“We dream in our waking moments, and walk in our sleep.” -Nathaniel Hawthorne
It feels as if I spend all day running from my own mind. Some feelings seem too big, too overwhelming. I shudder at their presence, upon sensing their weight and their terrible depths. To me they seem like an ocean. They hurdle themselves violently into my chest, like angry waves upon rocks, they pull themselves backward into the depths of my stomach, they tie it into knots. Other times, they feel still, all too still. Like dark water. You don’t need to jump in to know they run deep, that many things hide beneath that inky surface. You don’t want to think about them. You turn your eyes away.
I lay down. Drew says goodnight, I love you. He always does. I stare at the ceiling, take breath in, and feel it settle there on my chest. They have caught up to me. They are home once again.
I fear them. I run from them. I can never seem to manage to shake them away. I have a strange and unsettling sense that one day I may break beneath the burden.
I am distracted, constantly. My existence is leaping from one distraction to another. Day dreams, playing made-up conversations in my mind with characters both fiction and reality – Some a blend of both. It embarrasses me, to think about someone gaining access to this strange and scattered world that dwells just behind my eyes.
Does everyone do this? I wonder, does everybody have a world of thoughts that nobody else will ever access? I think they do, can only assume so. It comforts me. It disturbs me. Do I really know anyone? Does anyone really know me? Why do I think about these things? None of it changes anything.
Each night, I tell myself stories to trick myself to sleep. It hasn’t been working lately. But that seems to be a new theme, nothing working the way it used to. I learned once that your body regenerates itself every 7 years. I since learned that this is untrue, though our cells are regenerating all of the time. It’s just that I feel entirely new, a different creature than before.
Or maybe it’s just that I’m learning to accept what I’ve been all along.
The stories aren’t working anymore. Each one just leads me to a chasm. Deep, yawning into the depths of the earth. And there I stand, so small in comparison, at its edge. I try to think about something else, but can’t seem to tear myself away. And then I am falling. This is not a dream. I am not asleep. But I am falling. My heart races, a rush of adrenaline burns through my legs.
It has a name, that chasm. It is uncertainty.