I sit here with my pencil hovering above the page and my mind struggles to make sense of my thoughts and put them to paper. Moments pass and I still can’t make sense of it. No great loss or tragedy has happened, no pain or sadness has befallen me, and yet, for some reason I feel lost and alone. My mind lulls over distant memories as I open the garage door and set fire to a cigarette. I remember a time not long ago when I couldn’t face the light of each day and would shut the blinds to the world.
Time slowed to a point in my life where each day was measured in breaths and each second felt like a lifetime. My life, like an old watch measuring time, spun in circles, each second slowly passing the other. Time felt never ending but over for me all at once. Each second ticking away, because on a fundamental level, that’s what it was made to do. That’s what I was made to do. And although the hands of time paid no notice of me, still I felt paused. Waiting for something to happen, waiting to live, waiting to die, waiting for anything.
I didn’t want to die but I had forgotten how to live, stuck in a sort of limbo. I was so alone, trying to protect my family from the pain I knew I would spread, I feared I would poison the water we all drank from. Like some sort of contagious disease, I needed quarantine, I needed solitude, but I wanted so badly to join them at the well. To quench my thirst for their love and friendship. Instead though, I chose to save them from the sadness I knew I’d surely bring them and I isolated myself from them in body and mind. I thought I could hold up in my head and wait out the storm but I realize now that the storm I was trying to shelter them from had it’s source in my heart and there was no safety in solitude.
Caught in the crossfire of my intentions, many of the people I love most were hurt. Hit by the stray bullets and fractured shells ricocheting through my altered and essentially blind, reality. Taking a few steps out from the garage and into the brisk chill of the night I turn my eyes toward the sky. The quiet that I had searched for, for so long, this quiet, is smothering. The silent peace of this moment is intoxicating and seems to last longer that most. Am I dreaming? or just a dream myself? I bring my eyes back towards the earth, step out my cigarette, and walk backwards into the garage. The cold teeth of the night sink in as I turn out the light and watch the garage door slowly close, thankful to be on this side of it. Thankful to be anything at all.