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.
The deplorable expectation met my gaze and kept it there as I sat thinking about what move to make next. Anything that could make this moment divert from its usual course would fill me with excitement, relief. Because the casualness of it all has started making me so discontent, so unconnected, so indifferent to the outcome that the numbness of it all is scaring me to the point of desertion.
To be somewhere else, to feel something else has become a dream I wake up from as the unfortunate morning realization of my surroundings comes to focus—the reality I have surrendered to.
To be content is less than being happy, it lies just above the buzz ones feels before the body goes into a complete numbness of senses and instincts as alcohol saturates the veins.
The typical “of course,” “saw that coming,” “shit, yup I deserve that,” stutters of the mind come to face the truth in the spotlight of a moment.
Run away from that, run from the hands reaching from the muddy ground trying to keep you there stuck in that moment. We learn to expect the pulling, the grabbing grasps from what was. But we develop calf muscles and we jump, hell, as we leap onto higher ground.
When we reach that spot, we look down at the muddy footprint we leave as we walk forward. With each step that footprint fades to a point of clarity that is almost unrecognizable, one that we aren’t running from, but running with—you can tell by the length of the strides, they get shorter.