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Pushing the Glass

Miscellaneous By: jrshaff

Okay, long and short, this was originally a MySpace blog. The summary is also from that. These are just weird pieces I write sometimes, and until I get them out of my system, my mind will allow nothing else to be written.

Every now and then, I get this awkward feeling, you know, just before I'm about to write something. It differs depending on the type of writing I do. If it's expository, I feel something like cynicism, or like I'm being fried like an egg. Just before writing fiction, I feel eyes upon me, like I'm being watched by the dead. Before writing a poem, I used to feel either like I was bleeding, or like there was a kind of breeze running by me. Once in a while, I get this feeling like something bouncing around inside of me. These kinds of projects are hard to define, surreal at times, and usually heavy with some kind of metaphor and overloaded with prose. In order for me to write them, I usually have to turn my mind off and not know what I'm writing, at least not completely, until I've completed. Other authors have spoken of stranger things: Stephen King spoke of hearing a song, which he called Ves' Kah Gan (the Song of the Turtle). I guess it's a little bit like that. This is one of those I've felt bouncing around recently. Um, yeah...

Submitted:Aug 27, 2008    Reads: 80    Comments: 4    Likes: 2   

When you feel like you're standing on the outside of a glass cube looking in, and no
matter how hard you push on the glass it doesn't budge, give, move, or even show any sign
of persuasion, where do you turn? You look within yourself, and the lesser, the meager, and the
insecure blame themselves. Some of them blame God or life, or attribute this disaster to
some intangible construct or force so they can be founded in their loss of interest.
Others like to blame the situation, and that's where I stand.

You know what you must do, push through the glass, or break it, or maybe it's dig
underneath it. Even still, it's a messed up situation, like a long-drawn joke without a
punchline. Some are laughing because they are on the inside, and others tell you you will
get on the inside, and others try to offer some half-assed assistance toward getting
there, but if you're like me you shrug them off. Sure, they mean well, but this is your
challenge, and the victory should be yours, and why let them spoil it? Why let them have
the glory so they can hang it over your head like they surely would. Though, wouldn't all
of us?

What assails you is you, and only you. You scrape yourself off the bed every morning, eat
something half-heartedly, and shuffle out the door at a semi-decent time, sometimes a bit
late, and some of those mornings the birds sing, everything falls into place, all of your
plans are met, love is requited, harmony is in place, and no one bites your ass about
anything. Then the other days arrive, you always seem to step in dog shit before getting
mugged, finding you locked your keys in the car and your spare key in the house, the guys
that mugged you took your cell phone, and right now the girl you've kind of been seeing is
trying to call you to break it all off. You can sense it through the wireless signals,
and even through all this you try to get to work beaten and half-trodden. Upon arriving,
you get written up, you stink from that lengthy exercise in the sun without the benefit of
the deodorant you forgot to put on after taking a shower, you find that your work equipment is
in the shop, all of your associates either call in or weren't scheduled, and you forgot to
sign that important piece of government paper and send it out this morning. You're in
deep shit, you reek of the road, your ears ring from din of life all around you, and
you're tired of the criticism you've come to expect. Sometimes, this is your day, maybe
not so drastic, but it happens. Always does.

But even through all this, you know you need to push that glass aside, because this is
your true calling. Inside the glass is just as important as what lies beyond it, in the
mist. You know your true calling is there, but you cannot reach it without breaking the
glass. As you watch everyone else push through, you can't help but feel a mix of glee
that best friends are past it, that your family is waiting on the other side, and that you
now feel even more empowered because if they can do it, why can't you? Still, it persists
in not moving, and half of you feels the bitterness you always sweep away repristinate and
drive its claws back into you.

Some fall into these pits and never recover. I find that the further I fall, the further
I rise. Since I've come to grips with this, I've never truly lost ground. The drive to
accomplish, the want to pull forward, to see what's through the walls and within the mist
grows stronger, but it will only be of any good once the walls are cleared. Now is the
time you make your decision: let that bitterness win again, or stand up to it.

I chose to stand up, and I won. It hasn't been able to get a foothold since. I asked,
"Do I heal my heart, or leave the broken pieces to dilapidation?" I chose the former. I
ask myself now what I will do to push through the glass, and I still do not know, but it
must be cleared. If there is to be any peace, if there is to be any finality and movement
to the beyond, it must be this way.

I feel the old, rheumy itch of that bitterness return now and again, and always it asks me
why I exercise such futility. I know the alternative, to sit on the sidelines as a shell
and let the mist go unventured. All that I have been taught cannot be cosmic coincidence,
all that I hold dear truly rings of something stronger than the force to break this glass,
all that I use to propel myself forward, the quotes and the memories, are like bullets in
the chamber of a revolver that I clutch at my side for just the arrival of this itch. It
asks me again why I exercise futility, and I tell it that to exercise it and die trying is
even still far greater than sitting at the side and never having known the struggle.

I would rather fight than die, and I would rather die than do nothing. You can follow the
logic to the conclusion, like following the ball of yarn out a simple labyrinth.

But a simple and insane thought occurs to me, comes to me as if by ropes and pulleys of a
rustic stage: "What if you are pushing on the wrong side of the glass?" To push from the
other side is ludicrous, but whoever said ludocrisy was entirely impossible? These are
odds I'm not unaccustomed to, but perhaps simple pushing will not be enough. There is
time to try and remember those bullets at my side, and to grow and become what is
necessary to clear this wall.


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