Squinting


With eyes half open I stand up

To my left, there are two women talking

To my right, a stack of my books.

 

I can’t see anything

My eyes are half open and they’re filled with tears

 

 

“I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I’m not living.”

 

My chest screams with pain, familiar.

 

I’m knocking over chairs as I walk

Spilling elderly peoples teas with each stride

“I’m sorry, Sir”

“Excuse me, Miss”

I don’t mean a word of it.

I can’t care about anything else.

 

Out the door and the sun decides to shine.

It’s bright and it hurts

I can’t see anything at all, and now my head is aching like the bodies of war veterans

My knee screams in pain, I think I’ve fallen

I’m on the ground the world is sideways

I’m watching the cars drive by and they look like planets circling the sun

 

A bitter taste in my mouth, oh I’ve lost my lunch.

I can’t breathe, I’m drowning in a world of unknowns

Don’t ask me questions

I can’t answer anything

I don’t know how I got here

I don’t know how to get out

Who am I?

What am I doing?

I can’t answer anything.

 

The planets are spinning faster and are closer than they were before.

It’s just a matter of time.

I don’t know what will happen when it is time, but I can hear the tick of a clock.

 

I’m just waiting now.

Seeing an impending end near I have no say in my situation

I’m just counting minutes.

It’s been 3, now 7, now 63

 

I wish I could say I was in control but I was barely alive

Immobile.

Paralyzed with fear, I layed vulnerable and broken

 

The sun rested behind a cloud and the planets waiting for the sun to light again.

Stillness surrounded my frail being

 

I found hope in the absence of everything else.

I was nothing

I had no life

There was no movement

The sun hid the dust particles in the sky.

There was absolutely nothing but hope.

 

Hope is a frightening thing though. If you don’t know…

“To desire is to open our hearts to the possibility of pain; to shut down our hearts is to die altogether.”

 

What did I have to lose?

My body was as helpful as helpful as it would have been 6 feet under, but my heart was open.

Split down the middle, blood gushing everywhere, still beating, my heart is a relentless force.

 

If you ever find yourself in this quandary, you will notice it difficult to know what to hope for.

Do you know for a body to run with?

Do you hope for life again?

Do you hope for a happy eternity?

It was so hard to hope.

It was just another unknown, and what if my hope didn’t prove true? Then what am I? Delusional, as good as dead, and depressed?

 

I didn’t act for days. The sun hadn’t moved, nor had the planets swung again.

I lay on the sidewalk with my eyes still half open.

 

My eyes far from watery,

They were dried out, colorless, and sealed open.

A blink was as common as a eclipse with a stagnant solar system

My lips were in such need of moisture that with every word they split

At least led me bleed, I plead

Some sign of life is all I ask

 

All of a sudden I was swept away.

With a swift and mighty wind,

Pushing oceans of water,

I found myself moving miles in a minute.

 

There was no relief from my ails

Only knowing that I was moving.

I was completely immersed in the rushing waves,

But felt no touch of cool moist renewal.

Only the dissonance inherent in being surrounded by something intangible.

 

I couldn’t understand it

I couldn’t comprehend it

All my schooling

All my experience

All my wisdom left me alone and apart

I couldn’t make sense of what was happening to me

I couldn’t grasp the phenomenon of my life

 

I was so alive and so dead

So passionate so unable

 

I was so happy and so sad

So full, unretainable.

 

I was a dead man floating in the river of life.

I was void in a land of perfection

I was inapt in the hands of love.

 

Now I’m not human.

How might I know?

I tried talking to the women next to me. They couldn’t hear me.

I tried turning the pages in my books and my hands couldn’t grasp the paper.

I’ve thought on this for a while now… This intangibility.

There’s no explaining it.

No, even if there were, I wouldn’t write it.

I’m enjoying the quizzical look your eyebrows and lips are making right now.

This is the end of my story. Not grand. Not conclusory.

Not worried.

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