Friday, June 04, 2004

Lie to me.

The things we tell ourselves, in bed at night, with our eyes closed, enclosed in darkness, are different than the things we tell ourselves in the morning. The promises we make to ourselves, when we are on the edge of sleep, as dreams begin to drift in through periphery and things seem, perhaps, a bit better, and hope seems a bit brighter, than it does most of the time -- those promises crumble so easily to dust come morning.

"No, that's too hard," we tell ourselves in the morning.

"No, I can't, I'm scared," we say, silently.

"Don't make me," we whisper to ourselves when we are alone.

Why is it so hard to take life by the neck and throttle it, choke it, shake it until it vomits up what we've been demanding of it for years. Why do we so often refuse to fight for the things we want, instead remaining locked in dark rooms, curled in a ball, weeping at the misery that we ourselves had helped create.

I started a story yesterday about a man who, every once and awhile, stares at his hand for a few moments. I didn't know where the story was going, only that he did this. And why he did this.

Because it reminded him that he was real -- to see his hand, connected to his arm, and then his arm connected to his shoulder, and then his shoulder kind of disappearing at the side of vision, where he knew it connected to his neck, and then his head, which housed the brain that was doing the looking in the first place.

This reminded him that he was real. Because it was so easy to forget.

But what makes us real? Are we real because someone says "Good morning!" to us as we walk past them on the street? Are we real because we stub our toes and feel the sensation of pain climbing like lightning up our legs? These things happen every day, constantly, moment after moment, so...why is it so easy to suddenly wonder if you're really real?

I write, more often than not, to express something that's going on inside me. So, clearly, I have issues with my own tangibility. I feel far too often like I'm not participating, instead sitting quietly in the sidelines, watching everyone else enjoy the game, waiting for my turn at bat, knowing that even if someone hands it to me, I'll sit another round out.

I'm not even sure what it would take to make me feel real. Worse yet, I'm not sure how I'd act if I ever actually felt that way.

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