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Have you ever had one of those days? The kind where everything seems to go exactly wrong, where nothing goes the way you wish it would? The kind where, seemingly overnight, the entire world seems to have been painted over in dull shades of gray, one no more interesting than another? The kind where it's been long and hard, and before it's even half over you're wet and cold and exhausted? The kind where you want to curl up in bed, pull the covers over your head, and tell the world to go away and leave you the hell alone?
Busyness is like a demon that sits quietly in the shadows. It plans your life for you, and before you know it, it's eaten all your time away. You have to keep rushing forward just to keep up with it; there's no way to get ahead, and if you fall behind, you're gone. Take it one thing at a time, and move fast to the next, and the next, and the next. Snap, snap, snap, snap, snap. No time to breathe, no time to even think; you're focused on finishing the task in front of you before the dreaded deadline.
Families are wonderful things. The way that people can come together, the way that they form bonds and relationships that not only withstand the passage of time, but are deepened and strengthened by it... truly beautiful. The ties that bind family members together become stronger than anything, stronger even than death itself. And these connections are not necessarily so restricted that they only arise between blood relations, but can form between close friends as well, true friends of the heart. Friends who will stand together, who will defend each other, who would die for each other, if it were possible.
Maybe tomorrow, when those who have been absent have returned, things will go back to normal. Or, at least, things will go back to what passes for normal. This of course begs the question, "what is normal?" What is it that makes ideas and conventions and whatnot standardized for everyone, and who decides? Is it simple majority rules, or is it something else, something bigger (or smaller)? Either way, whoever is in charge of it is an idiot (or a group of idiots, as it were). Perhaps that's why there are so many stupid and useless rules and laws around.
It's funny how writer's block always sneaks up behind a person and ambushes them. It catches them completely unawares. One minute their mind is full of ideas and inspirations that they're just dying to translate into the right words, and the next minute they're drawing a complete blank. Or, worse yet, they have an assignment all planned out and they know exactly what they're going to write, but the minute they sit down to actually write it, they can only think of unrelated trifles and distracting things. Somehow, somewhere along the way, their mental outline got lost in the shuffle.
Small sacrifices pile up. Any attempt to make time here or there for one thing or another results in sacrifice after sacrifice after sacrifice, until they snowball, becoming something much bigger. Worse yet, others come with requests and invitations, some for business, some for pure enjoyment, but regardless of where they come from, all must be turned down, set aside in order to complete what's necessary. Even then, a second round of questions asking why or forcing the issue or guilt tripping to extract a surrender sometimes follows.
Don't force the issue. Simply understand that, sometimes, no really means no.
Sleep debt. Another self-imposed roadblock that prevents further travel down the path of life. A roadblock with a vacuum pump that sucks and sucks at your energy until you're running on nothing. Less than nothing. Forcing your way through it is never easy. Every instant of trying to stay awake, of fighting to keep moving forward, is an eternity of struggle. An uphill battle, on a hill that just happens to border on a black hole. Taking care of it isn't always easy, either. It requires time and quiet.
The best way to fix it is to avoid it altogether.
There's a profound truth in that song. The one that goes, "Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got ‘til it's gone." Human beings never seem to be satisfied with what they have; they never realize how precious something is until they lose it, be that thing freedom or respect or family or even a treasured possession with sentimental value. The solution is to learn to appreciate what you have while you have it. It sounds so simple, but in reality it's frustratingly difficult to accomplish. Still, trying is better than doing nothing at all.
There should be a term for being all written-out. For that feeling when so much writing has been done, for school or self, that there is nothing left to put down into words. No more profound truths to ponder, no more strange and wonderful thoughts to ramble on about. Writer's drain. Writer's void. Writer's... something or other. If the term writer's block exists, it's only fair that a separate term should exist for this, especially since this is completely different. Emptiness rather than an obstacle.
The ability to go to sleep and never wake up would be such a blessing...
"You have no new messages." Every time, the generic, unaccented female voice spits out its recorded phrase with all the emotion a soulless computer can muster.
"You have no new messages." Every time, hope prompts the fingers to dial the voicemail box number, though the mind knows that this time will be no different than the last.
"You have no new messages." Every time, expectations rise since maybe, just maybe, someone actually called this time, but reason takes over for a much harsher letdown than plain old disappointment alone.
"You have no new messages." Every time, no one has called.
Waiting hurts. When you're pretty sure what's going to happen, but you don't know when. It would be nice to enjoy those last (seconds, minutes, hours, days) but some part of you refuses to let you do that. The thought won't leave the mind alone, and overshadows everything. Focus is lost. Anxiety makes the innards writhe, the throat constrict, the chest cave in. The body tears itself apart while you sit there helpless, unable to do a thing. The darkness that descends isn't a literal lack of light; it's much, much worse, something the soul can't begin to fight through.
Popular music is mostly crap nowadays. People mouth the words and jerk out a dance choreographed by another. Few bands still write songs from the heart, that touch one deep inside and move the very soul. And most of those are written from the perspective of a male writing about a female. All the female point of view equivalents aren't as poignant or meaningful. They don't stir up the emotions like the others do, but for a female the others are from the wrong perspective. A woman can't really sing one of the good (male perspective) songs to a man.
Ever get the feeling that you don't have much time left in this world? It comes at random times. The times when you feel the approaching end dragging you down. Those moments when you step back and it's almost like you can see time ticking away, see the sand running out of the hourglass. And this is one huge hourglass that's impossible to turn over. There's no going back, turning things around, starting over. What's done is done.
It's not normal to look over your shoulder and expect to see the grim reaper standing there, scythe in hand, is it?
What is it about deadlines that causes such an overwhelming amount of pressure and stress, which in turn only leads to feelings of hopelessness and despair? As the dreaded limit approaches, the amount left to do seems only to grow rather than to diminish, no matter how much has already been accomplished. Push, push, push to get the job done by the appointed time. Spend all waking hours fretting over every minute detail. And in the end suffer only crushing defeat and heartrending disappointment when either the deadline passes or the project results only in failure.
Is that the point?
Relationships of any kind never last. Family, friends, romantic interests, all leave one by one until you're all alone in the dark. They swear that they will stand by you and love you forever, but all oaths fall through in the end. Promises are made that are impossible to keep. People drift away, abandon you, lose contact. Time picks them off like targets lined up on a wall, until no anchors are left to hold fast to. Light slowly fades, dims, dies, until it too is gone.
Give in to that dark. It's the one thing that will never leave.
Abandoned. Alone; apart. Bummed out. By oneself. Comfortless; companionless. Deserted, desolate, destitute, disconsolate, down. Empty; estranged. Forlorn, forsaken, friendless. Godforsaken. Homeless.
Left; lone, lonely, lonesome. Outcast. Reclusive. Rejected... renounced. Secluded, single, solitary. Troglodytic. Unattended, unbefriended, uncherished, unsocial. Withdrawn.
Bad, bleeding, blue, blue funk, bummed out. Cast down; crestfallen, crummy. Dejected, despondent, destroyed. Disconsolate, discouraged, dispirited, down. Downcast. Downhearted, dragged. Fed up. Glum, grim. Hurting. In pain. Let down, low, low down, low-spirited. Lugubrious. Melancholy, moody, morose. Pessimistic. Ripped. Sad, sob story, spiritless. Taken down. Torn up. Unhappy. Weeper, woebegone.
A motley collection of words. Isn't English a wonderful language?
Silently stalking its prey, it glides noiselessly through tall grasses, leaving no sign of its passage. No one ever catches even a glimpse of it while it is on the hunt. It lies hidden, remains unseen, until it is too late. Soon, soon it accelerates, flowing through bush and tree and building, never letting its quarry leave its sights. When the time is right, it chooses a spot and lies in wait, hidden by shadows, until its hapless victim chances to pass by... only then does it ATTACK!
The viper of stress strikes.
Or is it the viper of love?
Eddie works at the dining hall. He's the general worker there, a sort of amalgamation of janitor and dishroom worker and handyman. If someone spills something, he sweeps up the pieces and mops the floor. If the milk or soda or fruit juice dispensers need refilling, he refills them. He's lazy, and does his job grudgingly and with painstaking slowness, dragging his feet and getting in everyone else's way. When he's got nothing better to do, he likes to watch the dishroom girls, with his oily, greasy, used car salesman smile and a not quite lecherous leer in his eyes.
What a tease creativity is. It hovers just at the edge of your awareness, making its presence known just enough so that you know you have the desire to do something, but you can't quite grasp what it is that you yearn to do. So it pokes and prods and tickles, but dances out of the way just in time to avoid being noticed, driving you crazy. It's maddening, to be unable to concentrate because of this whisper of not-quite-formed idea tiptoeing around the edges of consciousness. Just the right push and you'll reach it, but when's the push coming?
Human beings are incredibly stupid.
Look at what they do to each other. They fight and kill one another by the billions, and over what? Over land. Over oil rights. Over money, pieces of metal and paper that are only worth something because someone else said so.
Or worse yet, they kill one another simply because the "others" are different. Armenia. The Holocaust. Cambodia. Rwanda. Bosnia. So many sufferend, so many died, and for what? For no real reason. Just because they were different. They had different ideas. You're wrong, I'm right, therefore I'm justified in killing you for that.
Humans and their war games. In times of peace, when there's no reason to fight one another, men decide to play-fight. They make up all these ridiculous rules that require them to show off their physical prowess, team up against each other, and duke it out on a "nonviolent" fashion. American football especially. Conquering territory on a field by tackling and taking down (therefore temporarily incapacitating) players from the opposing team, trying to make it all the way to the end zone for a point or three... is it just me, or is this similarity painfully obvious to the world?
What is it about birthdays that people find so special? When it comes down to it, a birthday is the same as any other day. Granted, a given person might have been born on one particular day, but so were thousands of others. People were still born on the other 365 days in the year. Why make a big deal out of it? To celebrate the fact that a particular person exists? Why not appreciate their existence a little bit every day, instead of making a big deal out of 24 hours?
It's just a day. Why all the fuss?
She waves her arms and frantically signals for everyone to stop. The music grinds to a staggered halt as orchestra members stop playing. Some people groan, others roll their eyes and sigh in frustration. So much for running the piece.
The conductor scratches her head, staring at the score. Pointing to the page, she speaks in heavily accented english.
"Eh... trombones, can we take it from there?"
So the trombones begin, trying to follow her somewhat erratic cues. They play softly, weakly, as if they haven't eaten or slept in a week. After several attempts, they sound only marginally better.
Take your words and keep them.
They are empty, completely devoid of meaning. They drop from your mouth, floating lazily through the air, not even making a dent when they fall and shatter tinkling on the floor. Though you seem to speak with force and passion and sincerity, in truth you have none of these things. You speak to salve your conscience and your pride, so you can say you tried, and therefore you're justified in not feeling bad for the effect, or lack thereof.
In the end, they're just words.
Take them away, because you know what? Nobody's listening.
Humans operate on some kind of exclusion principle. They band together in groups, large and small, with some common thread tying them together. Those in the group take comfort in each other, while outsiders can only look on longingly. Try as they may, the excluded ones can never be "in." Sometimes this is done purposefully, when insiders take pleasure in seeing others want; sometimes it just happens, and the insiders never realize it. And sometimes, though the outsiders are seemingly let in, they're never truly a part of the group.
What happens to those who are always on the outside?
Enough already. Get over it and move on.
People are, as a rule, falsehearted. They make promises they can't keep, yet expect you to be faithful. They unequivocally condemn you for your mistakes, openly or in secret. They say they'll stand by your side until the end of time, but within a few (days, months) they will have forgotten they ever made such a statement, and once again you're left in the dust.
Give it up and accept the fact that you're fated to be solitary forever, doomed to an eternity of loneliness in the vast nothing that is existence
Clouds and fog fill up a warm spring evening, hiding the setting sun from view. A soft rumble permeates the air, just present enough to be barely audible. Every now and then a dull flash cuts through the misty atmosphere; lightning asserts its authority in the heavens. The muted growls that follow, almost undetectable, seem strange and ethereal, as if the sky was speaking with its own voice. But at the same time, the thunder is comforting, to those who listen for such things. If the skies can still roar, then at least something is going well with the world.
The world, the universe, the multiverse... all are just part of one immeasurable expanse of nothing. Everything perceived in any way, is also part of the nothing. Try as they might to deny it, and to prove that they and are something, rather than nothing, humans are no different from that limitless blank. They sail along on this vast ocean of emptiness, one nonentity after another, until they realize the truth or it is realized for them. Some merely go their own nonways, while others stare into the endless void, hoping that one day, maybe, the void will stare back.
Cut. Printer paper, magazine ads, newsprint, sheet music. Measure, draw lines, divide along the lines. Create a legion of fragments, all identical in size and shape. Perfect squares, differing only in the random coloration and pattern alloted to each.
Fold. The pattern and sequence of folds is already stored away in the memory. Pleat it precisely, creasing each ridge sharply with a fingernail.
Endure. Labor for hours. Sore shoulders and tired neck bent over fingers burned and blistered from friction, working persistently.
The last thousand was completed by a collaboration of four. This thousand will be completed by one alone.
Star Trek's Q put it best when he said, "All good things must come to an end, Jean-Luc." Everything, good or bad, right or wrong, does come to a conclusion. The statement on Solomon's ring, which made him happy during the bad times and sad during the good times: "This, too, shall pass."
Beginnings sprout and grow from endings. But where exactly does one define a beginning, or for that matter an ending? What about those fuzzy, grey, in-between areas that aren't quite one extreme or the other? How are they to be categorized and placed into their proper pigeonholes?
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