Have you ever watched the days bleed?
They do, you know.
They bleed, one into another into another, week after week, month after month, year after year. Seconds bleed into minutes bleed into hours bleed into days. Each of them crushing in their weight.
This is my thirty-second year of watching days bleed into months, of watching seasons bleed into one another so that you can no longer tell where one ended and the other began. It’s my thirty-second year of watching leaves fall into snowflakes, of watching dead brown grass bleed back to life and then to death once more. It was supposed to be a magical year, full of all the good things I could possibly imagine.
It was supposed to be frightfully wondrous.
But instead, I’ve watched winter press on into spring, bleed into summer, fade into fall. The seasons have crushed me beneath their snowdrifts and flooded riverbanks and desiccated leaves. I put my nose to the grindstone and ground it off, and instead of looking up, instead of stepping back, I pressed on, grinding more and more of myself into dust until all that was left was an exposed nerve.
It is November of my thirty-second year, and I am an exposed nerve – invisible, until something brushes against me. Invisible, until something bumps into me. Invisible, yet ever-present.
And I am not the only one.
My family has been ground down right along with me. They see every clenched jaw, hear every mumbled curse.
I am an exposed nerve, and they walk on eggshells.
I wanted a year of frightful wonder, but what I got was a year of fright.
I have two more months to turn this year of fright into something wondrous. But how do you do that when you just want it – everything – to stop? How do you stifle the voice in your head from whispering of more?
Gotta do more, gotta be more, gotta have more.
The voice is a liar, and I know it. The pursuit of more has left me exposed, exhausted, quivering with anger I don’t understand, anger that I can’t keep bottling up. I find myself hunched beneath its weight as I struggle to keep on keeping on. It has made me cold, and no matter how hot the day, I shiver, because the cold is inside me.
And as day bleeds gently into night, I wonder if this is really all there is.
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