Thoughts jostle around in my head, vying for space and prominence like commuters on a platform during morning peak hour. None is trying to be first but none want to be last either. Every one of them wants a seat, a space, a place to rest until it’s time to get up and elbow through the crowds once more.
At different stages they all bang up against each other, as if they’re all busting to get out but the doors are slow to open. It’s here that I fear I am going insane. When a stillness of mind is so elusive I don’t think I can stand it a minute more. When I want to scream out in pain from the noise in my head or just lie down in a dark space, immobilised, willing my brain to quiet.
There is no end spot to this ritual in my head and I think that only adds to its agony. Just as a repetitive mindless task can drive someone to insanity so too can the thoughts in my mind. Be still brain, be still.
I try to turn these commuters into happy passengers, heading off on a grand adventure, happy and excited, but they are elusive, and disintegrate in a vapour as I reach out to hold on to them for a little longer. Happy thoughts are slippery little suckers.
Instead I am trapped with a station full of grey grim faces and heavy shoulders. They are weary, resentful of having to wait yet again, vicious. When I try to engage them, to try and turn them around, to see the good instead of the bad, the happy instead of the bleak they stare back at me. Through me. Their eyes cold, dark and steely. You will not break me they say.
But LOOK! I implore, the sky is so blue, feel the sun’s warmth on your face, isn’t it glorious! Look at these boys! These crazy boys with chutzpah and love, laughter and confidence like an aura around them. LOOK! Look at where you live, the incredible friends and family you have, the love people have for you, how lucky you are.
They sneer back at me. Pfft they say. How stupid do you think we are? Look at you, they deride. You’re fat, you have no self-control, you constantly make excuses, you think you’ve got what it takes but don’t kid yourself honey, you’re in the shittiest hole there is and there ain’t anything you can do that will ever change that. So stare up at that pretty blue sky because tomorrow you’ll still have shit under your nails and the pit will be just a little bit deeper, in case you thought it’d ever be any different. You don’t deserve any different or any better.
And just as I think I can’t stand it, when I want to bore a hole into my skull to let the black demon commuters off, the train pulls into the station and I draw breath. Hot tears and heaving sobs spew forth and I try ever so hard to steady my step and lift my shoulders up. It isn’t true, it isn’t I tell myself but the dark underbelly of my brain has won this day. A poisonous victory for who I am not sure. My guts churn as I see new commuters start to arrive and fill the station.
Here we go again.