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a guest Nov 9th, 2018 118 Never
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  1. There was a time when he saw differently, sitting at home in a 3 bedroom apartment facing a bright screen shooting signals of erosion into his brain, shifting peaceful mounds of mindfulness into a mess of euphoria and comedowns, the dopamine surges of lessons learned and bosses defeated, the dread of sleep, the darkness, the bed laying beneath him moaning with every thoughtful toss and turn, his mind a loop of images and clips of voices heard throughout the day, none standing out. The booze flew like water through his veins and became him. With enough of it, he could never come down.
  2.     When school life ended and the degree was mailed, panic set in. Suddenly the gluttonous life he had enjoyed ended, he having made the same mistake all addicts make: to assume that the present moment of joy is all that matters. But when the now arrived where that joy was no longer there, his body despaired in depressive rage and threatened to eat him from inside. And so, with no sense of false pride remaining, he moved from place to place, scrounging all the time to feed his hunger for thoughtlessness. The universe did not create him to prosper, his joy was in hermiting away the days until it would reclaim him again. Screens flashed him into a vaporous wave of wakefulness, kept the pain at bay so long as his brain could have a fixation on images and sounds, on a sense of busyness to life that didn’t exist naturally around him. Always, he lay in bed alone, seeking attention from any outside source, anyone to pay him mind and remind him to keep living, for some reason. Death scared him and he did not invite it with his mind, he shut it out with xenophobic intent. He stayed rooted in his cravings, he served their every need, and they in turn shut down major parts of his mind. He slept often, well, and hungrily, nibbling up every last minute of his afternoon in abstract waves of otherness. He wanted the erasure of ego death, craved his salvation in this way, but always returned to consciousness craving those things that would feed it back to living.
  3.     Insanity had claimed him at long last. Twenty-six years of living had killed his soul. That is, until he discovered that the end of one’s mind is the beginning of one’s power.
  4.  
  5.     “Life is just life,” I mutter to myself in the throes of near-sleep. An image of a stop sign flashes through my mind. It has long white arms with red ribbons tied around them extending out, six arms extending in an oddly square fashion. I realize this is the end of the road. I can’t see much around it, just some hazy composite image of places I’ve seen before. I struggle to regain my breathing in the dark of the living room, eyes darting open momentarily to heed the blue hazy light filtering its way onto every dark, heretofore unilluminated surface. “Life is just life.” These words calm me with a balmy touch, like butter or smooth whiskey sliding their way into every inner pore of my gut.
  6.     I don’t know where I’m going with this thought. I want to GO, I want to pass the end and see what’s beyond the final image my mind seems able to produce this early morning-time. I can’t go. I can’t get up. I can’t move on. The sign has stopped me. Yet I peer back down into my mind and try to fix my eyes on its center, to read the word STOP stenciled there, and I realize I can’t look at it directly. I look around the gate at the end of the road, enhance where needed, and see white foamy light like parchment paper in the sad, tired light of an office cubicle on the 40th floor of the Metlife building across the creek, an image I haven’t seen myself because I am unable to fly, but one I sometimes imagine existing in the tiny little square peering out at the night sky when I ride my bicycle home from work. With that segue I’m off to a million other images of the day, close and far, and I find I prefer the miniature square of light to the massive light of features on my beautiful coworker’s face as she smiles mischievously back at me in a saved image in my mind, one that inspires neutral feelings but also a conviction of having seen something unforgettable. The mystery of that window inspires me more, like the tiny dimple of a giant dimly perceived a mile above the Earth by a man craning his neck upwards. That light could come from a million different scenes, the potential of the people who are inside made infinite by the fact that I would likely never see them, never truly know anything that went on in that place. A warped wooden door being jolted open at the back of my apartment quickly brings me back to the simpler and truer image of my sleeping area, and I hear the roommate enter the restroom. I want to fall asleep now, to get the oblivion over with so I can wake up feeling peaceful again just a little while longer.
  7. I decide to read more Tolle.
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