Flicker   Leave a comment

What’s it feel like? I’m not even sure people ask me this, wonder at all, but I feel like there are swirling clouds of an inquisitive nature forming and dancing around my head constantly. There are voices that vary in levels and pitch. They blend in unusual frequencies and their volumes come and go in distorted melodies. They seem to be looking for their opportunity to pounce so I keep myself busy with many thoughts and an overwhelming amount of noise, but there is a boundary and if the sounds approach a certain level I will react as if the entire world is about to explode right there on the piece of paper you have carelessly crumbled up.

Yes, noise both protects me and also finds me out. You might not understand the rules, but that’s just more of the stuff that keeps me safe.

My brain has this soupy feeling like it’s been bathed in many substances and is finally starting to show its wear. Dipped in acid which eats away at its finer points and poured over by hot, sticky broth of a delicacy made in some exotic land; the creature that has yielded such a mess no longer calls anywhere home, but instead has deemed itself the descendant of each and every one of us on a bad day.

And they are watching, they are always watching.

I was told to “show up”. Told that if I didn’t they could not help me. But there is no help here; there is only misinformation and confusion. My mother sits alone on her couch and dies slowly because no one will stand up to her will and no one knows just where to go for help. And yes, this worries me, but more than anything, I just want her to stop moaning in pain and telling me in her not-so-subtle ways that somehow this could all be avoided if I just sat down next to her. Doesn’t anyone understand that if you cage me, you break me and I am not a beautiful disaster?

I won’t take their help then. They hardly even offered it anyway. But what else will they ask of me? Don’t put the beasts of burden out of their misery? Don’t point out the inconsistencies and demand clarity and justice? Do not, under any circumstances, stand up for what you believe in, but when we ask you for a definition of your character, you must have something prepared to recite and be willing to tap dance and smile.

The curtains on my show, the one I have been putting on for 37 years, are starting to glide into position. I see the ending. Lights are dimming and the anxious are leaving their seats so not to be caught in the rush for the doors. I understand that if there is no “next act” I will be able to stop this performance. But my anger grows.

How many of us will be bowing when I see the last flicker of stage light? That is perhaps all that I have left to decide.


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