I pound against the doors of time
And beg them to release me.
Why did they lock me in here
When did they lock me in here
When will I be let go
Into the darkness
From whence I came –
Free from memories
I float on my emptiness
And wait to be swallowed up
By this great vacancy
Which I’ve been allowed to occupy.
I wrestle with my ambitions
And my knowledge
And I fight and give up
Side by side.
“What’s the use?”
I ask myself.
“There will be nothing
When this is over
The same way there was nothing before.”
I release my breath
And sink into myself.
“Endure,” I say
“It will all be over soon.”
It’s death again, and my life, and what I’m to do with it. My long distance relationship and when and how I’ll find out what love is. How long I’ll live. How long my father will live. How things were before I was here. How they will change after. Why I was even born in the first place. Why I am being made to deal with this. Why there isn’t forever. Whether or not there really is anything afterwards.
It’s 3:47 am and I’m awake thinking about these things, the same way I do any other time I’m awake.
Fulfillment, success, happiness. Will I be one of the lucky ones who get to have these things? Or will I be one of the sad ones who never figure anything out, spending their whole lives searching for answers only to not find anything at all?
How many more years until I come to any sort of conclusion?
Sometimes I remember again.
The thought enters my mind
and I hold on to it
instead of allowing it to pass.
For a second,
time speeds across my eyes.
My heart sinks.
It feels as if someone has tugged hard
on a string attached to it,
the way a truck driver would
sound his horn.
My body follows suit, quickly descending
as if it is being pulled into a well of water,
but just before my nostrils
go beneath the surface
I mentally shake my head.
I throw the thought away.
I have to,
otherwise this paralysing fear
will spread through my being.
I release the breath
I had sucked in
three seconds before.
I sit upright.
I take another breath
and release it.
This is unproductive.
It will do me no good.
I will eventually die.
I don’t know when.
I cannot change this.
I will never be able to.
Continue to breathe.
Leave death alone.
It will come in due time.
Do not ask questions.
There is no one to tell you
why you were put here.
For now go home and sleep.
You have a long day tomorrow.
Maybe there isn’t anything to say,
But there’s way too much to feel
And it’s too bad there isn’t a dictionary
Embedded inside me
So I could put a name to it all
This conundrum, these convoluted thoughts
That are chasing each other
The way a dog chases after its tail
And the same way it never catches it,
They never reach a conclusion
Or build a firm resolve to action
It’s a roller coaster –
But a slow one –
Pushing its way through frozen time
And busying yourself
With moving images on screens
And sounds from speakers
Doesn’t make it stop moving
Doesn’t give you an answer
And then you revert
To that old question, thought, whatever:
Who brought you into this
So you could suffer this way?
And you hold your tears in
Because you’re in a public space
And you can’t let the world see you
Being anything but strong.
Imagining things again, future things, things that won’t happen, because they’re only in my head. Things like what my father wants to talk to me about. Things like how Thanksgiving will go with his wife. Things like how I’ll feel when I see my boyfriend. Things like how my life will unfold, how the world will unfold while I’m still on it.
And then the lies. Are you OK? A slow, hesitant nod. One that is accepted. I look happy. It’s because of my period. I should consider therapy. I shouldn’t waste my money. Why not? I throw enough of it away on makeup that doesn’t suit me.
And so I sit in my thoughts, thinking and imagining and wondering when it will all be over, wishing it had never begun, wishing I could fix it, wishing I could do something. But, no. Apparently this is what life is.
Today I wore a pair of wedge sandals that I haven’t worn in a long time. I checked the weather on my phone before I left the house and saw that the high would be 90 degrees Fahrenheit and immediately decided that I would not be wearing any kind of jeans. I gave a quick once over to my bottoms and decided that I wanted to wear my green shorts. I didn’t grab it at once because I knew I was working in the library after school and that they might be too short…but they also might not be. I put them on and checked to see that half of my thighs were covered. I was satisfied with that. I then wondered what top to pair with them. I looked at one I had bought in Florida this July and decided not to even bother with the idea because I had already tried it with the shorts last month and it didn’t look anywhere near as good as I thought it would. After another “idea” I settled on a sleeveless blouse that might be called tan and hurriedly took out my sandals. They were brown. They were wedges. I wasn’t sure they would match the outfit, but I decided not to care because I didn’t want them to dry rot as a consequence of not being worn. I thought that I should put a pair of flat sandals in my bag just in case, but I was short on time and had to leave quickly in order to catch the bus. Because of this I also neglected to bring with me any kind of sweater or cardigan. That and I just didn’t want to…although I knew that I would probably have to suffer through cold air conditioning at work. Whatever. I left the house.
I wasn’t comfortable. I wasn’t sure how I looked and I hadn’t worn anything with heels for a while. I thought that I probably looked weird, especially since I was walking quickly, and I had a big blue bag on my back, and a big blue lunch bag. I felt weird the whole day, like I was being watched and silently ridiculed for my choice of clothing. In my second class I thought I drew attention to myself because my heels made such loud noises on the floor. I still wasn’t sure about my outfit. And I was still worried about whether or not it would be okay once I got to work. I had been worrying about that on and off all day. Before I left the house I thought that the worse that could happen is that I’d get a warning and then not do it again. There was no way I could change anything because I wasn’t carrying any extra clothing with me. In class I hoped and hoped that the professor would let us leave early. That way I could stop downtown and quickly buy a long, open sweater.
Leaving school I was annoyed with myself for worrying so much about something like this, instead of maybe the fact that doctors still can’t find anything wrong with my father even though his body keeps doing things it’s not supposed to.
When I showed up to work no one said anything except one of the library assistants, but it didn’t bother as me as much because she wasn’t being malicious or anything. I had bought a sweater anyway; my professor had let us out really early. A friend of mine also complimented me. I had put the sweater on. I felt something near relief.
I asked myself why that made any difference, why I needed someone else to tell me I looked okay, why it hadn’t made such an impact when I had said to myself earlier that it didn’t matter what anyone else thought, that this really wasn’t that big a deal.
No answer was attempted. I guess the questions were rhetorical.
And this is what took up most of my thoughts for the day.
I have nothing to say and too much to say. A lot going on, but not enough. I’ve been hurt so much, though barely at all and I complain way more than I need to. I don’t know where this is going and I don’t know where I want it to go, but I want it to go somewhere, to go somewhere farther than here. I want it to be something more than just this. Am I talking about this post, or about my life?
I’m drinking a large latte with almond milk and a hazelnut swirl that I bought from Dunkin’ Donuts a little over thirty minutes ago. I felt like nursing a cup of coffee so I went out and got one, and then found it to be too sweet. I wished that I had bought a smaller size, or that I had gotten a caramel swirl instead of hazelnut, but I’ve been drinking the latte anyway.
In forty minutes I’ll be leaving work and I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do yet. I want to get two rolls of quarters so that I can do my laundry. I want to buy a dish drainer for the kitchen because as of today, there is none. I also want to buy two curtain rods because I finally bought curtains and I want to hang them up in my room. Oh, and I want something for my walls, or for a wall. I’ve never wanted anything on my walls before. Not that I was thinking of getting that today, but I do want to get that.
Should I be worrying about money right now? I just came back from visiting my cousins in Florida and that trip cost a couple of dollars. I’m thinking – I’m going to Jamaica next month and that won’t be cheap either, though it will be nowhere near what Florida cost me. (I just spent about three minutes making sure I used the correct past tense of the word cost.)
The temperature of my latte is slowly going down. It’s not doing much to keep me awake. I’m writing though, and that’s always a good thing – unless someone reads your journal without your permission. In that case, I suppose writing is still a good thing. It is simply the act of invasion that is the opposite.
In thirty minutes I’m done with work. I need to make a decision by then. I suppose I don’t have to do anything at all today, but I probably will. When things find a spot in my head, they aren’t usually displaced very easily. My only concern is carrying the things I’ll buy. I’m not particularly fond of baggage.
From April of last year. The opening words were said by the woman leading the singing at church on a particular Sabbath. I didn’t like what she said.
“We don’t deserve to live!…”
“Thanks for reminding me,” I said out loud. I stood unwillingly, with no intention of singing that hymn again. I hated when they did that. I folded my arms and kept my mouth closed and looked off to the side. Like I needed to be reminded. Like I didn’t know that already. As if there was any way I could forget that.
A miserable wretched sinner, yes I know. I was born evil and have no good in me and deserve a horrid death. And if I don’t deny myself and live completely for Jesus, I surely will die that horrid death. Never mind what I think. Never mind that I was dropped into the middle of a war that has absolutely nothing to do with me. But I have to make a decision anyway. I have to pick a side. Does that even make sense? You mean to tell me I was made so I could die? Love me or die. How on earth can you command someone to love you? And what if I just can’t find it in me to love you wholeheartedly and believe every word say? You kill me? Or leave me to die? Thanks a lot. That surely is unconditional love.
I was thinking this on my way to pick up my brother from daycare. I almost cried. I was thinking this before I went to bed last night. I shook my head and tossed the thought away. I’d been thinking this a lot lately. I’m being forced to do something I want nothing to do with.
I was going, rather let me saying I was thinking about going to church today. I didn’t prepare anything, but I set an alarm to wake me up. I was going to go to a church other than my own. I’ve been wanting to do that for a long while but I still haven’t. The alarm went off this morning. I think I snoozed it first. When it went off again I turned it off and went back to sleep. I didn’t go to church today.
I’ve been feeling like going to church for a while now. It’s like a little nudge telling me to go, or to read the Bible. And I accept the nudge and think Okay I’ll do it, but then I don’t. And I know it’s God, or my church family would tell me it’s God, that is speaking to me, and I wonder at how powerful the mind can be.
I still can’t work on the Sabbath. I got my work schedule for the semester and had to ask for it to be changed because the sun is going to start setting earlier when it gets down to November, and I can’t be working when the sun goes down on a Friday. Why not? I’ve not been going to church, I’ve not been reading the Bible, though I have been talking to God somewhat, I’ve not really been praying. Why can’t I work on Sabbaths? Why can’t I go out on the Sabbath? Why can’t I do my homework on the Sabbath? I haven’t been keeping the Sabbath for such a long time now, but there are still some things that I cannot do. Though my faith (not sure if I ever really had any) has wavered, my conscience is still as strong as before. In my walk away from God, I feel like I can’t go too far ahead in case I make it so that I can never go back.
Yesterday in the bus on my way home from work I was thinking how very firm I was when I had just found my religion. I stuck to the truth I knew. I had good reasons for all the things I did. Well I have reasons for what I’m doing now. Shouldn’t I stand on those? I didn’t just get up and walk out of church for nothing, and I didn’t just leave because of one thing I didn’t like either. Things had been accumulating for a good period of time. I had wanted to leave for over a year before I actually did.
But now I’m wondering if the things that caused me to leave aren’t too small. But obviously not since I left because of them. Or am I too fickle? I mean there are things that I do still believe are true? But that’s my problem though. There are only some things that I can believe in and stand on as true. I can’t accept everything. If I can’t accept everything then I can’t live my life based on it. I can’t place my life on something that isn’t foolproof. That’s it. It’s not whole. It’s not 100% solid. That’s why I left. It didn’t all come together and make sense. And I was not content to sit with my church brethren and ignore all the things that were wrong, while trying to teach other people to do the same.
Free writing. Not really free since the community of words that exist inside my being never all make it out alive. I think, then I have a desire to speak, I go about speaking what is on my mind, but my mind never stops. It doesn’t wait for my hands, or pen and paper, or the keys on a keyboard, for a webpage to load. It just keeps going. And so my original thought is lost in a stampede of thoughts that were never there before and I am surprised at how suddenly they came about and how quickly they rushed forward; how they were able to overtake the one that started it all. The one that started it all… God… Me… Not me. Not that way. That’s another thing. My mind sometimes goes places I don’t want it to. And I don’t understand this. Since it is a part of me, how can it not be aware of the places that I don’t want to visit, that I don’t want to remember? Why does it constantly stumble upon, or run towards, places, corners, and alleys that I’m scared of, that hurt me before, that I don’t want to be reminded of? Why does it not understand that I need time, a lot of time, to recover from what happened there, and there; from all the things that happened in all those places? See sometimes it likes to pretend it’s a psychologist. Those darned movies. Where else would it get all those ideas from? Oh what happened in your childhood? It all goes back to there. How was your relationship with your father? Your mother? Were you a happy child? Did anything happen in your childhood that may have caused your like or dislike for this particular thing? Crap crap crap blah blah blah and it goes on. One time I caught it analyzing me in the bathroom at church. In the bathroom! I shook my head, snapped out of it, and went inside. Why does it do that? I hate when it’s right before bed. I need to sleep, but it wants to ask questions about the future and the present and how I feel. No. I want to sleep. I need to wake up tomorrow. Wish to God that was optional. It’s most alive in my bedroom. No one bothers it there, that’s probably why. It’s big and proud, though I don’t know why. It’s not like it has a degree in anything. It only knows whatever it knows because of all those movies it watched as I was growing up. What did you see when you were little? You must have seen something to make you do this now. I did see something, but I wasn’t that little. It was so long ago anyway. But I have heard stories of people and long ago, and now. They couldn’t have all been lies. Maybe my long ago does have something to do with my now. But it was so long ago. … I just glanced at the time twice after trying hard not to. I’m supposed to do this for twenty minutes; free writing. Not sure how free this is though since I’ve been on that backspace key like yellow on mac and cheese. I like that simile there. I was going to use white on rice first but that’s kind of old. I think I made this one up but I may have heard it somewhere before. There are things like that. Things you aren’t sure if they came from you or if you just heard or saw them somewhere before but forgot when and where. Things like that. I looked again. Time’s almost up. I’m like this with time. I always check to see when it will run out. Wouldn’t it be cool if we could do that with our lives? Check to see when it would end so we could do what we wanted to before then? I think that would be nice. I have a bucket list but I’m not sure I’ll ever do anything that’s on it. It would be nice if I was able to do just one. Only one. That would be really nice. Really nice. Timer go off already! I have less than two minutes. Why does time always go slowly when you’re waiting for it. It’s like a woman getting dressed – or so I hear. I can get dressed in two or three minutes if I already know what I’m wearing. Shopping. Yeah that’s it. It’s like a woman who’s shopping. Takes forever. Last few seconds and I’m listening to The Script. I like them. Oh! Time’s up. It was nice talking to you. :) P.S. Is this free writing if it was edited? I proofread it and corrected a few things.