Oh this light. It’s a bit too bright.
Sometimes, I like to sit in a crowd and get lost in it. It’s easy to feel comfortable when you can hide in plain sight. Sometimes, I’ll look at a mirror. I’ll count the rolls I see, gaze at my stomach that got a little bigger than I wanted. In the crowd, I study the movements of an old man. He’s frail but trying his best to hide it. His slightly tattered coat lets me know that he doesn’t wear it because he wants to but because it’s the only coat he has. My hair is still black and coming in full thankfully. Though I don’t know how long that’ll last. I try to imagine the way it looked when I was younger but it’s much too long now. I wear it in a tail because it’s easier then fussing… When did I become so raggedly tired? I feel a jarring force on my foot and look up, stunned. A young man brushes by, in a panic. “Sorry!” I hear him yell as he trips over a few more feet. He shuffles quickly with a slight limp. Sports maybe? Or a wild night out? That must be it. I groan as I notice the bags under my eyes. When…..when did I get these? Oh right, I tossed and turned last night. Too cold, too hot, how am I going to pay for things? My bills are due. I’m hungry, I’m tired, go to sleep. The last thing I remember when I fell asleep was how tired I was. Yes tired. But she was holding on to her mother with the determination only a 6 year old trying to keep up with her mother would. As soon as they sat down she plopped into her mother lap and threw her arms around her neck. I smile politely. The mother smiles back. The daughter is out like a light. Oh this light. It’s a bit too bright. But I guess it’s good when you’re trying to survey the damage years have done. Not that I’m that old, just….I guess I never thought I’d feel this way but here we are. I wonder how she could have ever fallen in love with me. “Where is she?” he wonders out loud. I look down the way to see a pretty woman also looking around and I realize they are looking for each other. He’s wearing a Military dress Uniform. I adjust my neck. It hurts, but I’m excited to see two lovers meet again after a long time. My heart drops just as quickly as the woman does. The man stands above her, and as he turns I see it. A letter in his hand. His jaw clenches as he reaches out. The woman begins to wail. I cannot hear what she cries but I know what has happened. I look once more into that mirror. I smile and adjust my posture. I’m alive and I should be happy. I am, I tell myself. I know the sadness behind my eyes gives that away so I raise my eyebrows a bit. It’s the one thing I know that usually fools people. I’ll just keep moving forward I say. I stand up from my place. I’ve seen too many things today. I look over at the mother. She’s asleep but the daughter looks at me and waves as if actually saying good bye. I smile, I wave and move forward through the crowd. Maybe tomorrow will bring something better.
I woke up. It’s already late. 1pm. I look at my wife laying next to me and smile. I remember the day. It’s mother’s day. I remember in sharp detail that I live with my parents. I can’t help but feel like I’m dragging my partner down in life. My chest heaves and I feel sick. This is a recurring thought. It comes when I wake up. Every day. But today I should be happy. I am thankful. My mother, I think to myself, must be at church. I imagine that the priest is just finishing up communion. My mother, fussing with my sister. Keeping her happy and content. She’s always been good at keeping my sister happy and content. In fact, she’s always been good at keeping most of her family happy and content. That sickly feeling comes back again. This time I remember all the times I was suffering from a bout of stress or depression. The amount of times I pushed her away because I didn’t know what else to do. I don’t like it when she sees me weak. It’s a silly thought. She saw me at my weakest before. I chalk it up to some macho man thought. My wife spurs me awake. She says we’re supposed to meet my family at our favorite Chinese restaurant for lunch. Depression hits hard again. But I push through. I think of my mom and I get up. I realize how much I think of my mom when I need a push. I hope she knows how much I love her. Sometimes I hope I know how much I love her. It’s a strange feeling to think that I have to remind myself actively. I think…. I think something is wrong with me but I wave the feeling away. I sink ever so slightly into the foam that comprises my bed as I roll to the edge. A tuft of fur pushes against me. My cat reminds me gently that he’s here. I’d like to think he loves me. I hope he does. It’s mother’s day. And here I am hating myself and loving my mother. It’s a pattern. One I trapped myself into many years before. I think of her face. Like my grandma’s now. She’s getting just a bit older. But she’s still beautiful. I love her. I hate that I hide so much of myself away but maybe I’m just scared she won’t understand. My wife checks in on me, nudging me to get up. Was I not already? No I’m still sinking into the foam. I wake up and take a deep breath. Happy mothers day. Thank you mom for unknowingly pushing me to keep going. The sun’s bright. I think of her smile.
I take a moment to pause
The world moves around me, time doesn’t stand still. It moves, flows, ebbs, and slows, but never stops.
I’m stopped. My emotions consume me. My sadness washes over me. My happiness flits around me. Anger coincides deep within. Cracked like glass, the sections of self permeate with different thoughts and break and reconnect over and over.
The next moment. I am broken. The next moment. I am whole. I look around and I am no longer paused. Everything else seems to be.
A woman next to the building looks distraught, holding her phone to her ear. Biding time holding on hope that the next few words bring solace. I can only speculate. The man 2 balconies up, one hand flailing, the other clenched. Screaming obscenities into an open door. The pure unadulterated joy beaming from a child’s face, arm wrapped around a plush. The father and mother smiling as she makes her way toward them. First steps? I wonder.
Pause. Paused to take a moment in. Realizing we all stop time when we need to even though time is never stopped. Paused. Paused within a perception each of us holds. We live each in our own minds. Time doesn’t stop. We stop time.
It’s an interesting thing
You know what’s strange? We as humans have this weird tendency to be both complimentary and depreciate at the same time. Scouring the internet and forums, i see so many different examples of this. We always seem to want to see someone succeed but if that person succeeds too much, we call for their downfall. We wish others to be happy but when someone we deem unworthy of being happy becomes happy, we become angry. It’s a strange symptom of being a human. And to top it off, many people no longer try to rise above this train of thought. They just jump on and ride it without thinking of consequences or action. It feels like a product of the internet. We have keyboard warriors on all side flexing digital muscle, posturing and showing themselves to be the alpha when in reality, they live these small lives in which the internet is where they get their only attention. It’s all a bit unsettling. I am by no means blaming anyone or anything in general. Mostly just musing on what I’ve observed. It’s an interesting thing.
Rain is the most wonderful thing in the world. The sound of it can make any trouble wash away. I love the rain.
As written by someone who is struggling to be more positive every day.
I am, by no means, a positive person; At least not in the conventional sense. Yes, I am prone to moments of being chipper and peppy, but those moments are interlaced with long stretches of malaise, indifference, and cynicism. If you know how this feels, you know just how stressful and annoying these times can be. It is especially dismaying when you experience these things at a party when you are supposed to be enjoying time with friends. If this seems to be the norm for you well I can confidently say that hey, it’s ok. This is normal for us. I compare it to a toy running out of battery. I don’t think that I’m negative at heart, but I do feel that my positivity reserves need a little bit of tweaking; But these moments, these quiet minutes where we just allow ourselves to feel…..sad? Angry? These moments are essential. It’s not something that a lot of people understand, especially those who find being positive to come naturally, but they are completely essential. In these moments, we recharge. I know that when I have these quiet moments with my wife, I recharge quicker and can sustain my happiness longer and that helps; and when you’re having fun, even with others, your battery just finds a way to stay happy longer. Laughter, appreciation, love, all of these things sustain us, but to get to these moments, we have to recharge. We have to have quiet moments. We have to have negative experiences because those make positive experiences all the sweeter. So if you find yourself falling into sadness, just hold on tight and know you’ll be ok. We’re all stronger for it!