Bookmark #172

I realised a while ago that the feeling of angst was like a door. As long as the door remained closed, you could live your entire life and never feel vulnerable, not knowing what they talk about when they talk about wanting to die. Once you opened it, though, even if just to take a peek out of curiosity, things escape out of it. Even if you shut it quickly, you’ve let them out.

Now, they’ll hide in plain sight: the monsters, the voices, the sheer feeling of pointlessness. They’ll wait in the corner of the room you’re in, on the road you walk on and in the cafĂ© where you laugh. They’ll always be there. They’ll never leave. They’ll wait for a bad day or a heartbreak or even you dropping a cup of coffee, and they’ll come out.

Until one day, when you’re in a crowded city where no one really knows you, and you’re crossing the road, you’ll see a car approaching. You’ll see the car getting bigger, and you’ll want to move, but somehow, your legs would listen to them instead. They’ll tell them to stay put. Your legs will comply. It isn’t until the last moment when it’s already too late that you’ll get your agency back, and you’ll tell your legs to move out of the way.

It’ll be too late though, and as you brace for impact, you’ll realise that everyone lies when they say your entire life flashes before you die. Nothing flashes. You just think about how you wanted to move, and that now it’s too late, and that you should’ve never opened the door when you did, and that a peek did hurt.

If you’re as lucky as I was, the car will swerve, and you’ll hear some verbal slurs, and nothing will happen. Nothing will happen, and you’ll begin to cry. You’ll begin to cry in the middle of the road. Then, you’ll get to safety, and you’ll cry some more, and then, you’ll promise yourself to never let them win.

You’ll spend every day making sure the monsters are asleep, and the voices are never heard. You’ll know they’re sitting right there, you’ll know they’re walking with you, and you’ll know the next time the car won’t swerve. You’ll know you should’ve never let them out, and yet, now that they’re here, you’ll learn how to shut them up.

Then, you’ll be happy.

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