Locked In with Myself

Intro: the vacuum gets filled by a little introspection. 


I wish it hadn’t stopped.

You know those brittle, black nights when you start to pluck at your skin, scratch a hole, dig down through the fat to pull on the old nerves, that used to sting so much. That sting. That zipping, sharp fire that makes you forget yourself. Or remember yourself. But then dawn dawns on you and you cover the wound, or window, with scraps and rags, cut from each day, week, decade, to regain the form that you have accidentally sculpted. The others though so pleased to see the shapes you have made have stayed the same, however much it binds you. The passion and lostness that took so long to bury seem, on some shrill metallic mornings, to be the central pillars of you. That the thrashing search for satiety and discovery is when life really happened, despite the anguish and failure. The wind-blasted peaks are worth the stumbles and the smashed bones. And then slowly the layers start to settle; the bones disintegrate and the dust piles up on top of you and it’s all wrapped up in cereal boxes, credit cards, cheeky beers and tv. No need to atone or explain anymore. Pull the bandages tightly around it all. And every day, enough noise and important-decision-making to ball up and stuff into any new cracks and tie them up too. 

But if it stops. The trains stop running, the phone stops ringing. What stops you plunging you finger into the exposed cuts and peaking again? 

You learn to manage, to mask. It’s not summiting, it’s establishing a safe enough base camp from where you can see the top, but accept you won’t get there. Not now anyway. Maybe base camp is your summit.  But aging lenses allow you only to focus on what is far away, not what is near, so you see most clearly what you cannot ever reach. 

© squiddlydee 2023
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The analogies are tight and perfect.

The base camp is so important to mountaineers. The goal in many cases is not to get to the summit, no matter how high you have climbed, but to get back to that base safely.

Enjoyed this immensely.


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