I’m sitting staring at the gap between two trees, trying to calm myself down, armed only with a grim desire. My mind looks like a crack addicted hoarder with five toddlers has taken residence in it. I try to work through the mess, clambering over the piles of toxic thoughts stacked up mountains. It’s a pilgrimage to find a clearing, just like the one between the trees.
My back hurts all the time; a pain I attribute to this state of constant anxiety I live in and an over zealous cardio routine. The pain subsides when I lie down, but I feel all I do is lie down. Again I breathe, inhaling calmness, staining the distance between the oblivious trees with my wishful thoughts than only Death can hear.
The wind is running up my legs, a refreshing dance to the sun’s constant beat over my body. Being outside is good for me they say, so I’ve set myself the task of staying outside for two hours today – alone. I have 46 minutes left. This is supposed to be cathartic, but honestly it feels more like a hostage situation.
I feel panic trickle over me. Again I breathe and gaze longingly at the space between the two trees. I try to fill it with all the unwanted thoughts that are overpopulating my mind. They refuse to take them. They refuse to take me.
I count the minutes the same way I do my unwanted memories: delicately, but hopeful they will soon disappear into time. ‘A watched pot never boils!’, my gran’s words of wisdom like a siren in my ear. Only 44 minutes now.
I sit up straight, stretch out my back, emptying it of tension the way I wish I could my mind. This isn’t getting any easier. Again, I breathe and focus on the gap. 43 minutes now. I can’t keep counting. The minutes, the days, the weeks, the years.
All I can do is wait, another thing they tell me that will help. Waiting. All I fucking do is wait. 42 minutes now. Yet I obey their demands the way scared citizens would a tyrant’s. Keeping my head down in humble slavery to the slow ache of life.
I focus on the space between the trees, again I breathe in. And out. 39 minutes.
I want to run into that gap between those slightly swaying trees; I want to throw myself and every hurting inch of my body and mind into it. Hurl myself into nothing. 27 minutes. I’m done being here, it’s time to leave.
I get up but I’m followed by obsessive thoughts and a sick milky feeling that this medication is giving me. They are slowing down the minutes. They’re holding me here. “It’s selfish.” Another siren. “Think of the hurt you’ll cause and leave behind.” I hate those words, but I am captive to guilt and obligation despite a burning desire to quit. I’m not allowed between this gap the way a child isn’t allowed too much sugar. It’s bad for me, but I want it. I want to disappear between the trees. I want the sweet rot. I want the gap to fill me with its nothingness. I want to be that space that’s missing.