At some moments I exist in a realm of thread counts, dusty ass keyboards, and lunches where we meet to “bounce ideas off each other.” In other moments, I exist in a hoodie, feelin’ like Luke Skywalker, coppin’ 4 for $1 roll-ups, and tryna hop on the bus with $1.25 in my pocket knowing damn well it costs $2.75 to ride, but I’ll finesse somehow.
I grew up around complacent, satisfied folks. Don’t get me wrong, everyone was hustling; working 2 — 3 jobs if they had to, but there was rarely a vision of the future, the — then what? Those sentiments weren’t discussed too often.
Certain things take you out of your comfort zone, but why would you willingly enter that space? You work so hard your entire life to merely graze the cusp of decent living, something that we all should simply be entitled to as human — it’s a fuckin’ struggle. Your spirit begins to deteriorate with this kind of hustle, the kind of hustle where you put every drop of yourself into the living pot, nothing more — because that’s all you got.
Have you ever just wanted to quit your hustle? Even dead yourself, maybe because you just don’t know where to go? Because it is far easier to just let go of it all? Yea me too.
In another world, people simply push past this vulnerable thought. People run marathons on their own accord, choose disgusting kale salads over burgers (shout-outs to my veggie folk doe), and read lengthy books over brainwashing themselves with reality television (Empire, Jersey Shore, Real Housewives of whatever county you from, etc.). There is a strong feeling of discontent. These people push. They have learned how to go beyond their comfort zones and become uncomfortable, by purposely placing themselves in situations where they are faced to make a choice that will test their own grit.
I must admit, it is an invaluable lesson. To push yourself, solely upon your own will, to achieve something much more than you ever thought you could possibly grasp. The results are not only objective, but spiritually enriching.
As much as this idea is attractive, pleasurable, and glamorous — are we ever content with the product, should we be? Are we forever doomed to chase an unreachable satisfaction if we continuously push ourselves? Why do some people feel compelled to push while others are indubitably satisfied to stay put with their current situations.
This sensation, as sensual as the form-fitting ocean, yet as excruciating as the seconds ticking as your breath expires — two realms. One realm requires you to be focused, ambitious, refined, and hungry. While the other surrounds me by weary spirits dwelling with a dim lit candle — confused, lifeless, dejected, with a deep sensation of hopelessness.
So what’s the point of pushing?
If you take decent care of yourself, you can make it till 80 or something right? And plenty of people have. How does one push when you cannot see beyond the horizon? Why swim further if we cannot see further? Why should I continue to write, when I can simply stop and let the world go about it’s business.
I get home around 6:30ish these days. On my way home, I spend a lot of time looking at people, looking out the window, and sometimes looking at sneakers I know I shouldn’t be buying, but in the midst of it all I catch a sense of urgency, through complacency. “Aight stop fuckin’ around, as soon as you get home Eddie just change super quick, put your sweats on, your hoodie, slip ya shoes on and we out.” It shouldn’t take me more than 10 minutes. *tin-tin* The train doors open and I’m out on a hop just like I learned during baseball practice. Running down the stairs trying not to slip while wearing my pretentiously obnoxious penny loafers. I’m the first to make it to the bottom of the station stairs before anyone else, I’m on the ball. Speed walking, my tie keeps flying in the air and my blazer wide open, more obnoxious outfit dysfunctionalism. As I cross the street, I calculate the distance of the car coming so precisely that I’m at least 3 inches away from it as it as I move fourth — it skims my face. No time shall be wasted on the hustle, I proceed. Let’s get this multi-tasking poppin’, take my tie off as I walk, pull out my keys from my bag, unbutton my shirt exposing my tank top which has Caribbean boy written all over it, all to get a head start before I get to my spot. I can’t afford to waste a minute. I strip, throw my gear on, and I’m out.
Unlock iPhone> Music> Mobb Deep> The Infamous> Shuffle> Home> Nike Run> Start Run.
I’m out. I run down Jamaica Avenue, that’s borderline Queens/Brooklyn. I pass Highland Park and Cypress Hills Cemetery. There’s something soothing running alongside the cemetery — a sensation of safety and curiosity. Boleslaw, Agnieksa, Klaudia — names of another world, who were they? We all we go at some point. I too will join them soon. Am I ready? Am I afraid?
I monitor myself as I run, I should be exhausted by the end. I’m pushing, but my body is pushing against my thought, like a tug of war. I run by hundreds of people, delivery men, mothers dragging their kids into the post office, young men coming home from baseball practice wearing run down Adidas slippers. I’m one of the few, if not only person running down the block. Most wonder if I’m chasing down a crook, or if I am the crook himself.
The boom bap begins to fade out, my pace begins to slow to a comfortable rhythm, and I can almost see the energy in my brain, it appears as a bright orb becoming saturated, slowly into darkness. I breathe hard, and my lone breathe becomes the only thing I can hear, it is as if I’m the only entity in existence.
This darkness is comfortable at these moments, I feel I’m slipping into a permanent hibernation. Ignore the hustle, the early alarms, and the constant networking. Slip away into the darkness. Where you care less, ignore hopelessness, and become content in the space. Thinking past my current life seems impossible.
The thought of a future: absent and the acceptance of death too close for comfort.
Death almost feels like a benevolent companion. Something we must all accept inevitably, yet distant in theory. To keep death close is to be hopeless, perhaps dependent on your own downfall. If you fuck up, no worries death has your back.
I don’t mean to be morbid, but it’s a true feeling. The comforting sensation of letting go of your self-imposed pressures and letting life consume you into its darkness, it’s all over.
“Lord forgive me, the Hennessy got me not knowing how to act, I’m falling and I can’t turn back.” — Mobb Deep
Understanding the value of ones life is dauntingly difficult. What is it worth? What am I worth. Do I truly care to live or to die? I am not sure.
I’ve accepted most of the self-righteous people in my life, those who saw potential within me, to provide me with access into different dimensions surreal from my reality. Opportunities that guided me away from this fine line. Yet the dark seductiveness of letting go remains a factor to my trajectory. A fight that goes on day after day, with the decisions I choose to make.
When those dark shrouds of thought comes to mind, I am quick to discover a spot of light, an ember, peaking through.
Time freezes on these runs at times, but when this ember appears, icicles melt off the hands of time, the boom-bap begins to pulse, my sight begins to brighten, my heart begins to accelerate, and my desire to live becomes undeniable.