Playdates.

At times, I conjure demons out of hiding to come and play. They slither out of the cracks merrily, asking where I have been.

I tell them I have been travelling between the phantasms of nightmares and the realities of the objective world; that I have learned there is not much out there to see; that my follies have flown me too close to the sun and now my heart is filled with embers at risk of fizzing out like falling stars, one after another.

They seethe with resentment. They see through my ruse. They know I only seek them out when I need an excuse.

“In all your joys, you never once see them through. What is it about happiness that frightens you?” they ask.

I acquiesce to their astuteness and answered, “I know happiness is akin to an eye’s glimmer, glimpsed only fleetingly. I dare not relish in the warmth, lest it burns through my skin and scar.”

“No good thing ever lasts. You are wise to come. All the others would have turned you away, but not us! We know you; only we can fathom your depths, and we have missed you dearly. What game should we play today?”

I stood in the silence, letting the question linger in the air. My mind echoing, wondering, “Why am I here?”

Our heads are large, cavernous spaces. They contain the voices, both kind and cruel, of all the people we have ever known. Some are languid and soothing, halting rogue fears and rekindling the strength that lay dormant within us. Others are vicious and relentless, gnawing at our bones and wanting nothing else but to keep us small.

I have shared my bed with the demons for the better part of three decades. In that time, I have wavered in and out of numerous consciousness, always with one foot out the door, constantly fearing the softness will show. For softness has no place in this world — women demand abrasive strength from their sisters, while men expect flesh free of mortal wounds.

I am soft, and I am scarred. My being has become home to people who have not been given the space to express their surrender to tenderness. The journey I am on requires me to unburden myself of all external expectations that serve as fodder for my yielding to the demons in my head.

I have not yet learned how to stop seeking them out in days of joy. I have not yet learned how to not become wary of happiness. For now, I will try to bask in the fleeting, rose-colored glow of my glee, breathing in its perfumes and sleeping in its balminess for a little while longer.

Don’t mind me.

Sometimes, my brain forgets to remind my lungs to breathe in my sleep. WebMD calls it sleep apnea. I call it, “my body’s way of fighting a part of it that wants to die.” I’m not suicidal… not all the time. Maybe not even at all. My soul kicks and screams at all my demons just to keep me sane… alive.
 
I actually want to stay alive. I want to live long enough to see the good I could become. I want to live long enough to see if it’s possible to change my mind about having kids. I want to live long enough to meet the one. I want to live long enough to get to a size 2 (Stop judging me. Hey, I want to live long enough to see that, too.)
 
To be honest, I’m not terribly suicidal. I’m not brave enough to kill myself. And since I’ve seen what suicide does to a family, I’m not about to let mine go through that a second time. Is it even brave to commit suicide? Or is it cowardice? Do I truly want to stay alive? Or, am I just overwhelmingly curious? Curious enough to want to find out what tomorrow looks like.
 
To be honest, I don’t really know. It’s just that sometimes it feels better not to exist… at least temporarily. “Is this medical or existential?”, I ask myself as I write this at 4am, a few hours after January 1st, 2018. I’m not even sure why I’m thinking about death at this hour. Maybe because I can’t go back to sleep after my brain forgot to let me breathe again. Maybe because I remember my brother. Maybe because I just feel small and helpless and alone.
 
Who knows? What I do know for sure is that I still want to see another day. My people shouldn’t really worry about me. I want to live long enough to see if I could be happy… finally.