Lava Land

We were two.

We’d taken a trip to lava land. Just me and her. Away from others. Away from people. Away from land and sea and sky and urban life and rural life.

The day I held her for the first time and she looked into my eyes willingly and endearingly was the day I decided to leave everything and travel with her.

We’d taken my car and packed nothing – no clothes, no food, no water. Well, almost nothing; I’d taken my yellow writing notebook with me.

It’s a rare thing when two of your passions become personal possessions that you can hold and feel willingly with your hands. It’s a rare feat like a shooting star or a cosmic alignment of planets or the passing of a comet.

So we left everything behind us, turned our backs on the world and traveled unpacked and unprepared to lava land. We isolated ourselves from the world around us and dug a hole where we sat and decided to wear down the rest of our lives. Together.

We were two.

Sometimes a single person can hold the world in their eyes or their words or their smell or their touch. She did with everything she possessed. And anything she lacked, I thought, the entire world lacked. In the heat of her arms and the warmth of her breath, I felt all the worldly miracles coming together: the celebration of birth, the communion of marriage and the thrill of new discoveries and breathtaking revelations.

There was sacredness and sin in our love; a devastating isolation that made us forget society ever existed and was a pillar to build upon.

Lava land was a place we could make our own, a secret portal no one beside us knew about or could ever find about. When the temperatures rose and the heat was scorching we hid under the roof of the car and found shelter in love. The smell of her hair mingled with the freshness of the backseat of the new car carried all the nutrients I needed to survive and thrive.

When the temperatures dropped she retreated to her music while I reverted to my writing. It kept me warm and fuzzy and also reminded me of my dark writing room back in the original world. It also made me crave for a drink and wish I’d packed some beer or a few whiskey bottles.

Lava land was kind to us. It kept us well hidden from everything around us and kept our secret hideaway an unbreakable promise that couldn’t be betrayed.

But the land was never fertile and nothing grew from it. The air was toxic and no life form could survive breathing from it. The conditions were well stacked to ensure nothing could live here except for us.

I don’t know how we did it, but we managed to stay there for a good while, making love and sleeping naked on the ground and sucking on the rich vein that was music and words.

She composed a few hits and used to sing them to me; and I’d hold my pen like an olive branch and delight in her serenades. She loved the poems I wrote for her and demanded more of them; they invigorated her with life and passion and reminded her of the blessings contained in this world.

They were fun times. But lava land pulled us away from the light and into the web of darkness. And losing people – people you rarely tolerated or too often took for granted or grew bored and tired of or just loathed or despised or loved – all kinds of people, slowly turned us into two unaware beings that grew disoriented from their surroundings. The madness kicked in and we started hearing noises – sounds that didn’t belong to us shouting and screaming all around us. The love rose that we planted had inhaled too much of that poisonous air and started losing its colors. And soon we realized that shutting ourselves from the world – no matter how hard and unfair it was; no matter how cruelly it had treated us and misunderstood us – was not a way of living. We had walked into our own hell and stirred the flames that soon became its walls. The fire around us intensified and pretty soon everything turned to rust: her hair started to smell like burnt ash and our faces turned grey from the flames. Smoke enveloped the air we breathed and the heat burned through our skins like pieces of meat on the grill. We were being seared and tortured alive and underneath all this incineration was a deep dark addiction spouting from the fantastic dream of being alone and loose and free to live out our wildest passions intensely.

But the lack of exposure to others meant rotting in a crazy cell: insanity living through our own unchanged spirit and the unchanged spirit of the one person we set out to travel with to this secretive place.

In the end the fire was stronger than us and lava land erupted with fireworks and crackers and restless souls that came crawling towards us and grabbing us by the limbs: souls of others who thought they had figured it all out before us – jobs, money, bills, education, mortgage, marriage; the essentials of a dynamic life we are brainwashed to actively pursue instead of taking the time to nurture our own skills and hone them to mold ourselves as independent individuals.

It was stronger than anything we could throw at it: our love, our music, our will. Even my words were powerless to curb its demonic appetite.

And so we were sucked, sucked into an underground of no return, sucked into a spiritless void which nobody survived, sucked into a cage that would forever hold us captives…unless we agreed to let go of each other and our shared fantasy of making it as passionate artists. Her with her music. Me with my writing. We had to let go of these constraints holding us back, we had to let go of the love that burdened us into seeking a nonexistent purgatory from the claws of society.

And so I let go; I let go of her voice, I let go of her hair, I let go of the music that introduced itself every time she walked into the place. I let go of her entirely and held on to the edge of the cliff by the tip of my fingers.

There she was elevating into the dark sky full of grey clouds, out of this place, out of this world, transported along with her music back to the garden of society where I had plucked her. And I remained, with only my love for her to hold on to forever, and the little yellow notebook sticking halfway out of my right pocket.


Be sure to check out my debut novel, A Road Away From Home, available on Amazon Kindle for 2.99$ and now in hard copy.

A Road Away From Home – Hanna Abi Akl


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