed at the sunlight but now is losing it’s petals at an alarming rate. Utterly destroyed and devastated to find yourself in the state you never imagined, something in you cracks. You know right away what is breaking, but you can’t help it. It cracks and cracks and cracks some more until it can no longer hold itself together. The armor you had made yourself with ignorance and pretentious insensitivity, to appear strong on the surface but not all the way through, is in a million pieces and you’re too exhausted to tape it back together.

You go weak, numb. You crawl towards the faint moonlight and manage to stand up at the window holding the window pane, helping your feet on the edge inches above the floor, but the floor is swiftly slipping away and the walls are caving in on you. Out of the window, into the entirety of nothingness, you see your only escape! You have to jump-jump-jump-just jump, to escape the mayhem because you can’t hold on to the panes anymore, the pain’s excruciating for someone else but you’re numb.

You have to jump.

Jump,” you whisper for you’re gathering the courage to jump, to escape.

You can’t clearly see. It is Dark, a crescent moon up there. But you know deep within there are trees and flowers, and mountains and valleys, and Sun and stars, and beauty in its visual form calling out to you to reach to them like you always wanted to as a kid, but maturity broke those dreams a few years back telling you it’s impractical. Only you know how badly your Mind craves for them but in that room you hate your Mind for it is driving you crazy with the Memories of moments that killed you already but still don’t back down, haunting your breaths like ghosts of the dead.

“And every second I waste is more than I take.”

You hear a Voice.

You hear the words just in time and they freeze your right foot as it was about to step on the Air. They sound true, just like the walls caving in you or the floor slipping under your feet or the blood oozing out of your veins or the shattered mirror and the destroyed armor.

“You’re forgetting now, it’s time you let me go. Let Me Go!”

The second time you hear the voice, you feel the pain-misery-agony in it’s whispers-shouts-screams as it articulates everything you were failing to, slowly stabbing the demons dominating your heavy head and yanking you back into the ruined room.

You hate the voice. You hate it from skillfully discouraging you as you were about to escape the room, kiss the air, reach out for the stars, and fly to peaceful silence with one damp thud from the impact of hitting concrete. You hate it wholly and completely in the clouded state of mind.

The moment has passed and you’re too exhausted to work yourself back to the window. You’ll have to go to school tomorrow. So, you instead climb on the bed, to sleep the darkness away with a flickering hope you don’t wake up tomorrow.

 

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The sunlight falls short of illuminating you from within.

You’re standing at the classroom’s window, regretting why you didn’t take that step last night and promising freedom tonight, as you see little kids out there trying to grow up with experience of sorts. You see your friends sitting on their benches their voices muffled in the chaos filling your class in the absence of a teacher. You wish someone hears your silent screams, but it’s too fucking loud, and you give up and look back at the horizon wishing you’d be there someday; there, where the clouds meet the waves and swallow the giant of blinding light slowly as it tries to illuminate your path till its final breath.

“And the shadow of the day will embrace the world in grace, and the Sun will set for you!”

You hear the Voice.

You know it’s not out in the place but in your head this time. You repeat-repeat-repeat the words until they calm the storm in your bones, borrowing the voice to accomplish what your vocabulary couldn’t. Looking around, you scan all the eyes in the room. Many seem to wear masks real or unreal hoping they’re successful in masking the pain they feel when it is dark and lonely. You’re momentarily startled by the fact that it’s not just your life that’s populated with demons, but they are everywhere, eating into the flesh sucking out the blood tearing apart the hopes burning all the dreams bit by bit piece by piece slowly and skillfully killing and grinning and killing and laughing and killing again.

Dad told you years back it’s useless being selfish and Grandma told you Karma’s real so you walk to the girl laughing her hardest because you know she’s broken the most. You talk to her, know her, understand her personality, win her trust, get her to talk, and listen to her pain as you offer her your company if not your help for the wounds she inflicts on her body every night because that’s the least you can do to help her out of it. You feel better when she credits you for helping her in the battle against her own self, and you move on, to the next person you see is broken because you know they’re broken and you repeat the same procedure all over again and they thank you enough for providing them with the support they were always craving for.

On your way back home, you see the scenery whizzing past which reminds you how effortlessly you’re moving to what haunts you amidst people you love. But you feel better about yourself after standing next to someone who was alone in an entire battlefield. You feel better because for some petty amount of time you were away from your own battlefield, a tiny inevitable selfishness tells you the people you helped win their kingdoms will stand behind you when you charge with a sword in your hand.

“Can I help you, not to hurt, anymore?”

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You’re sweating profusely after the run.

Running was something you are seeking peace in because you didn’t cut this week, thus, breaking the two year long ritual. It’s all because of that voice you hear in your ears and head every now and then.

“When they turn down the lights. I hear my battle symphony. All the world in front of me. If my armor breaks, I’ll fuse it back together.”

The voice doesn’t preach, it doesn’t ask you to stop hurting yourself, it doesn’t play the saint that drives away your evils, it doesn’t motivate you to new limits, it doesn’t ask you to stop in the darkness and wait for the light, it doesn’t tell you the world is a beautiful place and you’re missing out.

It just tells you it’s there, sitting next to you as you cut and bleed and cry and hurt and clean, telling you your pain isn’t just yours and you’re one of the many almost giving up now and next moment and you’re not wrong. It tells you it itself is going through the exact same hell, battling the exact same demons inside the head, after the exact same jeers and abuses, in the exact same darkness, wishing for the exact same things, and you need to do the exact same things to live a little better tomorrow.

It tells you you’re not alone.

The Voice to you is what you try to be others.

The voice tells you that you matter and that’s perfectly why you try to better yourself everyday because Karma has finally started validating its existence and that voice keeps you company in the Darkness.

You no longer wish to text someone, “I need help,” or “You up?” or “Can we talk?” or “I just cried,” or “I can’t hold on,” or “You there?” or “What do I do?” or “How do I tape my world?” because every time you insanely yearn to, you instead plug in your earphones and allow that voice to articulate your pain giving your fuck-ups word you never thought could be woven together so painfully it’s beautiful.

So you run-run-run as if hyenas with salivating, foaming mouths are chasing you to hunt you down and tear you apart and although a part of you knows it’s peaceful to be shredded to pieces, you don’t hear it but that voice and transform the adrenaline and pain into something rewarding, something people admire but little do you care, for what matters to you is that you love the feeling of winning something out of the pain.

The voice is slowly slipping into your lifestyle so deeply that you instantly bond with people who look up to the same voice, with the existence of those words working as pickup lines to talk to the girl you crush on or understand the story of that guy who seems lost in a crowd full of smiling veils.

“God bless us everyone, we’re all broken people living under loaded guns.”

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You’re staring at the stars and they’re staring back at you.

Blind to the road in front of you, you stand and simply gaze at the sky watching it’s every shade now dissolved in black, dotted with lights of possibilities making their way to your over millions of light years. With one hand you hold your other arm, fingers gripped around the fresh cut to stop the gash from vomiting any more blood because you’re already high and dizzy as a result, and it’s a significant moment in your life because looking at yourself in the mirror after so many blows and defeats and jeers and agony you see a complete human who looks just all right, and there’s this voice screaming in your head, it tells you something that validates your promise but you mercilessly broke it today.

The people you held really close to your self and life, left you in the blizzard of blames under the weight of memories. Their absence opens new voids in your days and every time you lurk near them, the vacuum attempts to suck you in and although a part of you asks you to let of the edge of the bed and the razor blade you don’t pay heed. The voice was screaming out to you, but you desperately needed a cup full of blood to escape your body and irrigate the ground for the old demons and make them find new heads to haunt. The people you counted on to fight your devils left once you helped defeat theirs to lead a happier life where a painful price like you has no place to set foot. But you still don’t give up because that voice reminds you once again you’re not the only ‘unlucky’ creature to stand in the hailstorm and that even if the people that left don’t believe, they’re down there with you. A part of them will always be with you in the past, who lives in present, if not the future.

“So I, let go watching you turn your back like you always do. Face away and pretend I’m not but I’ll be here ‘cause you’re all that I’ve got.”

But that’s that and you’re crawling back to the same voice because in the end, it does fucking matter. You swear to yourself that you’ll find new ways to vent out the pain-anger-misery-hurt-hatred-love and everything human and everything not. You pick up that old diary that old pen and turn to a new page in your life, for just like that voice you wish to word the demons because you’ve experienced assigning them a pronounceable, decipherable sound weakens Satan’s resolve to walk you to insanity.

“I want to heal. I want to feel like I’m close to something real. I want to find something I’ve wanted all along somewhere I belong.”

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You sit on your bedroom, it is dark but you’ve finally ignited yourself from within to become the champ you always needed and for that you have just the Voice to credit, aware and promising it’s not the last time in all the remaining years you’ll be turning to the voice with tears in your eyes and broken heart in your hands, but they tell you the voice is now inexistent. You can’t believe them because that voice is immortal and even though that voice is immortal you fail to understand how it is possible. Just last week you had confessed on your account that with all the motivation you aim to offer people, there’s the bank you borrow strength from — ‘with a work of art closing you out’ — the last you were high, beer bottles staring at the horizon replicating you.

The voice that assisted every human whose ear it reached to draw strength for it was a well and anyone could draw as much support they needed-required-wanted can never run out of the help itself.

But it’s true, the well dried yesterday and people are regretting a day too late wishing they hadn’t drawn so many buckets full of hope to carry on when the source had a sore throat, thirsty from all those screams you thought were your Minds’.

It’s too late, it’s too fucking late, and even though you’re devastated and repentant and crying and praying, it’s gone to a world it always hinted you about in his tracks but held you from walking into.

“When the lights go out, and we open our eyes. Out there in the silence I’ll Be Gone.”

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“Who cares if one more light goes out?

 In a sky of million stars,

 It flickers, flickers.

 Who cares when someone’s time runs out?

 If a moment is all we are,

 Or quicker, quicker.

 Who cares if one more light goes out?

WELL I DO!”

 

That voice to me and billions was Chester Bennington’s, the respiratory system of Linkin Park, and possibly the human with most powerful vocal cords. The frontman, after telling us all about the pains that exist on this planet, willingly walked into the room we all will reluctantly enter someday, to make sure he has lines ready to assist you there as well. It’s a pity it took his life for people to appreciate One More Light, the controversial album.

A friend just yesterday, while I was all teary and broken, told me artists are immortalized by their art and it’s raw and true because we still have his voice locked in some song to borrow when we lose ours. Yet, it’s ironic to lose the legend to depression, the Lucifer he helped all of us defeat. He assisted us all, we selfishly let him, failing to reciprocate the help. Depression is the sort of demon that multiplies by dividing while we let ourselves succumb to it. The harder you fight, the smaller it gets. It’s a graver issue than the general unabashed usage of the word for everything bordering the ‘not-positive’.

It’s incredibly tough for me to explain myself if all of it appears exaggeration and ‘cheesy’ or why my eyes ran moist a few times as I type this, the LP compilation playing all night in my room; to put on paper the abstract bond I shared with a person who had my back when no one did, someone who helped me grow up and hit back, a person I always wanted to witness perform live but am crossing out that wish from my bucket list.

Above all and none, a mere thank-you would be too small to express my heavy gratitude, so this the least I can do.

In loving memory of Chester Charles Bennington,

(March 20, 1976 – July 20, 2017)


 

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“So say goodbye and hit the road. Pack it up and disappear.

 You better have some place to go. ‘Cause you can’t come back around here,

 Good Goodbye!

 

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