She scoffed at my gloves and mask as I walked through the door and when I was forced to check out of her line I prepared myself for her scolding.
“You know this is all a hoax right? They’re trying to turn this place into a fucking police state”
I continued unloading my things off my cart, “Yea who knows right?”
“What do you mean who knows? That’s the damn truth.” Her fury building, her exhaustion showing.
“Well, I guess we’ll just have to see what happens right? Not much we can do at this point.”
She slammed my groceries into bags, “Yea let’s all sit back and let our rights be stripped out from under us like those fucking Chinese while you monkeys run around scared in masks and gloves.”
I sighed, “Can you take it easy with my fucking bread, you got it all smashed and I’m looking forward to a sandwich tonight. Also, I’m not interested in arguing with you lady, we are all wondering what the fuck is going on and none of us have the answers.”
She grabbed my bread and started punching her fist into it. Not surprised at all I watched her assault the one ingredient I needed to make the sandwich that was going to make this week feel seemingly easier. I felt the customers behind me becoming even more unsettled and ready to pounce at the blind opportunity to defend something so much bigger than my shitty bread.
The manager walked over horrified at the sight apologizing profusely and all I could think was how much we need to make mental health a priority in this shit country. All I could think about is how sad it is that we continue to point our fingers in the wrong directions. All I could think about was how I still needed to buy some damn bread for my delicious sandwich.
Light peeking through the curtains, I smile with a sigh of relief. Today, I can see you, I even went to the roof to admire your rise. Making up for all the days your presence fails to penetrate my pit, Not today, I can see you sun, I mean really see you. Please, please stay.
I thought I was waiting, I thought I was late, Merely because my thoughts were wrapped in time, in a state. Only to unveil that everything I am is punctual, Is exactly where I’m supposed to be. And this time, time, time, That we continue to weaponize against ourselves, Is the exactly what has halted us from the present, From the growth, From the real magic that exists inside and outside our realms.
Contemptuously conditioned to stuff extremely complicated subjects into tiny boxes. Hoarding what’s ours and hissing at anyone who questions, No, threatens! I don’t believe that some are tougher than others. Sensitivity is the nature of our species, Some of us are just better liars, Cloaking ourselves in more acceptable emotions like indifference, anger, annoyance. Because most of us have souls that fled somewhere in the early chaos, Leaving our hearts exposed to whatever change of wind life decides to blow.
“Are you stressed?” She folded her arms in concern. I shook my head, “I don’t think so.” We both looked down at my nails bitten and bloody and then back at each other, Silence. The creases of my mouth began to lift and I smiled for the first time in days.
It’s true that the body keeps count, And in this moment I was reminded. I was taught that lesson of how deep it efforts to keep us safe from what we can’t bare. And I suppose in this moment, Alone in the middle of Thailand, While being massaged by a sweet stranger, It was time to face the void. Silent and stiff, I watched the buried scenes of the seizure of me. And just as the heart pumps blood out and through every vein, I saw the poison of this event inject itself into my most innocent and hopeful powers. This is dissociation. What is time to healing? It simply doesn’t conform to our impossible standards. Because trauma has the ability to bend time, jumping forwards and backwards. I have to remind myself that there’s no limit to healing. There’s no magical pill or retreat or shaman that can McFix the complexities of our pain. And the delays that seem long and overplayed are merely it’s premeditated punctuality. I have to remind myself that this feeling, this dethawing, although at times uncomfortable, is a hell of a lot better than the paralysis.
She likes the view from on top. Classy woman. Exhausted from pretending, she strips all that is moral as the front door closes. And while night grows longer she scowls towards the bottom of the hill. Babbling to no one while smearing her red lipstick all over her wine glass. She doesn’t notice and wouldn’t care if she did, This is her bloody house! Nails long and made for pointing, Even the furniture inching its way towards the door. Messy girl. Finally, the bottle tucks her sloppy ass in with a kiss on the cheek and lovingly whispers, “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
A society obsessed with creatives, actors, musicians, writers, Yet we discourage ourselves, our family, our friends to participate. We even mock those creating for not having a “real” job, for not taking life seriously. Unless the art is making lots of money then we say, “Great job, create away!”
Children, allowed only to a certain age, coloring, dancing, dressing up, all their favorites. Then we take all that creative love they have worked so hard to nurture, and we yank it right out from their hands and tell them “No more!”
Failure is not an option little one, Now sit your ass down and get to work. You will make a fantastic consumer one day, You will make a fantastic soldier one day,
The American Dream. Where we spend our entire lives working and making money for others with an inch of hope that we might get to visit Florida one day.
Florida. And we wonder why we have an epidemic of depressed adults.
Thoughts lag coming to an abrupt halt, heavy and hollow, Eyes paralyzed staring at something, Seeing nothing. Air releases entirely from the lungs, Taking a light head to remind me to breathe. Body numbing, Stomach falling, and cheeks flushed to the ghost that has just reappeared.
Snap out of it, Stay positive. An idea, a mistaken belief, That this springs from nurturing negative thoughts, That we allow ourselves to feel so much that we’re swallowed whole by the dark.
What they don’t know is that this dark, is not dark at all, It’s being paralyzed in the in-between, Kidnapped in broad daylight.
What they don’t know is that it dances in ruthlessly at times when it’s least invited, A needle slowly deflating even the most optimistic, colorful of the bunch.
The truth is, depression, is feeling absolutely nothing.
Can you think of anything more terrifying than feeling nothing?
It’s a suffocation that tricks you into believing you will be stuck feeling nothing forever, That is until it finally releases its grip.
Like most things, it comes in waves, subtle or strong, and in order to survive, we have to remember to hold on tight while the worst of it passes.