somewhere, footsteps plod along a city sidewalk. windows are lit behind edges of curtains and ears of dogs and awkwardly high bar stools adorned with yellowed, wilted philodendrons. at this hour, everyone wears sweatpants and unlaced tennis shoes and cover their heads with hoods and hats and headphones as they stand in awnings and on porch steps in the silence of night as they take drag after drag after drag of a cigarette. they say you can quit if you want to. but we don’t want to.
inside our minds, the world is not so quiet. the distant howling of an ambulance fails in comparison to the wretched little monsters lurking in our subconscious. they yell and scream. they hint and whisper. they burn and they freeze. they wind up and break down. you are not good enough they say why did you do that? our thoughts are runaway wild-west horse carriages and sometimes the monsters rein us in, halting us abruptly only to remind us you will never be as good as he is. what’s the fucking point? and then the carriage lurches forward and resumes its crazy speed and our minds spin and twirl like wheels and the monsters line up on the sidelines of the gladiator stadium screaming YES! NO! WHY?! NEVER! YOU CAN! YOU NEVER WILL! and then silence.
if you find a monster in your closet, you’ll look for him every single night until the day you die. if the monster lives in your head he cannot leave. even in moments of stillness you scan and search and seek for the evil you know is lurking somewhere. true sleep is a figment.
sometimes, we forget our monsters and feel happiness flowing through us like rain.
we cherish those moments. we forget the worry and forget the fear and the pain and the pain and the pain and the pain. toothy smiles and hair tosses and laughter and YES! complete weightlessness. levity. horizons filled with sunsets and sunrises and skies with stars and the arms of blue-eyed men and hazel-eyed girls. these moments.
but the mind turns. the reins clenched once again by ragged claws as we are pulled into blackness. thrown out onto city sidewalks to ignore strangers and take drag after drag of a cigarette. to look down at our feel and ignore the heavens. to bow in shame. to regret everything. to feel sadness in our bones for having lost nothing, and having lost everything.
the cyclical nature of psychological screaming can vary second to second or month to month. but tread safely – there are straights and narrows and winding roads that never end. we often dream of a change. we swallow small, colorful things every night and every morning to derail our carriage and cage our monsters. but our minds are not composed of steel or iron or brick. they are soft, a maze of delicate muslin pulsing slowly in the breeze of consciousness. they are fleeting. delicate. fragile. and someday, they all might come unraveled.