By Johnathon Lee
I wish I could shake it away, but I know that it’s all that I have. All that I am.
In alternating motions of madness and clarity, I spin through the days. She is my ground, but she’s groundless too. She longs as I long, and we circle together. Good company.
My thoughts are like mosquitos puncturing my thinnest parts, sucking me dry whenever I stop moving for too long. “Why? How? What? What the hell? I’m a pointless POS. Worthless. Mentally challenged. Why? How? What the fuck?”
Overload has no refuge. Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed and all their little magical minions are like the balls of a eunuch in those moments. All the training, all the mindfulness, meditation and compassion are like damp ashes sinking in mud. All of this makes it hard to get things done around the house.
I can take care of the cats, but there’s rarely enough of me leftover to do much else. My days off from work are not a relaxing recharge. They’re when I’m forced to confront the simmering hell that’s been cooking in me all week.
I used to have escapes.
Even a year ago I could find peace in the sky, the river and the trees. Now, the sky is blinding. The trees stand like jagged against it like moss covered headstones, and the river flows dumbly by. I walk with my eyes down. I don’t want anyone to see me.
Through it all I can feel the old ache, the fist in my heart that I’ve never been able to unclench on my own, and I silently plead to her eyes: please help me. I curl into a ball on my bed, my aging cat lying on my side. The tears fall silently onto my pillow, and I reach for the sweet dreams I used to know.
I know that you’re like me too—at least a little.
At least at times. I’m your lonely moments. I’m your impulsive mistakes. I’m your desperate search for something more. I’m the silence that falls around you when you’re in a crowded room, when you suddenly realize that you’re alone.
I’m moonlight on a frozen lake. I’m the scent of rain carried on the breeze from miles away. I’m the you that begs, and that finds sudden beauty among the rot.
In my darkest moments, no Bodhisattvas come to me.
Her smile floats before my mind, and I remember that life is as good as it is bad, as beautiful as it is ugly, and that this pain is the price I pay to fly among the angels.
Icarus laughs like a lunatic, but I know one thing above all else, one thing that keeps me remaking my wings: it’s all worth it.
Editor: Dana Gornall
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