Everything is nerves. The coffee tastes sick, or maybe that’s the bile churning in my stomach. In my throat. My mind is chewed up inside the newsfeed as it makes of me, my neuroses, my tendencies, my addictions, a feast.
I am studied. I am a study.
I do not know how I feel because I feel so much I have had to go numb to survive. A little bit, I just breathe a little bit. Everything in small bites, tiny sound bites like a digital water torture I sign myself up for. Sign myself into. Login. Pay for. Pay handsomely for.
Somewhere across town a panicked woman watches a panicked man flashing on the screen and validates her own fears against his. Fear is manufactured, you know? They promised manufacturing jobs would return.
The coffee is cold as I shiver beneath my nest of blankets, window open to the chilled autumn air coming off the street. Inside the room inside my mind I feel the tension rise and fall with the spinning in my belly. The cognitive dissonance of these days is jarring. The threat is overwhelming because it is us. The line between existing and not has always been us.
We are an experiment. We are the cure and the disease. We are the lab and the secretions. The junkie and the drug.
It’s finally fall which means we are finally done with the wretched scorch of the sun. I’ll take the razor sharp blue sky, the orange blaze of another season burning by. I adore the changing leaves, crimson cinnamon air, and the frigid ocean waves glittering in dazzling white morning light.
And all the while, the terror. A family torn apart. Entire lives and their dreamers, up in smoke. Comedians. Fundraisers. Artists. Soldiers. Models. Click bait. Murder. Botox. Kitchen supplies.
The pornography of a life distorted. Voided out. Blocked.
And I know I have to try. And I know they tell me it’s ‘now more than ever.’
I know it’s how they want us. Colliding with ourselves inside.
Photo by Omid Armin