Being tagged with a life in the land of the free seems no more a fairy tale than any conglomerate of characters and their stories most of us connected with as children; aspired to be like – even envied. As far back as I can recall, I have never been authentically satisfied or content with what I have or who I am, where I am going or where I have been; categorically nomadic in mind; a life spent theorizing and plotting a never-ending series of events; tsunamis of instantly gratifying trials and errors, with a predominant outcome weighing heavy on the side of error; miniscule and temporary bursts of fabricated endeavors to replenish an insatiable hole in a squandered spirit. Just as these thwarted attempts, the stories, too, morphed into nothing more than fantasy when my mind evolved and the realities of this world fiercely flooded in; characters that never actually breathed life, but were merely made up and left to remain stranded within the pages of imagination; an inability to deviate from the storyboard they were cast into. The daily war; to seemingly grind through an endless existence with this ill-advised perception of a life without charge, painstakingly begging to be convinced there is no great price to pay is eventually whittled down to no more than a factored in percentage of its masterful deceit; we have never been, nor will we ever be entitled to the concept of perceivable, let alone tangible liberation – everything has a price; something for nothing is non-existent, and deliverance, from where I’m sitting, should be considered one of the most substantial deceptions we have comforted ourselves with as necessary cogs in the societal machine.
Freedom: the front page cover story for this life which has me held captive and restricted, not unlike the characters of my childhood that were predestined to suffer the same fate; they, like I, were involuntarily sentenced to abide by its command. I dreamt of being the characters in the stories of my youth without heeding the repetitive warnings of being careful what to wish for; my dreams, they came true, although blackened and overrun; consumed by a nightmarish tint that blankets the path; nothing like I could have imagined; nothing anybody would wish to embrace. I didn’t understand the manifestation of their struggle; I couldn’t open my mind to the verifiable torment endured as they trudged the tireless quest; I thought they were heroic and brave; I thought it was uncomplicated and effortless; I thought they were free and even beckoning the question of whether or not the ending would be happy never crossed my misguided mind; as far as I could tell, in my limited understanding, they always were – but I was wrong – so rather now, my mind perceives the once beautifully attractive luring aspect of heroic fairy tales as un-relatable and farfetched, with the dishonorable facet of the incarceration of my beloved characters, however, precariously erupting into the forefront of my unfortunate, yet genuine reality.
With acknowledgement of most likely living in the minority with my somewhat skewed filter on how I see the world, I’m left with an apprehensive desire for human connection that wages this crestfallen and complicated tug-of-war in my head; a faith in mankind that slips further into the shadows with each exiguous effort to redirect towards any sign of radiance or relief – the pivotal flag draped from a rope dangerously close to the final decision for falling under an eternal cloak of darkness; an assumingly obvious unbalanced battle at this phase of the contest – yet concession has never been granted entry into my inner circle; assumptions can be dangerous, and it’s as if teetering on the edge of madness is a thrill all in itself; testing the boundaries and exploring my limits – just how far is too far? Can I ever let myself get close to a person again or do I keep it safe at the status quo, surface level interactions that allow me to remain wrapped up in my self-professed zone of comfort from a distance? Am I protecting myself? Hurting myself? Maybe I’m I protecting the potential people I would be letting into my world if and when failure comes crashing through again; maybe protection of any sort doesn’t play a factor at all. With a little over six months off the bottle, the jumbled circus of questions haphazardly floating around my head are adding up, but the answers have seemingly fled seeking safer grounds – a point which has proven problematic due to the over-proven fact that patience, as well, has never been given access to my tight knit, inner circle of self.