“We are all divorced from life, we are all cripples, every one of us, more or less. We are so divorced from it that we feel at once a sort of loathing for real life, and so cannot bear to be reminded of it. Why, we have come almost to looking upon real life as […]
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In Between Grey Areas

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“We are all divorced from life, we are all cripples, every one of us, more or less. We are so divorced from it that we feel at once a sort of loathing for real life, and so cannot bear to be reminded of it. Why, we have come almost to looking upon real life as an effort, almost as hard work, and we are all privately agreed that it is better in books”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground

I woke up startled, shaking, tears running down my cheek, it was one of many other bad dreams I’ve had lately, I heard a feeble sound next to me, when I opened my eyes, my mom had her palm on my shoulders, she was praying.

A huge bee was chasing me, trying to poke on my bare hands and my bare back, I was running away from it so it couldn’t get hold of me, I turned my back and the needle hit me in my neck first, it then stung me in both my arms more than once, I was shouting, feeling each sting, I fell on the ground.

You should pray before your sleep, my mother said to me, giving me a big cup of chamomile tea, she didn’t know it was a long time ago that I quit praying, not as some of you might find it, out of blasphemy, it’s just that the whole process seemed absurd to me. We grow up thinking that if we prayed hard enough, everything that we needed or wanted would come true, would be real; the gifts we wanted on holidays, the candy we craved, the good grades we worked hard for, and then one day, what you want, you don’t get anymore. I didn’t get the job I pleaded to get, nor kept the person I dreamed of spending the rest of my life with. Suddenly, praying wasn’t enough anymore, and you don’t just give up on asking for God’s help, you give up on your whole life as well.

My mother didn’t notice that, for more than two weeks, I didn’t eat, I didn’t sleep, I didn’t write.

There were obviously some failed attempts at sleeping, the first night, I dreamed of my father’s funeral, everyone was in black and crying their hearts out, I was the only one wearing a shiny pink dress, with a smile on my face. Every time I woke up from a bad dream, I felt my chest tighten, a piece of me whither, and the dream kept playing and replaying in my mind. I had them all memorized, and the tape kept going on and on, one after another, until there was no point of ever trying to sleep, and weak, bulging eyes remained open, staring at the ceiling, my body unmoved.

I kept thinking, trying to arrange those little pieces, the mistakes that hunted me, the things that didn’t go as planned, the people I lost, the relationships I didn’t try hard enough to save, these all were pieces of the puzzle that was my life, and every one of them was just as important to complete the bigger picture, things didn’t go as planned because I didn’t follow the path the right way, and that was just fine, there are always more paths and turns in life to follow, I was beating myself up on things I didn’t do, and choices that were thrown upon me. I lost my serenity when I thought of it all as black and white and didn’t take the shades of grey they held in between, it was larger than the box I was in, bigger than the coffin I was hitting nails into.

In the end, I was spiteful, bitter, and I think I was having troubles in my stomach, but all the same, I could enjoy the little things, the gestures people showed me, the thin strings of life and love I had left in my withering heart.

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