I keep looking in the mirror, trying – to recognize those eyes looking back. A mirror as a window. A window as a lens – colored with spots of rust and aged watermarks. This is not the right face – you think – warped in a reflection of time. You’ve been staring at the same face for so long – one day it just wasn’t yours anymore.
We don’t know where we’re going.
Building on a vague recollection of where we’ve been. Collections of moments. Broken narratives. Conflicting and paradoxical plot twists. And have you always – you wonder in a vacuum – been too selfish to live beyond a present moment long enough to figure out how to stack up the life you meant to live. Instead, the only sound in your ears is the slap of pavement as you run, the feeling of the pulse of your blood in veins thick with every experience ever. If I sit quietly, I can hear it. I can hear my blood moving. Cell by cell. I can feel my throat pulse. I can feel my wrists. I can feel the back of my knees.
As I lay in the dark, I try to find ways to suppress every thought in my head without a lens of glorification and remove the taste of contempt. When I lay down at the end of the day, I am everything. I can feel absolutely every decision I’ve ever made. More, I can feel absolutely every decision everyone has ever made around me. I can taste every acrid memory – I crave. Thinking of every person ever who made my heart beat faster. Feeling every collection of memories that made them who they were – to me. Realizing that you will never really know who they are – to you. But never forgetting the feeling of skin. Never disconnecting the recognizable and comforting synapse spark. Lying in the ghost of a touch.
Sometimes it just feels so much – hysteria. I am laughing and I am crying and I am screaming and I am babbling and I am constant torrential hurricane, trying to stave off regular tsunamis of overwhelm, quaking at a core I’ve never been able to settle, waiting for even a brief eye of calm. Hoping they’ll look at you like that – but you are the embodiment of chaos. Trying to give this to the world, trying to translate what it feels like to be everything ever. Words are never sufficient. They can’t make you feel. You make you feel. Nobody makes you feel besides yourself. You choose this. I chose this.
And yet is(/am) uncontrollable.
I can feel eternity in my bones, in the bond of molecules, at the center of every atom. I can feel the electricity emanating from the active tears that roll down flushed cheeks. I can feel the dispersal of every death in the universe. The recycle of energy. I can feel that. I can feel the family that hurts – in the confused state of survival. I can feel the friends that question mortality for the first time. I can taste death on the tip of my tongue as a presence, as somebody I’ve loved and somebody I’ve lost and as a disconnect from the face that continues peering back through the cracked mirror. I can feel. A flood; dammed. Damned. Everything. And it just hurts. Always.
Inescapable. But what good would it do to remain unaffected? I am not, I cannot – be. I am a receptor; that magnetic moment. A battleground and a safe space. A collection of existence. An agglomeration of humanity – as an extremity of its bests and worsts. I am a sponge, soaking up every lived experience, an integration of immortal nuclei. Expansive. Empathic. Destructive. Demiurgic. Delusional and yet entirely representative.
It never stops, there’s just ways to dull it.
And sometimes I just wish this house would stop burning.
But then I don’t want to lose everything that makes us human.
I just need to be reminded where the ground is.