Not a day goes by where I don’t feel anxious. I look down thinking, as I ask: what’s wrong with me?
My thoughts are in disarray as I mount this run-down public transportation vehicle. The driver wastes no time, which causes my reference frame to become non-inertial. However, I don’t struggle to maintain my balance, at least, not right now.
Fortunately, there are two empty adjacent seats. Some days, I encounter friends on these mobile waiting rooms, but not today. It’s for the best. I wouldn’t want to irritate them with my unorganized messes, which I so semantically call my thoughts. I often speak in metaphor, much to the dismay of anyone who stumbles into a conversation with me. Maybe I need to bring things down to earth once in awhile. The voice in my head chatters on.
I look out the window, soaked as it may be with the melted dreams of fallen snow, and very briefly make eye contact with a cat. For but an instant; it seemed so intent on glaring through a window of its own. Was that a cat? How did I notice it if I am moving ever so swiftly aboard this aging vessel of conveyance? That cat must feel so sheltered. The outside world is a cold one, and the walls surrounding me aren’t very resilient from external stimuli these days.
I get distracted too easily. I was supposed to think of something on today’s ride. Not that. The other thing. I’m pretty bored so far. Why would I want to keep thinking?
I can’t stop.
With my head perched high in the clouds, my thoughts ambush me, surround and envelop me, gnaw at me until I think there can’t possibly be anymore. To my static amazement, there are. There were. Whatever sounds better on paper I suppose. I can’t escape my thoughts. Unlike the things which I love, the things which annoy me don’t seem to end. That’s why I’m going to write them down… eventually.
So, here’s the part of the ride during which I go over my past actions, and lament approximately half of them, on a good day. Maybe I’ll get another chance to say it some other time. I wonder what they meant by that. What might this person think? I should have done the other thing instead. I only have access to the cards I’ve been dealt, but sometimes I just want to fold. I never liked gambling anyway.
I shift my gaze to the emotionally parched surroundings. The humans that I share this somewhat battered communal road trolley with are but mere extras in my regard. However, each of their faces seems so rigid and is telling a story of their own: one as complex as my very own. So, all of us are just extras then. I should think that as sentient beings capable of existential thought, we are each uniquely alone, but if every one of us is alone, under bombardment of our own thoughts, then there is common ground over which to tread. That is an amusing thought.
Occasionally, there are thoughts which are quite the opposite of amusing. My insides feel vigorously active when these thoughts occur; my throat turns to stone, and breathing becomes difficult. A thousand needles are thrusted into my skull. There are bugs crawling all over my skin. The voice in my head does not relent in its screaming and shouting. I feel completely in the dark. It’s no cause for alarm, because I can contain it! Or, I could try falling asleep.
There is a ringing in my ear. Did somebody say my name? I hear eccentric laughter immediately in back of my head. I am suddenly stricken by worry, immersed in new thoughts which strive to uncover why complete strangers would want to laugh at me. But I convince myself otherwise. They probably aren’t after all. My mind races through every possible scenario, both moment to moment, and of hypotheticals later on in the day. The journey continues aboard this product of engineering. As it gallops along, people come and go.
Just as I think my racing thoughts have reached the final lap, I see it: myself. The reflection in this window seems to look down at me, or perhaps I am looking up to it. An idea struck down, suddenly filling me with conviction, and I write my name on the foggy window by pressing my fingers down in long strokes against the condensation: I-s-a-a-c. I then try smiling for sake of blatant curiosity. My smile is an indiscreet discretion.
My conscious mind rips me from this moment, as the transfer of my person was complete. A shipment of assorted aspirations has arrived. As I depart from the massive human delivery machine, I notice that the seats behind me were empty.
I pause for a moment to collect my thoughts, which, as always, have fallen to the ground, back to earth again. I am tired. What was this thing that I rode in here called? I don’t recall, but I’m not going to worry about labelling it. It doesn’t matter what I call it, what matters is that it works for me and takes me to where I need to go.
Snow falls slowly, the snowflakes nuzzling against my face as the wind carries them down to the earth below.
Not a day goes by where I don’t at least try to think ahead. I look forward to the future, and look up instead.
Written By: BeNjamyn Upshaw-Ruffner