You sit at your desk, and you try to think, but you also try not to because it’s all you can do—all you’ve ever really known how to do. And you think about not thinking, considering the possibility of letting your mind roam in a blank space with no real windows or doors, but even thinking about a place like that involves thinking, and your mind invariably wanders to a place with very many windows and doors—a place you aren’t used to being but remember well; a place you didn’t know you’d ever get back to; a place you didn’t think you’d ever really miss.
But the reality of the situation catches up with you and soon your pen starts skipping letters as you think about a word that you forgot how to spell. You think of the rules: “i before e” etc. but none of the rules that exist in your world really apply to the spelling of this word—none of the rules that exist in your world really apply to anything about this word. You think about rules for a minute, but not for very long because you catch yourself thinking and you tell yourself no, and maybe you smack the side of your head with a clenched fist a few times, or maybe you gnash your teeth till the muscles in the side of your face start to bulge through your cheek a little bit—the sinews eventually begin to feel as though they’re pulling apart but you’re not sure you care, it feels better than the binding in your chest when you think too much.
Yet you continue to think, and know that even when you aren’t thinking, you’re thinking—and knowing this makes your chest feel heavy and your head spin a little bit faster and you consider holding onto the grass just incase your body starts to float up toward the sky, because why not, really: Why shouldn’t your body—a body you’ve known for 22 years, and thought you knew inside and out, and thought you had learned to control after a minor bought with a minor mental illness—float up to the sky, like one of those translucent bubbles children blow from brightly colored wands?
Part of you wants your body to float up and away. Part of you would be okay with it—things might be easier. But you’ve never been about easier. You’ve never looked for easier. Easier is a word you can spell, but one you’d rather not—one whose rules don’t exist in your reality and you wouldn’t want them to if they could. So you sit and do nothing, and it feels good for a little while, kind of like the way sea water tastes sweet to a thirsty person, but you know that soon you’ll start thinking again.
And maybe soon you’ll be able to invite the thoughts in (perhaps ask them to have a glass of water—you don’t drink coffee so you won’t even consider asking). And maybe soon they can be more pleasant. They won’t be so daunting and pernicious. And maybe you think for a moment about how great of a word pernicious is, and you want to use it in a sentence, but not a sentence about you, and certainly not a sentence about your thoughts…
Maybe one day the thinking won’t be so bad. Maybe you’re tired of being afraid, and of not trying, and of giving up. Maybe you’re more tired of these things than you are of just being tired.
Maybe one day you’ll be able to eat fresh blueberries, or drive home from the sea—hair stiff from the salt and the sand and the air—and the good feeling inside will last longer than the time it takes to split a milkshake with someone you really fucking care about.