September 16, 2019
The steering wheel is hot and sticky in my hands as I wrench the tiny rental car to and fro around the unfamiliar winding roads of some random town in Missouri.
My body whips violently from right to left, a slave to the centrifugal force of this spontaneously curvy highway. The seamless vibrant green splash of endless thriving farmland paints a blurry streak of bright green across this dazzling earthly canvas. The engine hums loudly near my toes, joining the loud homogenous buzz inside my brain.
My eyes struggle to adjust to the foreign landscape as my mind reels tumultuously from one hurried thought to the next. The cadence of these rapid, urgent thoughts is perfectly synchronous with the turbulent forces exerted upon my body.
Both physically and mentally, I am helpless against the violent forces pulling me in all directions. They are indestructible, these forces. Strong enough to bend the very fabric of one’s reality. I watch in amusement as it bubbles around me like boiling water, stretching and shrinking and threatening to tear its delicate fibers apart, as it borders on the limits of its own fragile elasticity.
I’m exhausted. Hours, days, weeks of running. Go go go. Never stopping. Never slowing. Always going.
What am I running from?
I don’t remember anymore.
Where am I going?
Couldn’t tell you.
Have I ever known?
When does this end? Where does it stop? I need it to stop. Want it to stop. I’m so very tired.
That membrane that was bubbling outwards… roiling and stirring ominously? It’s so close to bursting and I’m not sure I want to know what’s underneath.
What lies beyond the boundaries of reality? What happens when the very tendrils of space-time are penetrated? Can the tear be stitched? Or does it spew out its contents irreversibly like Pandora’s box?
So many questions. Too many answers. Too much. Too fast. Too far. Too wide. Too. Much. Too. Much. Too Much.
I can’t take much more. Can’t handle this. The car is barreling down the road, the thoughts are ripping through my mind.
And then… those flashing lights.
Blue and red in my rearview. So many lights. From so many directions. Police cars on top of more police cars.
They are coming for me. Finally. It’s over.
I slow the car to a crawl and wait for the lights to draw near. Relief washes over me. I close my eyes. Breathe. Sweet, pure oxygen fills my lungs. It’s over. Finally over.
The buzzing in my mind fizzles. A ringing calm takes it place. Help, is here. Finally. It’s over.
There’s no beginning to this story. Nor is there a middle, or an ending. I have always been this way. It was always going to turn out like this.
There are triggers. Things that make it more noticeable. But the pot is always simmering, threatening to bubble over the rim. Certain things, they heighten the flame. Stir the pot. Bring it to a boil. But the water was always simmering. Always.
I’ll tell you all about my little stove. How it was fanned and fed. And how it tipped me past the boiling point. To the point of no return.
For now, the cops have arrived and they’re slowly, cautiously approaching my vehicle. Their hands are on their guns, which makes me chuckle. For Christ’s sake it’s not like I’ve killed someone. I haven’t even broken the law.
As I roll down the window I flash them a giant grin. “The jig is up, and news is out. You finally found me…”