Here We Are

August 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

There are certain places in this world lonelier than others. Certain moments when all the other people and all the bright lights and discount deals and frustrating traffic jams melt away, and then there You are. An alien with an aching soul and a heart that won’t stop thumping and banging and keeping the whole thing going.

These experiences used to be terrifying for me. Truly, truly, terrifying. I felt “reality” and “normal” and “stability” slipping away in an instant, and the more I clung the more I felt like I was grabbing at air, a vanished something that had really been nothing to begin with. And the colors really did blend and all the voices of all the people did join in a horrifying chorus, just like in the movies.

I’d be walking through a closing amusement park filled with fading lights and laughter and feel like all the forgotten half-eaten caramel apples laying by the Tilt-a-Whirl. I’d be standing in my bedroom painted pink and green, my favorite colors when I was however old, with a paper achievement award of some kind taped beside a mirror reflecting just some Person, some undiscovered, extraordinary being with that relentless, ruthless heart. Beating, beating. And everything would seem so ridiculous, so completely non-sensical I could laugh, if I wasn’t so horrified. I’d be sitting at the Thanksgiving table with people with bad hairdos who smelled like spilt gravy and onion dip with too much onion. And when a man who was supposed to be some beloved uncle said pass the potatoes, that’s when it would happen. Glasses clinked and neighbors were discussed and inside my heart everything was crashing.

A doctor called it “anxiety.”

I called it “realizing your existence and being like, holy shit.”

I’m a little calmer about these moments now. That is, “less anxious.” Now I just lay by the ocean in the evening with a group of friends or kick pebbles at my elementary school playground and think, yup, Here I Am. Here We Are.

I suppose the only thing that disturbs me about the whole thing is that I feel like the only one doing the realizing. The rest of us are content enough to do other things, like buy designer jeans or kill ourselves over the stock market. Things that distract from the reality of…reality.

And we, the ones who see, are left to rationalize what everyone else has already bought. To pass the potatoes, and let that be that.

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