I believe there are a range of gears that you can live your life in, and yet the most commonly engaged is autopilot. There is a comfort in seeing people doing the same as you, being distracted by the same seemingly innocuous pastimes; swiping, scrolling and sidestepping more people in one night than a person will engage with in a decade. There is safety and a self-justification in numbers.

The distractions keep our real selves sequestered at the back of our minds, there I am hostage, and just as intrenched as all those I describe. Every so often I am allowed to stretch my legs, go for a couple laps around the tight parameters of my mental prison, with a sickening smugness that I have climbed out of the rabbit hole long enough to notice it’s raining today. Yet I walk slowly and tentatively, walking with any purpose at all would cause the walls to shake, revealing I am playing my part in a facade, with production quality akin to an episode of Crossroads. If the walls fell I would be forced to face myself, possibilities stretching out before me like open arms I would be no sooner free until I chose to be.

It's only in these lucid moments that I understand I am merely marking time, I am skim reading my life.

It's a weight hard to bare and one that seems to come at the days end. "I can't sleep yet, I need to change my life first". So I stay up longer waiting for tiredness to sidle up and wrap around me like a snake, hissing it's rationalities in my ears. "Have a good resssst, and focusss tomorrow on not blowing it again you sssshhit."

Tomorrow comes like a wave, springing forth around ankles on the shore, I am back in my cell, with my face pressed against the window, a voyeur of my life, just about close enough to ignore the bars.

AuthorDaniel Valaitis