A Pavlovian Sickness

Filtering light,
Growing bright,
Absolves the day of night.
A man awakens from his slumber.
The man, he suffers a hunger:
An insatiable sanity pang.
But dreams he can’t escape
Dictate and say his fate.

“Saturday again.”
The callous calendar spoke.
Were it not for malevolent numbers,
You could think it was telling a joke.
The feeling of calm now asunder,
As was the calendar’s plan,
The man was made to wonder
As the calendar taunted the man.

“Are you ready to face it today?”
The calendar goaded and scorned.
“To stare at the door?
To plead, to implore?
To insist that all is okay?”

This was the tale of his days.
Though once he was well
It had all gone to hell.
And now he could face it or pray.
But soft, what was he to say?
A Pavlovian Sickness,
A frostbitten briskness,
Has ailed him, has took him away.

His guests,
His floorboard ghosts,
His hosts that called him ‘fool’,
Rang for him a bell
That embellished the fool with drool.

A loud and whistling kettle,
Of blackened metal screaming
Demanded from him sugar,
A cup, a tea bag, and bleeding.
“Saturday.” It said.
“Saturday.” He groaned.
Soon he would be dead.
Catatonic. Quiet. Stoned.

“Go put on your coat,
Laugh at jokes that you evoke,
And choke down your emotions.
Keep it steady, stoic, blank.”
He lost track of which thing spoke,
But responded to it: “Thanks.”

“Saturday! Oh Saturday!”
Sang the engine and his keys.
“What gloried day of pestilence!”
They chorused on in glee.

These objects and their cries,
These taunting, teasing things
Are not the place his sickness lies.
They were always cruel,
They were always there before.
No–This Pavlov-fashioned sickness
was conditioned by the door.

He arrived, sat, and faced at the door.
He stared
And stared
And stared.
For every second nothing happened,
He felt more and more prepared.
He stared
And stared
And stared
And then he stared some more.
He stared
And stared
And stared
He stared, just stared at the door.

And as he went on staring
The dark abyss approached.
The ghosts bloody, gross, and bruised
Sang of disappointing cues
Ringing bells that boast and tell
Of mental pains, abuse.

“Stare! Yes, stare!
Oh how unfair!
This door can break your faith!
The ringing!
The dinging!
The forethought of bringing
And end to this endless wait!
This conditioning mission,
An attrition addiction!
Disappointment and nothing await!”

“Those intervals random,
Your hands once in tandem,
United by that door!
Now suffer, choke!
Wait some, and hope
For dreams to be reinforced!”

But nothing.

With logic, he knew it so.
His sanity left him alone.
The stimulus: rotting and black,
Was gone and was not coming back.

In time, his staring concluded
Conditioned as dogs, deluded.
He looked up to find
An empty sky;
The sunlight gone, and muted.

And so Saturday had ended
He had lived another day.
He successfully pretended
That all was quite okay.

He made it to his home,
Eager to be stoned,

The calendar asked questions,
The kettle picked his brain.
The floorboards pounded loudly,
The windows whispered names.
The engine made its comments,
The closet yelled and blamed.
The pipe tried hard to comfort him,
The lighter did the same.

The time, in which he’s trapped,
Struggled then relaxed.
Calmness, once asunder,
At last was coming back.
His furniture was shrieking.
His sanity was fleeting,
But the shrieks fell dead
As his eyes grew red
Gone blank and glazed and bleeding.

Then came night and nightmares,
And thoughts of open doors,
Subconscious love and care
For what he once adored.

This, A Pavlovian Sickness:
A raven peering from the dark.
Walled inside his own damned head,
His dreams ripped him apart.
Though his nightmares once were bloody,
Filled with dangers dark and sudden,
Since this sickness hit him
His nightmares were of loving.

And with mares throughout the night,
‘Til filtering light
Growing bright,
Awoke him from his slumber.
The man, suffering hunger:
His insatiable sanity pang,
Another dream he can’t escape
To dictate and say his fate.

“Sunday once again.”
The callous calendar spoke.
Were it not for malevolent numbers,
You could think it was telling a joke.

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