The Tragedy of Living in a Garden Level.


The thought occurred to me that this will be the first Independence Day, the one upcoming, in well over a decade where I have not been heavily medicated.

I’m not talking about self-medication—though many people do use the day as a reason (or an excuse) to drown themselves in celebration-–I’m talking about the years I spent more numb than I understood. The slowdown encapsulate, tablature, etc. The times when my senses were tuned down to a low hum and everything felt like a fast motion shot with a slow motion centerpiece, me, in the middle, staring at the concrete from the womb of my apartment. My old apartment was on the third floor of a highrise and, from the windows, vehicles of all kinds would fly Westward  and pass me by.

Kind of like life feels like most of the time.

Holidays are never cause for celebration for me. I haven’t had much fun during any of them and I can’t say I’ve ever superlatively referred to any holiday ever. That’s just me. But, what I’m wondering now, is whether or not I will be the dog under the bed, back in the bedroom with his ears covered. The sensation of loud noises, chaos, surprises, they all bring about this sort of welling-over of anxiety. It’s like many children screaming or a single baby crying. I can’t handle that. My perception has felt far too sensitive just like I can’t look people in the eyes when I speak. It will break my train of thought and I’m trying to put the words together so they stick in some form of sense but I have to leave some sense behind and not attend to it. I cannot see and speak to you. I cannot hear you all and think. Sometimes, I can’t think without tears and, since I rarely attend to my eyes it’s odd to me that I notice them but that’s not the point. I don’t think that’s the point.

Living on the first floor of an apartment building is a tragedy to me.

In my mind I’m sitting on the fire escape of an apartment building I visited. There are no buildings behind it but a building of equal height to the South. It’s like being mentally in a corner which is far more comfortable for me. I’m on the fourth floor on the 4th of July and, to the East, there’s a skyline that is not bright enough to outshine the stars. I’ve got a cigarette in my hand and maybe I’ve asked if I can just sit out here or maybe I’ve separated myself from the pack. There are endless possibilities when I shoot these scenes in my head. I can see the sky from the concrete corner just as the fireworks begin their phantasmagoria, their bright flashes of life before dying, the odyssey of faux-Phoenixes that will never again rise.

And it’s all silent. Someone has joined me, and we are sitting with our legs sticking out between the bars in our perch and maybe that’s what I feel like I need right now and that’s why I can see it so clearly in my mind. We don’t say anything because silence suits us or you at least understand, in the moment, it suits me. My eyes are focused on the rainbow barrage and patterns in the sky which may be why I don’t notice you at first with your head against my shoulder. This is what I see when I close my eyes for a moment and dream.

In my mind’s eye there is nothing but silence as we are silhouetted against the city lights and the fireworks. And I wonder now if any of my thoughts and daydreams have always been this silent.

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