Time: The Measure of Fear
Time: The Measure of Fear4 mins 198 4 mins 198
The time elapsed and the yellow duvet never turned itself inside out. The music has gone and the cardigan only got shoved further beneath the clutter under the bed. As the voicemail turns to another replay, his meek sigh gets shuffled with the noise of the rampaging traffic and the birds’ chirps. The shadow of the ex un-taped from another unutilized photo-album. Another page removed from the notebook and ripped to pieces. Nothing left to say as the prayers have gone silent. The lingering black cloud hovering over his misplaced memories because what if he finally makes his bed and gets dressed? What then? Another box checked off on his list but yet another gets added just a few seconds later and it keeps on going so. But the paintbrush kept on drying as the walls remained damaged and untouched. How does he turn his frown upside down? How does he finally take that step to check the most important box off? And what then? His life will lose its meaning.
Fear never seemed so uncompromising. Is it truly procrastination when his fingers freeze at the thought of opening his folded computer and writing down his answers? Is it truly procrastination when his mind goes blank the moment he tries to arrange his words in an intelligible order when nothing in his brain makes sense? The fear of losing his mind paralyzes him most. What if nothing makes sense? And giving away nonsense is like giving away nothing of value and the laughter seems to be the only echo that will be recalled as another anecdote at his expense. The potential of humiliation then remains in the unkept kitchen drawers and the unfolded laundry. Defeated. What’s the point?
“How long have these thoughts persisted?”
He looked up from his grieving hands at the gentle therapist who was trying to do her best at making him open up. But it was hard for him to focus as for a moment her soft fingers captived his thought and the way she handled the pen as she wrote another question down before it escaped her mind.
“I can’t remember,” he gave into the silence and her forgiving eyes begging to end his torture he so quickly tends to inflict onto himself. “Months,” he added only because he finally recalled that it has indeed been months since he smiled. Since he felt happy or simply felt anything.
“You said you feel like you’re wasting your time. The guilt of wasting your time. Something you put upon others. Your burden. Is that how you feel like, a burden?”
“Unworthy. Unworthy of time.”
“How is so?” Her question genuinely sounded inquisitive as if the collection of his works were deemed worthy.
“Because I have done nothing. Unable to do anything. Stuck in the mud that keeps on pulling me down.”
And that was the end of the first session. The second somehow evolved to a whimsical debate after, in his faint attempt to convince his therapist of his lack of worth, she jetted, “Some may say that coal is just an unpolished gem.”
As he argued, “Others will argue that it pollutes the environment when ignited. And I pollute and nothing more.”
By the third session, they got into a rhythm of a question and a combative but empty answer.
“How can I regret anything when I have no attachment to it? Being numb is being nothing. Being nothing is having nothing. Nothing to hold. Nothing to claim. Nothing to save. Nothing to retrieve.”
Then, the fourth session when his homework got assigned. The counter to his persistence of none-living. This is where it all unraveled. His doom. His exile. He needed a mood stabilizer or a complete switch. Something that would propel him to live. To dig himself out of the mud. Out of the paralysis. Out of the fear.
No more excuses. A complete face-off. But it’s easier to fall and hide.
The time elapsed and the yellow duvet never turned itself inside out. The music has gone and the cardigan only got shoved further beneath the clutter under the bed. As the voicemail turns to another replay, his meek sigh gets shuffled with the noise of the rampaging traffic and the birds’ chirps.
“It’s Doctor Sarah Koba. You have canceled your last seven appointments…”
Change is a bruised ego. Responsibility is a guilty pleasure. Reliance, only given to the ones who have earned it. Loyalty kept him at his post. His best friend, fear that time stretched to nothingness over and over again. Time, his worst enemy, his guilt, his fear.