It hits me with a quiet thud. A ringing from ear to ear. Sometimes I can’t breathe or think I can’t breathe and I start thinking about my breathing. It feels like three breaths in and about five breaths out. I picture it like a wavelength. One of those old frequency waves that we used during the Cold War. Up and down. Right to left. Round and round. Beep to beep.
My fingers move around my hands. Something is always moving even if I’m not aware of it. Sometimes I’ll just be sitting there and I’ll notice something moving. It’s like a balloon. Only that balloon has a hole in it and it’s a dark color so you can’t find out where the hole is. You can hear the air leaving. You can see the balloon shrinking. Yet you cannot for the life of you find out where the problem is.
Welcome to my world.
I used to think about life. I used to think about dreams. I used to think about the art of the possible.
Now I think about problems. Now I look at life as a continuum of events that seem to never interconnect with one another. Now I see the world as a dustbin. It doesn’t matter how many times you clean it. It will always be filled with dirt.
None of this is to say that I’m unhappy. I’m quite happy. Happiness comes about simply through a lack of problems.
My world – like anyone’s world really – is a construct of my own making. Creation is always much more difficult than destruction. How easy it is to destroy something when you don’t see it how the creator saw it. With such closed minds we live and with such shut minds we die. I wonder sometimes if our brain doesn’t hit an apex point at some point in our lives and deteriorate from there. We’d never notice that point even if it were pointed out to us. Few of us would care. I wouldn’t want to know. If your mental capacity was diminishing would you want someone to point that out to you? I wouldn’t. I’d rather go on believing even if it were a false belief that I was capable of greater knowledge still. What a sad day it must be when we reach that age when things simply start shutting down. Memories are no longer there even with a picture in front of us. Things we used to do without giving it a second thought now seem impossible. It is the utter futility of life presented to us in human form.
And yet we move on.
It’s not a blowing sound that I hear. It’s more like a gentle hum. It never stops. It keeps flowing. At night I feel like I can’t slow down. It’s because all the energy that I’ve been building up throughout the day reaches a critical mass. Some days I don’t drink enough water. Some days I don’t pay enough attention to my breathing. Some days I simply don’t pay enough attention. It hits me slowly but with a certain intensity that makes me want to shout at myself. It doesn’t stop. It keeps going. It has to play itself out. That restless ball of energy inside me. It flows and flows and flows. Until it hits my heart and then that’s when I can’t take it anymore. People tell me to just sit down and relax, but that’s not something I’ve ever been able to do. My teachers used to tell me that all the time.
“Just sit down Christopher and settle down” like that was something I was actually capable of doing.
“Just relax and be normal” I heard quite a bit of too. That one always got to me. I used to ask myself why I couldn’t be like all the other kids and “just sit down, just relax, and just be normal.” I’m not normal though. That’s the thing. I’ve never been normal. My thoughts now revolve around the question: “why would anyone want to be normal?” Something tells me that we’re much more normal than we ourselves believe. Normal is a construct in itself. It’s what the doctor says when you come out of the womb if you’re lucky. So few of us come into this world normal anymore. I wonder how many of us leave it normal anymore.
Most noise irritates me. Unless it’s something I’ve grown accustomed to any outside noise is going to disturb me. It’s the reason that a siren gives me a panic attack whether I’ve done anything wrong or not. It’s the weight I feel in what used to be my stomach. One imagines it more closely resembles some sort of broken down shoe now. I feel the weight now. That never used to happen before. I didn’t used to think about individual parts of my body but I do now. It’s like parts of me are removed at times from the rest of my body. Certain parts feel like they barely function at all anymore. I’ve always had a sensitive stomach, but now it just feels a little ridiculous. I can’t eat fast food. I can’t eat greasy food. Sometimes I don’t want to eat out at all because I have absolutely no idea what anyone is putting into the food. I don’t think anyone plans a menu for people with sensitive stomachs. That’s like suggesting that candy makers seek advice from dentists before they dole out their newest product.
I’ve never liked the term: panic. Panic is something that happens when you have absolutely no control and we all have control to some degree. It goes through me though like a piece of food goes through my digestive tract. It’s a feeling I get, but it’s also a feeling that I’ve always had. It keeps going no matter what I do. Sometimes it picks up, sometimes it steadies itself out, sometimes I can get myself to concentrate on something else for a moment. It flows through me. Faster and faster. Minute by minute until all of a sudden I find myself huddled up next to a pillow gently resting my head for the next day’s whirlwind of events to hit me again.