I was a child once, clothed in fair white flesh with a hat made with brunette hair and thin blonde highlights weaved beneath follicles. I was a child with a heart that circulated blood in accordance with my brain, and with a brain which believed in the narcissistic, idealistic illusion of complete bodily control in compliance with my rhythmic heart. They worked together to create a mass with life and a life with mass.
I was a teenager once as well, with my natural human attire somewhat torn and tattered at the seams. I had torn it, and it was my mind which brought me to do such a thing. Cells rebuilt my clothes and I would dirty them. Cells would regenerate my skin and I would burn holes in it. I was a teenager with a heart that no longer agreed with my brain. It would push platelets up to heal the scars my brain had caused only to realize automatically that there were more. I was a teenager with a brain that no longer respected my heart. It would slash at the mass without sensing life, and it would end life without realizing it would waste mass.
Now I am an adult. My brain can end my heart by force. My heart can end my brain with luck. My hands can alter what I look like, and my eyes can change how I feel. But now I am an adult, and my body floats in different places, arguing, disagreeing, and wondering when the chaos will end. How many bodies does an adult have? Each can or cannot tell you. Children have one, teenagers have two, and adults can have many. But now I am an adult and I don’t feel human anymore.
All day I had suppressed that flickering flame in my esophagus as it deposited little bursts of choler past my larynx. I had beamed in the rays of a blinding sun I’d barely stepped outside to reach, all the while wishing discreetly and vehemently for its light to cease and for my body to collapse before the fading spectacle eight minutes after it happened somewhere far past the stratosphere.
There I was, within a foot of the room where the meeting was held. I could have been in my own head, with its endlessly-expanding depth in terms of thought-space, and I could have been feeling passionate about what I had done so far and what I was going to do in the future and all of the rest; but then, where was I?
Where was I, with the walls of the buildings closing in on me from both sides and the dome-sky’s dimming light being controlled by an astral hand? Where was I, with those dilapidated walls and chain-link fences from my elementary school, those immature and superficial people from my middle school, and those seemingly long-lost memories from high school already embedded so deeply into my perception of reality?
I was in my usual place, within the confines of a single relative plateau in the coordinates set by the Earth, and farther beyond, on what I conceptualize as an elliptical hyperplane being manipulated by the added dimension of space-time in which it floats. I was enclosed inside the feasible region of my mind, with its mundane, everyday notions causing a boring sense of panic, which caused me to anxiously jam my bike pedals on my somewhat erratic ride home.
Exasperated, I pushed myself onward until my muscles stiffened so I could hardly tighten them and my breath was that of a sickly baby into an oxygen mask. I desperately desired only to fall to the side, leaving my bike behind — I aimed to sink beneath the grass so I could dissolve in the loamy stomach of my Mother, eventually disintegrating into fluid soil for her veins. I followed the path we paved, however, and now I am inside. Where will I be tomorrow, anyway, and where do I go after that?
Where even am I now?
The smoothed-down networks of silken, yellowish light comprise the Antarctic morning. Every new hour, I can feel the masses awakening within the bounds of an invisible, jagged, erratic, makeshift latitude line, rising so high above their relative ground that they distort the space beneath me, inducing my pressured, clouded stupor. A blizzard of stillness entangles my arms due to my lack of sleeves, for they were part of something that smelled foul which I cast off when it was morning in California. I step forward, and, in exchange, shift my shoulders one millimeter forward from the abetting pull of a lonely ghost from the other side of the planet. Giving in and giving out, I decide not to rebel against the strings embedded in my jaw, manipulated by paranormal hands. Numbly, my head cocks left and right, allowing the light to amalgamate into silent, fiery spotlights, working to scatter the attention of an imaginary audience so much that they chatter and snicker to themselves inaudibly. The dried droplets on my lenses form circular disks ahead of me, which would be tangible if not for the frigid fog creeping around all that is inanimate.
There is a superficial light about the buildings that arms have built, and there is a deepening darkness lingering about the faces which control arms that now rest upon the bright and once-promising surfaces inside them. I am enclosed in soundless, speechless warmth by the expectations of anyone who dares to look, but it is freezing cold here, and somehow, I know that no one will avert their eyes from their own painful lives only to take on another. A day of pity is enough for any mature soul, and if it isn’t, it is simply a failure to tally into a large enough number on a statistical report to make sweet demise seem as infinitesimally small as life inherently is. A faint aroma lingers in the wind — a mixture of the sweat on loving hands, the spittle of a humorous conversation that lasts an hour, and the cannabis reminiscent of dull living room nights. I shiver in my bed, jerk awake with the force of a thousand souls, and crumble to pieces to sleep, only to be disturbed for the cycle to repeat. There is something lifeless and cold shrouding this world, and I am the grinning queen of the wasteland.
I thought I had finally gotten myself together. I’ve dismissed my predictions of the future as a dysfunctional coping mechanism from my past, coming back to haunt me through dredging my sense of ignorant belief. I’ve justified my current anxieties to myself as callbacks to a time I remember as simpler than now, and the symptoms I exhibit as nothing that can’t be solved chemically and verbally. I thought I had whittled everything down to a personal sort of science. It was verifiable and testable, and able to be explained in oral reports when prompted, spoken like academic journals are written and planned meticulously beforehand.
Those strings of words that came half-naturally and half-awkwardly from my throat are now absent for what I have “seen” for myself. It’s coming, though. I can feel it, and that is my only proof. There is only my understanding. There is nothing for anyone else, and nobody else could comprehend it like I could, but it is approaching, and there is almost nothing I can do. There is no reason to avoid it, but I cannot help but be apprehensive toward it. It is somewhat new, after all. It’s a manifestation of an old idea with new emotions and moving pictures playing behind it, revealing the puncture wounds I’ve endured and plugged over the years and introducing for the first time a gash.
I can only hope it either comes soon or never comes at all.