You truly are the root of all evil. We bend over backwards for you, sacrificing our very souls to get ahead in this monetized society that we’ve constructed for ourselves. I can feel you, tickling my brain, making me think the only way I will have any value as a person is to have lots of you. You burn in my veins – I can feel the fire run through me as I drag myself from job to job, bank to bills, store to home. Earn, buy, pay; repeat.
I’m exhausted. I’m a living exposed nerve. I’m a mind drenched in chemicals, drifting from distraction to distraction. I use anything and everything I can get my hands on to forget about having to go back to hell to earn more money: drugs, alcohol, video games, sex. Don’t make me go back but give my my big check. Give me more money.
I’ve forgotten that we are human and our value is not based on pieces of paper or clinking coins. A house does not equal a valid person. A fancy car, the latest clothes, a cool haircut. These things are pure nonesense. They don’t matter at all. I’ve forgotten, though, so I scream at people to get things done now. Make more money, now! I don’t care if you missed your own birthday party to work overtime. I don’t care if a loved one just died. I don’t care if you are dying. Make. Money. Now. More.
One house? I need two, now. I need to upgrade my car. I need to upgrade my look. I need to upgrade my ego.
My self-esteem shrivels. My soul is hanging on, trying to break through all the madness.
Crack. A little break. A little too much stress, a little too much forgetfulness. I’m beginning to remember.
I look around in a haze. I begin to question things.. why do I need a fancy car? Why do I need a big house? Why do I need that promotion?
Wait, this isn’t right. Crack.
Something is wrong.
Work, earn, buy, pay. Work, buy, pay. Work, pay. Work. Work. Work.
Crack. Crack. Crack.
I can’t get out of my king sized bed. I can’t bring myself to put on my designer jeans. I can’t look in the mirror. What is going on?
I go outside and just stand there, slowly blinking. Slowly moving my head side to side, taking it all in.
The sun, grass, earth – it’s all still here. It was always here and it always will. Even when I’m gone. Even when money means nothing.
Money means nothing.
The sun starts to shine back into my soul. The tears stream down my face. What have I become?
I move out of my big house. I sell my fancy car. I quit my job.
What now? What do I do with myself now? What really matters? I get back in touch with family and old friends. I visit them, stop and take time to talk with them, I help them out. I’m starting to become human, again. I can feel it. My body doesn’t ache with the fire of stress and money, anymore. I’m more relaxed and I haven’t smiled and laughed this much in ages.
I sold everything I could live without and moved into a smaller house. It’s practical. I bought a small car that works well and gets me from point a to point b. It’s practical. I stop buying designer anything. I start buying groceries to eat, not to feed emotional eating. It’s practical.
My soul starts to blossom. I start to write and paint, again. I haven’t painted in decades.
I help out at the local shelters and start selling my art at the local farmer’s market. I get a job that I like, but it doesn’t pay that great. And that’s okay. It pays my bills, it’s lower stress, it’s better hours. It’s practical.
My soul is back. I am human, again. I am apart of the real world, again. I am me.. again. Finally.
These two things are very fickle, lately. I have been writing a story, that turned into something completely different than it was intended to be. It’s also much longer than I imagined.. and now I am having a hard time getting back into the frame of mind to write that particular story. I think I just need some quiet time and a good space. Until then, it is frustrating to know that I want to keep writing it, but there just isn’t anything to write at the moment.
This doesn’t feel like writers block. I don’t stare at a blank screen and get nothing. Instead, I think of all the things I should be doing and all the stress in life, at the moment. I think, “If only this were different, if only that were different.. then I could do it.” There’s the problem. You can’t wait for things to change, you have to do it now!
So off I go to make a mess of a lovely story. Wish me luck!
Shadow was tired of it. When she was a kitten, she was allowed to do as she pleased. Even as a young cat, she was given liberties of the house such as being on the kitchen counters and the table. Then, her mistress found a male human. He wouldn’t stand for an animal behaving in such a way. She was shooed off of counters, tables, and even the bed. A pitifully sized “cat bed” was put on the cold floor and Shadow was expected to use it instead of the warm, larger human bed. It was intolerable. Beyond that, her human even began becoming more strict about how everyone else behaved around the house. She draped the home in whites and beige colors and then got upset whenever someone made a mark on anything. Antiques replaced particle board furniture and the house slowly turned into a museum: you could look, but not touch. Shadow had black fur.. it was always known when she was anywhere not deemed appropriate by her female human. It was becoming too much for Shadow to bear. On top of all this controlling nonsense, the humans had begun to bicker. The male would come home at early hours in the morning, reeking of smoke and alcohol. He always took his bowling bag with him and left it around the house when he came home. It was a thing the female was always complaining about and yelling at him for.
It took Shadow a few weeks to figure out a way to freedom from this newly created Hell hole. It would take a while, however, for the male human to put the bowling bag in just the right spot. The ball inside must have been rather heavy because it always made a loud THUD! when he threw it down in his drunken stupors. The heavier the better.
Finally, one night, the male came home and slammed his bowling bag ontop of Shadow’s cat tower by the front door. Normally, this would upset Shadow, but she had other things in mind. She even seemed to not care about the shouting that ensued when the female awoke for work in the morning. Shadow took her usual spot, under the shoe rack by the door. She was invisible there and out of the way of flying objects that were meant for one of the other humans. The male sped off in his truck and the female cursed at him as she hopped into her Jeep. They were both gone off to work.. the female would return first. Excellent. Now, to wait.
Shadow glared out the window as the Jeep pulled into the drive. Her wide, green eyes seemed to grow larger as her pupils dilated. She licked her whiskers and jumped down from the window just as the driver of the vehicle stepped onto the gravel of the driveway. Shadow took sentry duty next to the front door, swiveling her ears to hear the crunching foot steps of the lady of the house. She crouched down and lashed her tail back and forth. It wouldn’t be long now. Keys jangled as the human searched for the right one to open the front door. Shadow’s eyes narrowed and she crouched even further down onto the floor, becoming nearly invisible as her black fur blended in with shadows of the house. The door slowly opened and human grasped at the wall to find the light switch. Shadow licked her whiskers again as she darted between the humans tired footsteps. The tall, lumbering female came hurtling towards the floor. She cried out and put her hands out to try and catch herself. The cat jumped upon her carpeted tower to watch the demise. Select, choice words spewed from the crying human on the floor as she assessed her fall. She was just making motions to get up when there was a loud THUD! as the bowling bag and its contents fell onto the floor. The cat sat, licking it’s paws as it watched the white carpet turn a deep shade of red. She waited for several minutes to be sure the head trauma was enough to get the job done. There was nothing but silence. The cat took the cue and jumped on the newly tinged carpet, being sure to get her paws entirely drenched in red. She made her way across the white carpet and into the kitchen where she jumped onto the counter and across the white oven. She continued her path, always looking back to make sure her paws were still laying tracks. Over the beige couch, on all of the Antique White window sills, and a special stop on top of the white duvet cover of the bed. Shadow’s paws stopped leaving red tracks and she jumped up onto the antique desk in the living room. Purring, she licked her paws clean and waited for the screams to begin. It would be several hours before the male came home to grab his bowling bag before heading out for the bowling alley and bars. His fingerprints were the only ones on the thing, the neighbors had already heard the fighting, and now the female was dead. The cat purred in contentment and laid down to take a nap. The male would head to prison and Shadow would end up with the female’s single sister. She drifted off to sleep thinking of how she would be doted upon like an only child. All was well in the world again.
My writings as of late are probably not very “good”. I hesitate to use that word because, to me, they are good. I do not mean to imply that their quality is of such a stupendous nature that they will enrapture audiences across the world. In fact, I doubt my writings would garnish audiences of any type. Rather, my writings fulfill a different purpose: getting out. I have all of these little stories literally living inside my mind. The characters creep amongst the stairwells and hide in the nooks and crannies that seem to take up the vast majority of space in my head. They begin to build up if I go too long without writing. It’s as if my mind is some world onto itself and, if left unchecked by a lack of writing, will become so overpopulated with characters and scenes that I have difficulty completing daily tasks.
It is true. I find myself completely diverted by them. It can even become dangerous if, perhaps, I am driving from town to town as I frequently do as of late. I find my mind has completely shifted from the steering wheel to the fantastical realms of my own creation. If I do not write these things down, they multiply and eventually, I am left unable to function hardly at all. It sounds insane, and perhaps I am for having such a mind. I dare not claim it.
The bright side to all of this is, of course, that I have a never ending supply of things to write about. I could sit on my front porch and watch a leaf blow down the street and my mind, if I allow it to, will begin a fantastical story about the leaf or someone/something that has come into contact with it. In fact, I have to strangle this muse of mine quite often or she will pollute my very sanity.. or what is left of it. I find myself literally cutting my mind off and shutting down my imagination so that I am not overwhelmed by it. It becomes worse whenever an episode of Depression sets in. It feels as if the characters of the stories are in my mind, suffocating. I know I must write, but when I am Depressed, I am unable and so the stories slowly die. It literally (not figuratively) causes me physical pain when this happens. It feels as if a part of myself is dying as well.
I do not mean to melodramatic, I simply wanted to share with the echoing spaces of the Internet that my writing may not be “up to par”, but it still serves a useful purpose.