Today I was at a train station, as I got to the platform there was a train approaching which wasn’t stopping there.
I was at the start of the platform quite near the edge. I looked back and as I watched the train rapidly close the distance, there was a moment where I didn’t know if I was going to jump.
Then that moment passed. I stood helpless as the carriages barrelled past me. A pang of regret hit my stomach as tears silently danced down my cheeks. I turned around to walk down the platform to a spot where I could board the train home, and then I saw her.
A woman about my age had been watching me. Her face portrayed a morbid curiosity. No concern or empathy, just intrigue. She saw that I noticed her and gave a short frown accompanied by a shrug then went back to reading her paper.
This is unfortunately the world we live in, one where someone can see a man in so much turmoil and pain that he gazes wistfully into death, and callously watch as though hoping to see something entertaining.
That is not a world I want to be in.
Yesterday I woke up at 7. I went downstairs to get a cup of tea, grabbed a mug, put the teabag in, then stuck the kettle on. The next thing I know it’s 9:30 and I’m just waking up in bed. At first I thought nothing of it, but when I went downstairs the mug was in the exact place where I thought I had put it.
Weird, right? I lost two hours of my memory. I have no recollection of what happened between me turning on the kettle and waking up two hours later. The thing is, it’s not the first time this has happened.
Back in uni, one day I was walking to a lecture and it happened. I woke up in bed again a few hours later, but my face was covered in blood (most likely a nose bleed or something). Again I have circumstantial evidence that it wasn’t just a dream – I had been texting someone that morning and the texts were still there, including one saying I had just left the student halls.
I don’t know what causes these and the only correlation I can see is that I seem to abandon what I’m doing then wake up in bed afterwards. There are other times it has happened but I won’t bore you with the details. It isn’t a frequent enough occurrence that I would consider it a pattern; just something somewhat concerning.
An autumn leaf sways gently. It’s stem holds fast to the tree with dead fibers, remaining in place only because they have yet to break. A more enthusiastic gust could pluck the leaf from it’s home, sending it tumbling down to join the rest of the detritus on the ground.
A passer-by remains oblivious to the dance of this leaf as it gets caught in his slipstream, twirling through the air as it glides off the path and onto an unkempt lawn.
A swallow swoops down to snatch the leaf from the ground, gliding on the wind to return to it’s home amongst the trees. The leaf is home once more but is not the same as it once was. No longer alone, the leaf is nestled amongst mud and twigs with more dead leaves held between them. Now it is protected and can atrophy undisturbed by further wind.
I’ll start off by saying that if I have misinterpreted your intended recipient then I’m sorry and you can proceed to disregard this (not that I think you would anyway).
In a way you’re right – I’m looking for an opportunity, a way out. I’ve known for a while that it will be difficult to find one, but probability and chaos suggest that there is going to be one. If I am looking at the time then I will take it. I know what a chance would mean to me and how I would recognise it, but it isn’t something I can articulate.
Part of the problem is that I feel trapped. I got a job in hopes that a sense of responsibility would change things, but now it not only feels like I am in a cage but there is a guard telling me when and how to breathe.
I am under no illusion that things are guaranteed to be better past the way out but I am willing to roll the dice. At this point, carrying on due to not knowing seems worse than the alternative.
All of this doesn’t mean I’m not looking for other ways to change it, quite the opposite in fact. I just don’t want to try indefinitely.
There is no purpose in life except that which we ascribe to it in any given moment of observation. One moment your purpose could be to find your way to your next meal, the next it could be to gaze into the eyes of your beloved one more time. Should you ever find your life without meaning, don’t panic! Simply remember that this is ok – you’re experiencing a moment of clarity. Whether you live or die at any given point of time means nothing in the long run. Make of that what you will but keep in mind that your purpose is what you make it and you have the unique opportunity to consciously choose your next purpose because of your current lack of meaning.
An important part of having a purpose which is often overlooked is that you don’t need to have a purpose. If you so choose you can reject purpose in life and embrace the lack of meaning. If you have nothing to keep you going and don’t want something then you shouldn’t feel pressure to give yourself a reason. Instead, try to evaluate why it is that you don’t want one and look at whether you already have a hidden purpose. You may be surprised at what you find. If you find nothing then you might not need a purpose in this moment.
For the uninitiated, packet loss is a term used in computer networking to refer to the loss of data packets when communicating between two computer systems or networks. There are some ways in which packet loss can be considered analogous to the way in which I struggle in life.
When writing I know the exact shape that the letters should take, I know exactly how my body should move in order to transfer ink to paper in such a manner to have the words take perfect form, yet I find myself unable to scrawl them down in a commonly legible manner. My fingertips miss the finer details of the motions and as a result the words become sloppy and unrecogniseable to those who have not taken time to decipher my script in the past.
An explanation of my thoughts and understanding may rest firmly in my mind in perfect form, yet my mouth betrays me. I become unable to send the words from consciousness to voice, unable even to express their sentiment.
Some nights I wake up in cold sweats, my pillow soaked and my skin clammy. If I’m laying on my back there’ll be a small pool of sweat in the center of my chest. I’ve tried everything – medicated antiperspirants, sleeping with a fan on and the windows open, sleeping without a duvet. None of it works. I just wish I could leave this body and be done with it, no more flipping over the pillow half way through the night because the side I’m using is damp. No more showers in the middle of the night to wash away the sweat. But unfortunately that’s not likely to happen any time soon.