When I woke up this morning, it was 6:29 am, one minute before my alarm was set to ring. I groaned and slapped it off.
I could already feel it—the evil thing.
Today is the kind of day where everything is dead inside. Even the sight of my sleeping son failed to give me a static shock of happy. I just stared at him like he was a stranger.
I dragged myself downstairs, going through the motions, hoping that something inside would shift or bloom.
The pancake batter looked like cement. My cup of tea was an affront, acidic yet too sweet. I dumped it after one sip, and watched it swirl down the drain.
I got my son out the door for the bus and trudged back upstairs. The days chores loomed like a dark and unstable tower over the landscape of my mind. Everything was in shadow, shadows defined by darker shadows, darker shadows disappearing into obscure edges that had no end.
How well I know this feeling.
Naming it doesn’t help. It is an evil that resides within me that, at it’s most potent, easily crushes the flimsy defenses I try to throw up against it.
I can’t eat it away, drink it away, drug it away, meditate it away, sleep it away, walk it away, talk it away. It just lays rumbling, breathing its acrid breath and enveloping me in its sour vapors.
It doesn’t matter what the reason is. Doesn’t matter how it came to this. Doesn’t matter that I know it will evaporate, in a day, maybe two. It doesn’t matter if I count my blessings, say my prayers, or whisper the syllables that form the word gratitude to convince myself what is real.
I must simply accept it’s weight. If I let it press me down, and mold me in it’s shape, if I look through it’s hard eyes and feel with it’s hateful heart, perhaps it will be satisfied enough to move on.
But it is so hungry for more.
Who will notice that my skin is the skin of this monster? That as I move and breath, I appear to be me, but I am, in fact, a puppet, driven by a mad puppeteer. Who will help me break my puppet strings, those strong invisible threads like fishing line, which like such stuff, end in deadly hooks speared through my extremities; my hands, my cheek, my lip?
I am the only one who can slice those lines. The only one who can make the puppet stop dancing—because the puppeteer is me.
Maybe tomorrow I’ll be free.
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