“In the morning when you wake yourself you wonder what you’re doing as you rub your eyes so violently while falling out of bed. Is there nothing educational in words that you are chewing as you seek the soothing solace of a friendly shower head?” -from So Sad About Me, Cowboy Mouth
Bedside reflections- like FDR’s fireside chats? Everyone’s got an agenda, but I’m just writing for myself here.
Many mornings I wake up pleasantly just before my alarm. The sun penetrates the blinds and washes across my face to nudge me out of whatever transient dream I am buried in. I peek from under the recesses of sheet and quilt and pillow to study the slats of sunlight painted across my bedroom wall. For a moment, the world is beautiful and life is hopeful, and I almost want to greet the world.
Instead, I snuggle back in. I hang in the intoxicatingly dreamlike consciousness of half-sleep, only to be jarred violently back to reality as BXR explodes from my alarm clock radio. My mind muddles through its typical cycles. Plans for what I must do today. Lingering emotions from yesterday. Fading memories of tumultuous dreams. Anxiousness. Worry. It all slushes together like the bad taste in my mouth.
The world isn’t so beautiful anymore. The sun is glaring; my dry eyes hurt. I don’t want to face the world. It will likely expect something of me, and I have nothing to show for myself. What am I living for? These days I’m living for nothing. I give each day the bare minimum to maintain functionality. I am not happy or sad. I am not stressed or relaxed. I am empty. It is a horrible existence. There’s a dull longing whispering at the back of my mind, but I don’t reach out enough to listen. I can’t muster what it would take to care.
I pop open my laptop to check Facebook and my email before I even get dressed or open my door. They have nothing for me. I put iTunes on shuffle because I can’t even pick the music to match my mood. Tea, clothes, and makeup inch me closer to feeling human. Even fancy Bare Minerals “Well-Rested” eye makeup can’t mask my dark circles anymore. I should really learn to sleep more. I try, but all too often I see 2:00 turn to 3:00 or later as I lie in bed working over everything and nothing in my poor head, staring wide-eyed at the dark shadows of my little world.
Some days I regard myself and appreciate the beauty I see in me. Other days, I can hardly bear the harshness of my obvious flaws. Am I looking at my mirror, or searching my soul? Does it make a difference? Which part do I want to put forward for everyone else? It’s more comfortable if they stop at my face. I find it far easier to adjust my outward appearance than to amend my soul.
Today is Stop Day. Stop what? Doing nothing? God, I wish I could. That’s not a curse, it’s a prayer. Weak, I know, but God understands. Everyone has these days. Mine are months. Semesters, even, or longer. Ruts are inherent in human nature. For all our complexities, we are simple creatures. Somebody slap me, please. I need…something.
Afterthought: iTunes scares me sometimes by picking exactly the right thing. As I’m writing this, Reel Big Fish. The song is about a relationship ending, which is not my situation. But some of the lines are so accurate:
“And all I wanna do all day is spend it in bed, but that’s bad for the body and even worse for my head. So I’ll try and find a place where no one will ask me a thing, it’ll help to forget and help me to sing. ‘Cause now I’m drunk again, the means to my end. And I’m scared of myself, ’cause now it’s the same the faces and names, and I’m scared of myself again.
Have you ever wanted to wake up from your dreaming, scared you so bad you couldn’t control your heart or your breathing? Well walk out the door with me on the floor. You don’t care how I’m feeling. I guess a weak and tired and frightened (wo)man is no longer appealing…If I had a dollar bill for every time I’ve been wrong, I’d be a self-made millionaire, and I wouldn’t be singing.”