I find my fists clenched when I think about my future, what it looks like, playing out scenarios in my head. It’s when I feel my fingernails dig into the inside of my hands that I realize I am trying hard to grasp onto something that is not, and may not ever be real. Holding onto this pretentious reality does give me the feeling of hope, and I keep my fists clenched. I think I want it, I like the feeling of it. I feel a part of this far off reality, and I am doing all I can to stay in it. But soon, I notice the hold in my thighs, the curl of my toes, and the clench of my jaw. I begin to feel my tense muscles ease as I become aware of them. I let out a breath as all my muscles relax and I sink back into the bed I am lying on, the fan vibrates the wood floor, the heating unit hums with the music that is playing softly from my speaker across the room. I lie in my real reality as my daydreams fade out of my mind like smoke. As it clears, doubt stands before me, even as I close my eyes. He stands there like a brick wall, tall and strong. It’s when I try to shove him away that I notice he is more like rubber, strong and sturdy, he sways slightly but bounces back into his place. Hope and doubt live in the same room, and I feel like I need to get out of there. It’s in the corner of my eye where I see a way out, away from doubt, away from hope. They both present me with questions that I don’t know how to answer. It’s in that corner that I find the truth, or what I think it should be. I walk around doubt and make sure I don’t raise my gaze too high in fear I’ll catch a glimpse of hope and get lost in it like a plane in the clouds. Walking forward toward what is, now, is the only thing left I can think of doing. I find the place where I can live far enough away from the two that I almost forget they’re there. It’s in the now, that’s where I choose to be.
It’s what you feel when you aren’t doing anything. You feel parts of yourself that you forgot were there. It’s in the moment that you feel the wind blowing your flyaway hairs, you hear a quiet that is louder than the world around you. The world where people are yelling, cars are honking, and machines are machining. You realize that quiet is the thing you have been running from, or hiding from. Because once quiet finds you, you find yourself consumed in its loudness. You see the dust floating in the air in the beams of the sun. You hear those thoughts in your head that haven’t had the chance to come forward with all the other noise going on up there. You scare yourself in that way. Seeing something that has always been there, right in front of you, shows you that you are more ignorant, more distracted than you prefer.
It’s a necessary thing that is more underrated, forgotten, neglected, and relied on least when it comes to self-care. Thinking that the noise of life, the sounds of people, of music, of traffic, of nature, of games, of movies, of cooking, of conversation is more substantial to our growth than what quiet, what slowness, what reflecting on what has happened to us, is the kind of thinking that causes us to stay in an unnoticeable rut. We become ignorant to things in life because we actively portray our lives through the noise, the happenings, that we go through.
But when the happenings are over and we find ourselves naked we find ourselves in a place that meets us with either familiarity or hostility with a pushback that we filter with drugs, alcohol, and Netflix. We neglect ourselves of the quiet that we need, that others around us need us to have. We lie to ourselves, or more we don’t get to know ourselves. The time we are offered to familiarize ourselves with the why’s, the how’s, and the hmm’s become a mind-numbing buzz that becomes detrimental to the foundation we stand on.
The quiet can be where you find out what is important to you. It’s where you realize what you want. It’s where you see what you don’t want to deal with anymore. It’s where you see through the bullshit of the world that you surround yourself with. Or, it’s where let your mind wander. You may find nothing in the quiet, and that’s part of the deal.
The thing about this quiet though, it’s not only part of the auditory sense of the definition, but really all the senses. It’s the stillness you find around you. It’s the taste that you find on your tongue. It’s what you see beyond the bullshit.
It’s what you notice.
Taking time to notice things is more rare than I think most are aware of. So easily we are distracted by the touchscreens we have so close to our fingertips. So quick we are to jump into a conversation just to be a part of it. It’s hard to stand back because, shit, what if somebody notices?
You think she is just a happy girl eating ice cream. She has a smile on her face as she walks through the crowd of happy people watching the outdoor concert. So yeah, you wouldn’t question where her smile stems from.
But there’s something else to her story, like there usually is.
She wishes her story could be as simple as it looks. She wishes that moment in the crowd was an easy smile.
What you missed was the person walking ahead of her, the person she was following. The distance between them grew. She couldn’t see his face, so she held her own expression. She wore a smile, and she remembers it felt good.
As his strides got longer, she felt more alone. But, she realized she was on her own the whole time anyway, so she continued to smile.
She decided to feel the grace of the moment around her. When she passed other people, she saw a joy that she couldn’t help but smile with. She felt the passion of the music being played on the stage behind her and she couldn’t help but sway with it. She had a smile on her face and as she looked at the people she was passing by, they smiled back at her. She was living in a moment, and it looked easy.
But the person walking ahead of her must have had a different determination. When she turned to watch a song that caught her attention, he didn’t follow. With a hard face, he stood his ground. Maybe it was because he couldn’t hear the same piano she heard when she was a kid and feel the joy that song always gave her. He didn’t feel the sacred melody that moved through everybody else in the crowd. Even so, why did he have to stay back?
She turned back to him thinking he’d be by her side, but instead found him 5 paces away standing there, waiting for her. She gave him a playful smile inviting him to join her, but I guess he didn’t see it. He only came up to her to tell her “c’mon let’s go.” She bit her lip, held her breath while she took a spoonful of her ice cream, took one more gaze at the stage, and turned around to go with him. It was the pivot of her foot that sent her in a direction away from that moment. But she didn’t protest. She took another bite of her ice cream and continued to sway with the music as she walked behind him. She swayed and sang up the steps, through the entrance, up the elevator, and to their door. She stopped when the door shut behind her and she found herself in the quietest room in the whole building.
He doesn’t even realize what he just silenced.
The man who walks ahead of her doesn’t seem to care. He couldn’t know her because he never turns around to see her.
He says she’s crazy.
He doesn’t know that is the worst thing she could hear from him.
She’s become exhausted, over time. Exhausted trying to show him the good, what she sees. She feels like she’s screaming at the top of her lungs, but no, she’s standing in front of him struggling to get the right words out. With him like this, her heart feels like it drops into the acid of her stomach, over and over again.
You see, it’s not an easy smile.
I’d hate to burst your bubble so let me elevate you to a level of understanding.
You’re so quick to the tongue that your teeth are in the way for words to find a landing.
You are a tie-dye kept together with the rubber bands of someone else’s bindings.
You spit out words of a person before.
It’s so quick that you don’t even notice their reflection in your mirror.
I bet that rotten taste in your mouth
is left over from when you went south.
You have your bubble and world of mime.
Let’s play bumper cars, I know I’ll have a good time.
It hit me like a slingshot to the neck. It has been something sitting in the back of my mind along with the other maybes. Occasionalally I’ll pluck one of those ideas up like a claw machine. But, often like a claw machine does, the idea is dropped as soon as it is picked up.
The aim of this slingshot was so particular that I couldn’t help but look at it with intrigue. As I delved more into the idea, I found my interest rising as if I was on a hike and getting closer to the summit. I found this idea offered a purpose worthy of being more than just a thought.
When this happens, intuition had found its way up through your guts. You have a decision to make. You allow your guts to lead you to a place you don’t know yet, or you let the feeling subside, just as you do when overcoming a hangover. As you ignore this new vision, the idea will loom with you, making you uncomfortable and even sick. But, it will pass, and the intuition that once held you lets go. But take a drink again. Intuition has a possibility of rising up and being there. You just have to drink the right juice, play that claw machine enough, and turn your head when something hits you in the neck.
It was the day when you said nothing that spoke the loudest.
In that same day, I felt a chill pass through me. It must have been your ghost.
The words stuck on the tip of my tongue toppled over the brim of my lips and fell.
Heavy like a weighted lure, they found the ground quick.
I walked right over them, lifting my legs high.
I felt a cold push on my back, and I propelled myself forward.
It’s freaky how accurate my zodiac sign is. Today my horoscope warned me of the power of Murphy’s law. Its power not being much of a power but a warning in of itself stating that “what can go wrong will go wrong.”
I laughed at this.
Murphy’s law is a joke I have with myself. I feel Murphy. I feel him good and often. He’s the one who taught me to expect the worse. He’s the one who showed me what the back of my head looks like.
While he takes almost everything, he gives one thing.
He’s given me strength in ways I never wanted nor expected. Preparation for a downfall—doesn’t get more romantic than that.
He’s stripped me down to just my skin too many times to count. No matter what I decorate myself with he’ll get his long fingers on me and rip away what I think I know. He’s shredded my conceptions, cut my legs off at my knees, and replaced my eyeballs with grey ones leaving me to look up watching the pieces of my life scatter across the sky.
It would be easy to name him my enemy.
But in its definition, an enemy is a thing that harms or weakens something else. So while Murphy’s ability to harm is uncanny, his power to weaken carries a more complicated definition.
Murphy is no enemy of mine. He’s a companion who walks beside me showing me what there is to see. He has no bias, no opinion, and no voice. He walks discriminating against no one as he carries the truth.
He is the threshold of fairness whether we like it or not.