What do you do to convince yourself that you've truly 'changed' from being the person you have identified as the very source of absolutely all your misery, for such an inexplicably long time?
Do you tip well?
Do you develop some sense of 'faith' in the utter chaos surrounding that so-called 'balance', sometimes more cautiously worded as a 'higher power' of sorts, subscribing to its rituals with renewed vigor?
Do you become a believer? Scratch that, what does that even mean?
Do you pray?
Do you love?
Do you empathize?
Do you discard all practicality as fear in guise, as the great comedian remarked on that great stage, and choose to embrace the whole 'staring into the void with starry eyes and an emotional boner' notion, surrendering your sense of risk-aversion, labelled by some (and justifiably so) as your survival instinct, into the razor-sharp, highly unused arms of your own 'courage'?
Does everything seem like a question to you when you've run out of all the humanly possible satisfactory answers? When you've gnawed, bitten, and scratched your way through every layer of excuses you can give yourself to just not focus on your immediate reality, you wonder if anything makes any sense at all. That, and that alone, is known to me as the time I can connect with the consciousness that I so easily escape being conscious.
Only when reason shreds away and picks up its own mangled remains in the aftermath of a purely impossible massacre, does your true connection with that which is unreal, begins. And it runs deep, penetrates till the lines become blurry, distant, and finally, non-existent.
Suddenly, you don't care that you live in a bad, bad world that's racing towards a dead planet real fucking fast.
You don't care about the general health of the room when you're ten people and the other nine are trying to kill you.
You're trying to block the madness of it all, you want to stop imagining that the thing staring you dead in the eye is the more depressing end of a 9mm Israeli issued Beretta in just-the-rightly-aged black. You don't care for the smell of decidedly fatal carbon or the weirdly pleasant odor of smoke gone past, that left behind a scent of 'yeah, so I killed someone earlier today.'
You're meditating. You're playing to your strength. You're fixing things the only way you know is going to work. In you breathe. Out it goes. You're a warm balloon. The world is a screen. You're watching all the time, but you have an ancient clicker that still works. You're breathing in. Out it goes.
It's working. But it's slow. Damn, there's that candle again. Blow it out. No purple dots, please. Nothing. No inspiration, no anxiety, joy, or exhilaration. Just give me something totally meaningless. Let me embrace it hard, believe in it more than I have believed in myself and then make it come true.
You close your eyes. Tight, yes, but not too tight, not tight enough to warrant your attention. Not weak enough to let this bleak reality set in.
There is no gun.
You're not trapped.
You're imagining this, and yet, you're not.
You're in a classroom. It's empty. You see the blackboard. It's actually way more black than how black blackboards are supposed to be, but it doesn't bother you quite so much.
You reach out. You can't move. You don't care. You believe. The world is your screen. You want to write something on the board, but you can't. Because you don't know how to function in a world where you cannot physically move. You try telling yourself something meaningful, waiting for the words to appear on the board because you're afraid you've been repeating meaningless words in your head for so long that reality has finally given up its glorious mask for you.
The words appear. Wake up.
You wake up.
There is no gun.
Why is that important?
Who are you?
What's your place in this world?
Why are there so many needles on your arms?
Do you have the power to make conscious decisions?
There is no gun.
Milk tastes just totally amazing.
You could return to your old life, if only you could convince that the shit out there is half less crazy than what you've gotten yourself into. You choose not to. You're in control.
You hear yourself saying the words, but you don't feel the noises echoing out of your own mouth. They're still your eyes, but you don't see what they see.
"Give me another hit, Joy. "