This Too Shall Pass.
Biking down 4th Street and I am bursting with thoughts and words and they have no where to go. I can’t make anything form into a coherent story, a complete idea. My brain lately is like a light show; I start to follow one color and then abruptly re-focus my gaze on another and everything moves too quickly and haphazardly to register independently. It’s the 4th of July sped up, all the fireworks going off at once. Bone-rattling explosions that make me feel like my eardrums are going to burst, too.
I want to slow my mind down and focus on just one thing, on communicating something…to someone, to anyone, honestly. But thinking about people makes my mind go to all the wrong I’ve done. I’m waiting at the light on Washington, and I feel suffocated. The sun is directly overhead and beating down on my bare shoulders, the humidity starting to feel even more unbearably oppressive now that I’m at a standstill. I can’t turn off my thoughts. I can’t stop hearing L and J and A and C in my head. I feel like I’m too young to have alienated so many people already; maybe it’s my talent. I’ll add it to the list. My resume could use some padding.
The green light doesn’t inspire me much. I’ve depressed myself beyond recovery, and it’s not even noon. There’s construction a few blocks up, cranes and bulldozers blocking the road to the music of grinding gears and concrete being drilled, so I pull onto the sidewalk and realize I’m right in front of Grindcore. Before I can think twice about it, I’m locking up my bike, and I don’t care if it makes me late, I want some caffeine.
For some reason I still can’t identify, I order an iced coffee even though what I want is tea. I’m waiting for the barista to give me change when the drilling noise from outside suddenly stops. The silence is incandescent, radiating warmth as it slows everything down. It’s a brief moment of clarity, but it feels like a year. I’m forgetting about the things I should have, could have said, all the unhappy endings I’m afraid foreshadow the path ahead. I drop coins into the tip jar, and all I hear is the clink-clink as they tumble in; no voices in my head, just the guy behind the counter wishing me a good day.
There’s a pocket in my backpack where I tuck away the coffee cup (wrapped in napkins because I know it will spill, but at least I’m prepared). That’s when the drill starts again, and I start to bike away, still alone but at least I’m out of my own head for now.