What is fear, really? A warning? A self-sabotage? A saviour?
Already my pulse quickens and the euphoria of moments, days ago, is consumed. I cancel our plans and take the day off. I work all day and his name is on the tip of my tongue. A co-worker asks about a guy I was dating the last time I saw her and it takes me a moment to even register who she is talking about, so far away it seems now. My steps are haunted while I teeter-totter back and forth, torn.
My heart is screaming like the gears of an old machine. Abused. Wanting to work harder, faster, and failing. Coming up short all these years.
I’ve only just got my feet underneath me. I’ve only just stretched these legs, ready to run, unharnessed.
It’s the first drag of a joint, the paranoia and panic building underneath my skin, pulsating at my temples and wrists. Needing to assert control on my body, the parts of me that are reaching in opposite directions. Needing to bring them back together on a stronger string, repositioned. Needing to tell myself, no, calm down, this is all in your head.
Mind over matter.
It’s overwhelming. So much, so soon. I police myself. I throw thoughts from my mind like I am bailing a sinking boat. A valiant effort against the futility of fighting a heart. Already, I am knee-deep.
I reheat leftovers when I get home. Eat two bites and feel full, fit to burst.
The fear snakes around my wrists, up my forearms, around my neck. Cutting off my airway, hissing in my ear. Run, it says. Run. There’s still time, it’s not too late, yet. Take these months of practice and use it here, where it really matters. Your feet are already heading towards the door. Your hand is on the knob. No need to look back, you never have before. Go. Run. Go.
Each word leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, a cold nail down the blackboard of my back.
This monster at the core of me, telling me I am hungry when I can’t eat. Whispering warnings in my ear. Poisoning me from the inside out.
The risks of staying. The loss of letting go.
I finger the coin in my pocket. Settle it heads up on my thumb and flick it into the air, already knowing—as the fear hisses and the silver turns over on itself—which side will land palm up.
Grizzly Bear – Two Weeks