When I fly in the wind,
over and over again,
am I hoping to come down
I awake to my roommate smashing his football cleats against the wall of our room to remove the mud. I slowly open my eyes to the disgusting rising sun. I could have swore I shut the blinds. I slowly lift my head and in a way am surprised I feel as good as I do. Just some cramping in the sides and a small headache. I survived once again. My roommate still continues to stain the wall with his mud filled spikes. I give him one of those "what the fuck" looks but he stares me down and continues. So I sigh and fall out of bed. My bedside alarm was obviously not set during the previous blur of a night, so I missed my first class of the day. Today though, class is not a priority. At this point, my college career is not about finding myself academically, its not about striving for some 4.0 grade point average, or defining myself with accumulative numbers and retain able knowledge. College is another transition of life, you can either be devoured in vice, multiple kinds of depression and lack of motivation and care, finding out college isn’t for you. Or let yourself be devoured in multiple kinds of vice and depression, scrap by academically and hope you come out on the other end established as a member of the college, feeling more comfortable away from home than at home, at least these are the options I give myself. The college experience to me is all about experiencing the cliche with an ignorant bold mind. I am a freshman looking to experience it all and to obtain the stories the privileged have. Your typical "Remember that stupid shit we did in college" stories. To be around a table 30 years from now with my buddies just bull shitting about our typical American experiences. Except I have with me baggage of addiction and depression thirty miles deep. This may affect my college experience in ways I am ignorant of at this point. My survival rate upon arrival was not a high one.
I put on some worn cloths and head for the door. I am always on the move, always have somewhere to be. I keep myself busy and away from thought as much as possible. My daily analysis always seems to find me though.
I quickly burst outside and it might have been the wilderness of a foreign country. I slowly paced the dried up grass, crossing sidewalk after sidewalk up the steep campus hill. I don’t see many people traipsing around the small private campus as I stumble for the main residents life hall. I grip the cold metal handle of the steel door hoping that maybe, just maybe, inside I might find the meaning of guilt.
Continuing a journey on this path,
separating down both halves,
not knowing the consequences
of living under this mask.
Pretending I am someone I am not.
Will I ever be unmasked?
I sat in my councilors waiting room fumbling over some sort of truth in my head, but none of my truth was worth pondering. None of my self depraved truth could be separated into any sort of justification. So I slowly pieced together exaggerations of manipulation so my councilor would have something to council. I believed the council of lies is easier than the council of truth because the lies can be hid behind. Soon you will forget they are lies at all and absorb the artificial truth that will become the cure for your pain. This is the meaning of my life at this point.
My head slowly lifted as my fellow peer quickly scrambled out without a glance and I lost focus as I stared down the long hallway as she disappeared around the opposite hall. My lost stare was broken by the greeting of her voice. I turned around to see my councilor Joe’s head peering out through the partially cracked door. She has a kind smile and used it as her greeting. I walked into her office almost ready to talk. "How are you doing this week, Derrick? she ask. "Eh hanging in there" I said with a kind unenthusiastic tone as I made my way to her office couch. I sat there for a minute grabbing for the candy dish as Joe made her way to her chair. She was a tall stocky woman with long curly black hair. She always had on what looked like a nurses uniform with flowers on the large t-shirt with a wide range of colors and what looked like blue, comfortable sweat pant covering her large beefy legs. I don’t ever think I saw her wear anything different during my many sessions with her. She dropped down in her comfortable pail blue chair with a heavy sigh.
I threw the piece of candy in my mouth and Joe stared at me a minute as we both got comfortable. "So what’s new this week?" she said to me enthusiastically. "Same old, same old." I mumbled, not knowing yet whether this conversation will pick up where it left off last week. My sessions with Joe have been ongoing about twice a week for about three weeks now and as much as I want to think I had her fooled, she probably already had me figured out after my first session. She already knows enough about my history to begin probing and Joe is known for her blunt treatment. To me I want to believe this is a challenge and exciting, but the truth is it frightens me. As many councilors I have seen throughout the years, I know she is the best. "You look tired." she said with a kind of disapproving smirk on her face. "How was your night?" She could tell without even hearing the words, but I didn’t budge. "Boring, I just stayed in my room and watched some t.v., nothing special." "O I see." She said shaking her head slowly as she stared at me with squinty eyes. I really don’t know why I still lie to her. It didn’t take me long to figure out I couldn’t put much past her, but I still needed to fool myself for some reason. I had to be careful with my words around her and I am a man with many, but I didn’t say much just yet.
"Have you talked to your parents lately?" she asked. "A little yesterday afternoon." I mumbled. Knowing where she was going with this question I began to think of a quick way to change the subject, but I didn’t have the gall to ruin her engagement on my sensitive roots. Joe, I knew, had quickly pieced together in our few sessions that my parents were a large influence and determining factor on the decisions I made. "Yeah, I might be going home next weekend, or something." I said as I glanced out the middle of the semi cracked blinds covering her one window by her thrown of consoling. I was the oldest of two children and I came from your typical upper middle class mid-western family. I lived in about thirteen houses growing up, all in the same town. My parents always made sure that I had the best of things, making sure I was fed them with a silver spoon. They both had to work hard for there success and wanted to make sure their two children would not have to struggle as they did. I always had my parents to fall back on, never really having consequences of any magnitude for my actions. I was always able to manipulate any punishment they tried to enforce on me and my manipulating talent only grew with time. I always had a job growing up, but money wasn’t an issue, a job was just for show. My parents always believed money and a good family covered it all. There trust came with an inconsistency that has conditioned me to be paranoid and unsure of the people that are closest to me. I felt alone and I was searching for something to fill a large hole somewhere deep in me. Joe could see through the confusion and pain in my anxious body movements, constant de focus, and rapid hand tapping as the conversation evolved.
My frustration and anxiety grew with every moment. My solid limbs felt as if they were no longer mine. I ceased to hear the words Joe spoke as my fierce body movements and racing thoughts exploded. I could feel my pulse in my eye sockets, the grit in my teeth as they smashed together, and the sweat quickly filling my palms. Joe’s abstract vibrations smashed into my ear drums as I tried to regain focus. Then, just as intense as the anxiety progressed, it subsided, and with this calm came a clarity. I arose my head from its meaningless stare at the grainy carpet and pasted my eyes into Joe’s. Without saying a word we spoke more truth in this half a second stare than any words could have. She saw I wasn’t out to blame anybody for my depraved actions. I had a clarity in my eyes that pierced any bullshit word I could blurt into the air. I gazed deep and her gaze accepted. I willingly or who knows maybe unwillingly exposed my naked intentions onto the world. She had caught me at the right moment, a very rare moment and place to be. She saw what I new and hide about myself through so many fronts. I hide behind myself, I hide behind a false pretense of abuse on myself, depraved swinish action that would get any attention from anyone with a little humanity, believing if I could concur the rough edges of what life can bring, I will be recognized as one of the strong. I look for answers in substance and mind altering asphyxiation that are false and can be found with a small amount of effort in sober thought. That buried deep inside me is a strong man and so much potential that might one day if uncaged, could become something great. I have no one to blame but myself for my choices and actions. My analyzation of everything won’t allow me to be ignorant of the truth, even the truth of myself. Joe saw this for a split second. Losing focus once again and breaking the silence I pushed the conversation in another direction.
I spoke before she could. I began to mumble intensely about myself. Almost in a Narcissistic rant of justification and pity for myself. I was regurgitating worn out phrases that lined my skull from previous psychoanalysis in rooms with book lined walls, desks with early nineteen ninety computers covered in old post it notes and filth I would stare at intensely when I didn’t want to hear the conversation. Associating the dirt and disorganization with a lower grade of humanity. I was searching for any imperfection or any unprofessional glitch in these human mechanics to help me feel guilt free in my flee. This allowed me to defocus from the therapy of a high grade and move on from a session of any importance, out of the office, into the night, and on to another binge. I was straining to remember words from old flapping psychology jaws to elevate myself to Joe’s level, which I came to admire in a short time and see as some sort of genius. I thought I could fool anyone and she was the first dose of reality I chose to give a second glance at, and that was important to me. I spit out diagnoses after diagnoses labeled to me during the years. Attention Deficit Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Bi Polar, Anxiety attacks, Alcoholic, Drug Attic, and in this rant my eyes lit up as I smoothly ran off the list of knowledge I had on a series of Disorders. I had almost rehearsed this trying to impress anyone who began to scrap at that wall of insecurities I had built. I was trying to impress Joe. I was only delivering another brick to that wall. I looked up at Joe as my rant started to slow and I started to come somewhat back to reality. She wasn’t happy. I could tell. She did not show her displease in a typical way. Her facial expressions weren’t that of your typical angry person. She had a smirk, and let out kind of a chuckle that told me I was full of shit. I stopped and began my anxious foot tapping once again and started to look around her office. My eyes wondered to the book shelves. No unorganized books. My eyes flew to the desk. No post its in sight. No dirt surrounded the keyboard or dirt collected on the desk top. Her computer model even blew mine out of the water. Clean, the office remained and she complained about her surroundings and lack of windows in her office. Everything looked fine to me. This made me grow even more anxious in this environment. I wouldn’t let myself create any faults associated with Joe even though she was as human as everyone else. My Obsessive Compulsive urges were unseen by every eye except mine. I am my own self destruction, eating myself from the inside out. I respect Joe though, and in a way am threatened by her wisdom. My instant reaction is to become a conceded arrogant monster. This is my great and over used defense when I have something to prove to someone. I want to believe I am a mystery to the world. I love to thing I wear a thick mask, dark and gloomy, with not a sign of chipping paint or cracking plaster. A mask that haunts and intrigues onlookers leaving them wanting a second look, feeling they have been in the presence of a strong figure, and associating me with a question mark wanting more of what puzzle I think I created and drag along. But the truth is, it doesn’t take long to see through the clear cracked mask I seem to throw together from my worn pockets on the inside of my filthy pants I wear day after day. With a little effort and talk I am a pretty easy guy to figure out.
I had to leave. I had to get the fuck out. I mumbled my typical nonsense and listen to Joe’s thoughts without really piecing together any of it. I said my typical anxious goodbyes as Joe chuckled her disapproving goodbyes, like someone who was about to dive into one hell of a ground breaking speech. Then abruptly cut off by some rude dick who does not know how to appreciate the moment. I didn’t care. I didn’t want to face truth of any kind. I had too much and I was reaching for that giant pause button before any self analysis began. I shot out of the office, smacking my shoulder on the wall as I swung around the corner and into the hallway. I seemed to glide down the office lined hall of the residence building, occasionally glancing out of the corner of my yellow and red eyes at familiar faces behind smudged windows and open doors eager to smile at me. I quickly pulled my pupils from there friendly dimples and to the nearest exit. Exit to the outside where I could spark my nicotine fix I had on my mind for the last thirty minutes. I made it out of the building, but I didn’t escape. My first exhale of menthol escaped my throat and in clawed the past.