Bit of me

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

For a long time, life was good for me. I have never cared much for the company of others or drunken nights out. I have always preferred the solitary confinement of my mind. I spent days arguing with characters of my own making and at night I'd imprison them; trap them on pages and watch them squirm. Every one of them, as real as me. Sometimes I would go out into the world to observe and leave a bit of myself with those I do encounter.

I'd visit my local coffee shop. There I would sit, under the furthest umbrella on my favourite chair with a steaming mug, pen, and paper. I would sit there and watch everyone as they pass - completely unaware that they've become part of a reality show. I'd watch how elderly couples lean into each other when they speak to one another as if they're afraid they might never get to hear the end of their companion's sentence. I'd secretly smile as a mother of a young child flushed with embarrassment after being asked, "Mommy, why does that man have such a big nose?" I would take note of the subtle kindnesses strangers often offer one another. I'd frown at the entitled among us as they shove their way through a crowd. And before long, breakfast would have bled into lunch.

I'd dive headfirst off a cliff into the icy depths of a waterfall. I'd dive deep and realize that there is no purpose to depth without light. I'd feel my stomach lurch as the roller coaster reaches its peak, then suddenly I'd be barrelling down to earth and my stomach would drop. But I would laugh, nonetheless. I'd jump out of a plane and free fall, the wind blowing my hair back and the sun beating down on my back as I plummet. Then gently float down and too soon feel my knees pop as the earth welcomes me back. I'd dangle on a string from a bridge as my scream echoes back at me. In these moments my blood would thunder in my ears and I would remember that I am alive; there is a heart pounding away inside of me.

I'd go for unnecessarily long walks. Up mountains, through forests or along beaches. I'd touch every rock and plant, and then I would memorize everything about it. How did it feel? How did it look? What colour was it? Why was it that colour? What did it smell of? I would study it and question it, and before long the sun would be setting on another day well spent.

I would sit around a campfire, under the stars with a warm cup of tea, and I'd wonder how many stars have lost their light because too many wishes weighed them down. I'd imagine myself floating up into space and picking one of the forget-me-nots of the seraphs, I'd put it behind my ear and dance as I yelled back to earth, "Hey, Ma! Look, I made it!" The crickets would sing their ballad as if they too were excited to see it.

I would smell the rain and I'd run outside to see the steam rise from the asphalt. I would run from puddle to puddle and splash because there is a kid in me that hasn't quite outgrown it yet. At that moment I'd know sleep was going to be good. I would know that there would be a fresh, dampness about and it would feel like I was a fairy nestled under a petal in the morning dew.

The 4 PM heat wave would have me restless and I'd sit under the sprinklers in the local park looking for one four-leaf clover. Because if I had enough luck to find one, maybe I'd have enough luck to make it through life with a smile.

I'd walk down the main street and spot the perfect shirt that would go just perfectly with that odd pair of pants that I'm not quite sure where it came from. I'd overspend at the bookstore and buy a pen in every shade because when I plan for my future, I'd like to add colour to the dull parts.

I'd visit the hairdresser and laugh as I imagined all the people who'd look down their nose at me when they beheld my vibrant blue mane. I'd shake my hair and strike fear into the hearts of men and instantly become a hero to every kid.

I'd count the drops of sweat dripping on the tatami mats. One for the asshat that said I won't make it. Two for the dipshit that said I can't make it. Three for the moron that thought I wasn't good enough. Four for the bastard that cut me off in traffic and finally five for the devil that thought he had me. Every punch sheer defiance. Every kick a war cry. Every bloody nose - a reminder that next time I'll have to be stronger.

I'd pull on my skates and fly down the street chasing the rainbow because with a pot of gold I'd make a difference.

I'd walk in the cemetery. I'd read the inscriptions on every headstone that I pass and wonder what kind of life they might have lived. Were they happy? Did they regret it? I would remind myself that this was my life and in it - death is inevitable. I would remind myself to live every day as if I may never get a chance to live another day. Memento Mori forever inscribed on my heart.

I would make outrageous jokes with my friends because I cannot bear the sadness in their eyes. If a jester will get them through the day, I'd juggle eggs and drop each one on my head before rolling in a bag of flour. I'd tell them how legend has it that once there was a grizzly bear that built a ladder of snakes to reach the night sky, he swiped at the dark sky and tore a hole in the darkness which is why today we get to see the Milky Way. I'd tell them about the brave hummingbirds that followed suit and pecked at the night sky to give us the North stars. I'd exhaust every myth and make them believe that this world is capable of magic. Midnight drives in the city were made for us to blast music out the car window to remind the world there is a beat to it. I’d sit on the balcony at 3 AM debating the relevance of entropy or the disastrous consequences of capitalism. I would listen. I would marvel at how everyone I have ever seen has a story as intricate as my own, and I would never know their story. I would learn there is a word for that found only in the dictionary of obscure sorrows. I often wonder what can be heard in the silent pauses between us.

I'd spend all afternoon making heart-shaped pizzas to spend Valentine's day on the floor of my living room, playing Go Fish with my equal because I didn't feel like wearing anything other than my perfectly comfortable panda onesie. I'd sneak a beef stock cube into his shower faucet because I know that soon I'd get a call. Soon I'll be told that the plumber found a beef stock cube in the shower faucet and I'd know that I've earned permanent residence in his memory.

I'd walk in the library and run my finger along the spine of every book I see, because who knows when's the last time someone deemed them worthy enough to read. Ever so often I would close my eyes and blindly choose a book from the non-fiction section, because how else does one choose from a world of knowledge? I'd give the librarian a cookie, point at the sign, and say, "You'll have to go outside for that".

I'd spend hours listening to kids. I'd tell them dragon farts made the clouds and Doritos give you superpowers. I'd climb to the very top of the monkey bars just to hear the secret they so eagerly wanted to share, because they too need to know that someone hears their voice in this world.

I'd banter with my colleagues and lose myself in their adventures as if there was no work and it was a campfire made for storytelling. Stories with people and places I may never know become part of me.

I'd visit the supermarket and laugh at the substitutions made. Deodorant in the candy aisle, and I'd spend hours that day trying to recreate the exact moment when a candy bar became more important than personal hygiene. I'd rearrange the fruits to spell out words so that one shopper may have the memory of oranges spelling out RUGRAT.

Most of my life is spent in my head. Analysing every experience and treasuring it, instead of withering away in deafening clubs or dulling my senses with every liquor I can find. I enjoyed my life. I enjoyed the freedom and the exhilaration it offered. The secret moments of laughter I share only with myself.

But, in this strange and unusual world that I find myself in; I am separated from the things that I love. I find myself imprisoned by these four walls. As if I have become one of my characters, trapped by the four corners of a page. Every action like Deja vu. Bits of my life strewn across the house. Reminders that I was once living instead of surviving.

I am surrounded by those who say that if I cannot do anything productive during this time, I am wasting time. Which is funny, because I have nothing to do other than waste time. My life was not meant to be lived in a box. I was not made for lying on the couch counting the blades of the ceiling fan. I was not made for playing hopscotch with my tiles. I was not made for shining mirrors for vanity. I was made to live. I was made to experience; to feel and touch. To explore and learn. I crave the bits of me that I've left out in the world.

I have grown weary of the hamster life. Sapped by the news that only tells me how inescapable my prison truly is. Dog-tired of the mediocre complaints about alcohol and cigarettes when life is not as it should be. Debilitated by the longing to experience life.

If wishes were fishes I’d be swimming in riches, but they aren’t and poverty lives within me. Perhaps life will be sweeter on the other side of lockdown but this side… This side FUCKING sucks.

Submitted: May 03, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Monique Barnard. All rights reserved.

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Guenevere Lee

Oh wow, I related to that so much. Get out of my head! lol

Mon, May 4th, 2020 7:31pm

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