I keep having these flashbacks in my head when I look at certain things. For instance, while driving in my car, whenever I glance over at the little hula hoop dancing figurine on the dashboard, I always think of the day you were born. I was so proud that day that I told everyone about you, even people I had never met. I hugged them and told them how beautiful you were, a nine pound healthy baby girl. Just a few years prior I had nothing figured out in life. And there I was, a first time parent. I was confused, and completely scared, but I knew I was ready for you. I knew immediately we would be best friends. I wouldn’t treat you just as a daughter, but as my best friend: someone you could count on for anything. Someone you could go to for anything. And someone you could tell anything to, no matter if you thought you would get in trouble or not. I’m not sure at what point all that changed, I really don’t. At some point in life, you started growing up too fast, laughing at my stupid jokes less, and wanting not only to not be my friend anymore, but to even call me your dad in public embarrassed you. I could have tried harder, I know I could have. But at some point, we just grew comfortable in our roles. You, off with your friends, and boyfriends. Me, busy at work. We would try to catch up at dinner, the rare occasions we actually sat down together to eat. But you and I both knew my “How was your day, honey” were just empty questions. The script we had learned for the roles we played. There were days, many days, that I wanted to ask you something more; what your dreams are, why you love the friends you choose, why you stare up at the night sky so often. But in the end, I was just tired. Even looking at this figurine now, and knowing you are probably at home, I knew I could try to get closer to you again. But I’m just, so tired. All I really want to do, is go to sleep.

I was on the subway the other day. I was comfortable, had my own seat to sit on and something to read. I became lost in my own head for a while, it could have been a long while. The next thing I really noticed was how packed the train car was becoming. Every station, more and more people were getting on, and it seemed like only a few were getting off. I knew my station was coming up, and not wanting to be rude and pushy, I decided to leave my seat and make my way to one of the doors. But the weirdest thing kept happening. The closer I got to the door, the more people that kept getting in my way. Soon, I was inching my way towards the door, barely squeezing between the endless bodies of people that were crowding the standing aisles of the train. I said my excuse me’s, and pardon me’s, but it seemed everyone was too busy lost in their minds to notice me. The few that did acknowledge, just didn’t have any room to move out of the way of their own. I was maybe a few feet from the door seconds before my stop was approaching, but it seemed like I would need to start pushing and shoving to actually make my way out. A lady moved a little, and it opened up a clear path to the doors. As they opened at the station I wanted to get out at, I gallantly made my way through them. But again, the weirdest thing happened. No one got off the train, and instead more people got on. Before I even knew what happened, the doors closed, with me still inside the train. Claustrophobia was overcoming me, but I knew the train would reach its last stop soon and turn around. I would come back to this stop in no time, I figured. I would try again later, I thought, but for now I was growing ever tired trying to fight through the crowd. I spaced away from the door, and found some room to actually breathe. I would try and catch my stop again soon, and hopefully not have too long of a commute home after. I’m just so tired these days, all that ever really excites me is the possibility of sleep.

I’m becoming very aware of the world around me. It reminds me of a plastic bouquet; it’s made with the intention of providing beauty to those who see it, yet the true story of it all is that its fake-ness is only proceeded by the fact that they are cheaper then real flowers. Our version of reality is just that. We build communities because it’s what we have always done: built small villages where we work together with our neighbors for the benefit of all. Are we really a community? We don’t work with our neighbors; we work for a boss but mostly, we are just working to benefit ourselves. I used to embrace this life; a stable 9-5 job, place to efficiently buy my food and supplies, and a building to retire to at night in peace and safety. It all seems so…manipulative. Almost like a psychopathic control freak’s dream. How can life even begin to look structured? This chaotic collision of particles can actually form into a sign that tells me to stop? To go to work, obey the laws and go “home?”

I’m witnessing myself drifting away from society. The people that I’ve spent so much time calling my friends seem more alien to me then the neighbors in my so called community; the ones I barely ever see and occasionally greet with a “hello.” I’m slowly melting into my own mind, one of the few places I ever find solemn anymore. The minutes before bed, I convince myself that I will be better tomorrow, that I will actually care about the conversations I will have. And then I wake up in the morning, and wonder why I woke up to this reality. I use my stress as an excuse to be angry at the world, even though deep down I know that I am the only reason for it, and the only cure would be to embrace it. But I don’t, because I still need an excuse, and a man who hates the world without an excuse to hate it is just an asshole, right?

I am a better person in my slumber then I am whilst awake. While I’m awake, I look for stimulants to get me out of sobriety. Coffee, food, alcohol, drugs, emotions. Sobriety is boredom, and boredom is slow death of the brain. While i’m asleep, I crave nothing. I am in the moment, and that moment is utterly beautiful. I may be dancing with someone I love, or fighting aliens in a distant galaxy. I don’t question what i’m doing, I simply embrace it as the current “reality.” There is no reason to question anything, I simply let it be. While I’m awake, I’m a constant juggling act of emotions between the ones I’m allowed to show to society, and the ones I must let dwell inside of me. If I was to show my true emotions as they appear, I would be deemed crazy, insane, delusional, sick, psychotic, and overall, “unsatisfactory.” In my dreams, I can cry as loud as I want to and the world around me will just stop and watch in awe. It will admire the fact that I have emotions, and let me embrace them in their current form. Why is there such distinct differences between the two worlds? Why is one so structured in order to maintain order and create happiness, while the other doesn’t give a fuck what you do, as long as it makes you happy to be doing it? Is this universe really meant to be structured, or is it a random chaotic mess, where anything and everything can happen? The distinction between dreams and reality, at one point, was not so severe. But the more we learned about our surroundings, the more we wanted to give them structure, names, and laws. In reality, a chicken crosses the road, and we question its motives, its purpose, and how exactly it came to the decision of crossing. In dreams, a chicken can speak and sing and dance, and we simply converse, sing and dance along with it. We do not ask the chicken why it wanted to cross the road, rather how it feels to be on the other side. There is a fundamental flaw with reality, and I can’t figure out why. I guess i’m just tired. All I really want to do, is go to sleep.

Original art by Falcoknight.