It’s nights like these that I look up to the moon for answers. Here I lay, late into the night as my fears and thoughts smack into the walls of my head and bounce around without rest. Here I lay as the loneliness creeps over me and sucks away any warmth left. Here I lay looking up to the moon hoping for her to point me in the right direction. But my plead goes unanswered.
Instead I stare into her and she stares back into me, and slowly my body begins to feel…normal. Like a gentle gaze from a loved one. Like a warm embrace, like a nod of approval. She is not there to give you answers, she is there to comfort you. She is there to wipe away your tears and to warm your soul when it is emptied by life’s challenges. She is the gentle hand that caresses you, the calming voice that helps you sleep, she is your ultimate comfort. I look up at the moon and I smile knowing that although my questioned go unanswered, and my heart beats heavy as I look down this daunting path, she will be by my side every night of every journey until the end of my time.
I catch myself people watching a lot. I bask in the idea that every human that walks by has a life as complex and integrated into this world as mine. I always crave to know what their deepest intimacies are. I see them walk by and wonder what their passions are. I catch myself asking these questions about everyday humans, when was the last time they cried? Why did they cry? what are they afraid of? The thought That every being that crosses your path is part of a scheme or reality as huge and complicated as the one that you are currently living is exciting to me. It makes my problems seem so small, So manageable. Just imagine, I’m another soul wandering through time picking up character and wisdom with every step. I’m not the only one either.
My grandfather died a couple of days ago. It was an event that i knew was coming but still didn’t have the ability to prepare for. His last breath created a domino affect that released every bit of stress i was holding in me for the past few months and caused me to fall into a sort of short-term depression. On the day he passed away i had work, i went to my grandparents home where he spent his final days to pay my respect before i went on to pretend everything was fine in front of my co-workers and customers. As i approached the house i felt this overwhelming energy envelop me. Like a physical manifestation of sadness and grief weighing me down. I walked into the house to be greeted by silence. A silence that was only broken through cracked voices and soft crying. Laying on the bed was my grandfather. His skin discolored, a lack of a familiar rise and fall of the chest that all humans have, no movement, like some sort of wax figure. This was not my first time seeing a human with no life in them but it was still just as unsettling.
After some time passed i decided to start heading out to work. As i left i was greeted by my father. A man who i grew up with and have only witnessed him cry once or twice in my lifetime. This was another addition to that count. With eyes red and watery he grabbed a hold of me a whimpered “the old man is gone.” All i could do was hold onto him and say “I know papi,” an absolutely surreal moment for me; something that made me realize just how human my father really was, just how fragile we all are.
The ride to work was quiet and contemplative. That incident was a difficult one and my fathers words have not left my head since then. My life has gone into a sort of purgatory mode, one where i am just existing day-to-day and not really creating any sort of worth. It has been a while since i have written or expressed myself creatively, I have been lost in thoughts and not really accomplishing anything spectacular. I have been living a mediocre existence these past few weeks. I’m hoping that the start of October can be a start of something exciting for me. I have projects that i want to work on and creative endeavors i want to chase after. I only hope that i can crawl out of this day to day routine that i have created and start a much more productive and fulfilling existence.
A sense of melancholy washes over me as I step out the door. The air heavy with emotions that i don’t understand, It feels like a rainy, gloomy day; a day that one would spend indoors trying to sleep and escape all thoughts and reality. But as i exit the house my body is greeted with the intense warmth of a shining sun. The grass is green and the birds are chirping. Yet my melancholy persists. I get in my car and drive to the supermarket for cat food. Something about this day seems so meaningless. Like there is no substance to it, nothing worth wasting energy on. I continue on in an almost automated fashion, like my body is following a set path while my mind and thoughts linger about.
At an attempt to snap out of this robotic like trance I stop by an ice cream shop to order a single scoop of strawberry ice cream. Usually i like to indulge myself when it comes to sweets but for the last couple of days i have been craving this specific treat; a single scoop of strawberry ice cream, no toppings, no cone, just the ice cream and my senses. I enter the shop and am greeted by a young cashier who looks like her day is just as rainy as mine. At an attempt to give me some sort of satisfactory customer service she looks over to me and saids “welcome, how are you?’ Her words say friendly and inviting but her tone and eyes say “i want to die.”
I ask for a sample of the strawberry ice cream and as she is passing me the spoon with a sample of what could be my motivation to do something with today a slight rush of hope jumps across my chest. A single lick was all it took to rip that feeling away, An overwhelmingly sweet and concetrated taste, like they wanted to make strawberry ice cream but didnt have strawberries on hand. What i would imagine dissapointment taste like, artificial like the day.
I step out the store with no change to my overall mood and get into my car. All chances of this day feeling the way it looks is shattered, I have given up, This day will be just another rainy day.
It was four in the morning and the Ecstasy was still in full effect. My girlfriend and I dropped hours ago and were now making our way back from the beach to the comfort of our own home. The road was empty, almost like we were the only sign of life around for miles. Something about ecstasy makes everything seem so new to you. like you never really listened to music until you did it on X, like you never really kissed until you did it on X, like you never really lived until you did it on X. I turn up my radio and music fills the empty space in the car. I feel my body begin to sway to the push and pull of the sound waves leaving the speakers. The voice, every pluck of the guitar string, every smack against the drum, amplified by a hundred. I look over and see her smiling and swaying, eyes closed, lost in a world much more blissful than the one you and I know.
My eyes shift back to the road and my focus moves to the music playing. memories and emotions attached to the music starts filling my body and soul. waves of euphoria wash over me with every note. As the song ascends and hits climax so do my senses. Words start drifting from between my lips as I start singing just to release some of this energy i have bundled up in me. Soon she joins me and is singing and swaying along with every word. Looking back on it all, i now realize why they use the word ecstasy to describe an intense emotion of pleasure. At that very moment, with the girl of my dreams by my side on an empty road high off serotonin singing along to The Cure and The Velvet Underground, I felt nothing but overwhelming pleasure; a complete release of all insecurities and doubts absolute ecstasy.
Driving back home from work, another 12 hour shift and my body shows it. Sweat dried on my skin and hair matted and tangled. I begin to zone out to the lights on the road letting my body drift towards auto-pilot when a jarring ring shocks my senses back into me.
A text saying “I love you so much.” With that single text I begin to gain this familiar feeling, one only capable with the words and touch from her only. I feel a shiver come across my body, like a gust of cold wind just entered my car. All the while an electric shock jumps across my skin bringing the hair on my arms to attention. Like a rush of serotonin filling my brain and oozing out my eyes causing them to gloss over. My mouth once resembling a straight line now begins to curve into a grin that not even my troubled day can hold down. A better high then any drug can give you. A finer feeling then any cup of wine can provide. A flushed face, blood rushing to the heart, a skip of the beat. A feeling so familiar yet so foreign. That feeling that only a special someone can give you. That feeling i can only get from her. That feeling…
We were sitting in his car parked in the garage after work. Both of us were exhausted after a long shift and we sure looked the part. The radio was playing on low and was slightly drowned out by the sound of the air conditioning. I was looking at the side of his face, he wouldn’t face me. His eyes fixed on a certain spot by the radio, not really focusing but more staring off into the unknown letting thoughts stream in and out of his mind. His eyes were wide with a glossy sheen. His lips slightly parted letting out slow and steady breaths. It was so gradual i couldn’t pinpoint when it started but his eyes began to swell up and soon after you could see tears begin to form. Like water rising over the edge of a mountain i saw the first tear spill its way over; soon others followed creating a waterfall.
“I’m just so tired with life, i find everything so sad and painful. I don’t know what to do.”
I just sat there, hearing every crack in his voice. The words trembling as they moved out of his mouth.
This made me realize just how universal sadness is. It doesn’t pick and choose its victims, It has no favorite. We are all its victims, some of us are just better at hiding it then others. At the end of the day, everybody hurts.