Me, Myself, and I.
It's a cool afternoon in the Spring, and I'm sitting alone in my car in a nearly deserted parking lot.
To the casual observer, I look completely fine, completely calm, probably even bored.
But the casual observer would be absolutely wrong.
Because I'm losing my mind.
There’s a nervousness, an intense heat that descends upon me and my mind goes blank.
I am acutely aware of every bead of sweat running down my body.
Every movement, be it the twitch of anticipation in a finger or a nervous glance towards the door, is deliberate.
I mutter something to myself, and can't help but laugh at myself.
This is crazy.
For a minute, I consider starting the car and driving away.
Driving somewhere safe and comfortable where my heart isn't exploding out of my chest like a cheesy cartoon, some safe haven where maybe my blood won't pump so fast and I can work off some of this adrenaline.
My eyes dart back and forth between the door and my mirror as I re-check my appearance for the millionth time. I glance nervously and frequently towards the door, Each time I convince myself that I look fine, I believe it a little less.
With every empty glance, I feel a mixture of disappointment and relief.
Disappointment because, well, I'm ready.
I'm ready to jump in headfirst, ready to take the plunge, ready to get the ball rolling.
And relief that I still have time to think of anything interesting to say.
Of course, these thoughts are wasted because nothing comes to mind.
"Hows the weather?" I ask my reflection.
My reflection is unamused.
"Tired inside joke?" I try.
Suddenly you’re there, and I bury my nose in my phone. I adjust my mirrors, look for something in my backseat, I try to do anything to appear interesting, or at least busy, like I hadn't spent the last fifteen minutes watching the door, patiently waiting for you like a dog on a leash.
We make eye contact and you smile at me. I melt, and that’s when the real panic kicks in.
My heart bursts out of my chest like the tongue of a frog, darting after a fly. I get really dizzy, and my stomach flops around like clothes in the dryer. My palms get sweaty and my fingers feel numb. I take slow, deliberate breaths through my nose, but all the air has been sucked out through my mouth. The same mouth, which slowly ascends as I try to pick my jaw off the floor.
Soon, my mind starts desperately trying to put words together, I gasp and struggle as I whip up something simple to break the ice and get us going. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, all I know is that I’ve made it this far without screaming, without running away, and without rambling about how you’re the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Somehow, I've made it this far without burying you with the overwhelming guilt of my emotional burden... To an extent.
I keep my hands in my pockets or by my sides so I don’t reach for yours or pull your face into mine. I tremble and fumble and shake until you open to door and....
Suddenly you're talking. The ice is broken and we’re on our way. Before I know it, the ball is rolling, I'm up to my neck in it, and I’m just lost in the moment. I steal hanging glances at you as you drive through the nothing, and I long for the day when you glance back. I long for the day when you return that gaze with a smile and reach for my hand.
We finally pull over down the road from the beach and we begin to talk along the sand.
I’m standing there, looking at you, and the world is spinning wildly around me. All I want to do is kiss you, and hold you, and tell you how I feel. I’m terrified of saying the wrong thing, of moving too quickly, of blowing the watered down paradise I’ve already stolen. Mere weeks ago, I would’ve given anything, anything to have what I have now, but as I look at you, mere feet away, I feel like we’re on different planets at different times.
I'm overwhelmed by so many thoughts and feelings that as the sun sets, I condemn them all and pull you into a kiss.
In that moment, all of my dreams came true. I pulled you close to me and our lips touched. And it just felt right. It felt like we were where we were supposed to be. In a moment, it meant everything and nothing. In a moment, all the stars in all the skies started spinning and we were alone in the universe.
And as wonderful as it was, it was equally terrifying.
Because even if all my dreams had come true, they were still dreams.
And even the sweetest dreams end.
I have this twisted theory sweet dreams are actually worse than nightmares.
Sure, waking up from a nightmare is brutal, you wake up sweaty, paranoid, and it sucks trying to calm down enough to fall asleep again, but that’s pretty much it. Once you get over the terrors of the night, you're back in your safe, comfortable bed, in your safe, comfortable world.
A sweet dream is much, much worse. Because as your eyes adjust to the sunlight peeking through the blinders, the sweet dream disappears into the rapidly retreating darkness. You can force your face back into the pillows, you can glue your eyes shut, you can bury yourself under the blanket, but it’s too late. You’re awake, and the dream world is gone.
Well, I open my eyes, and much like the rest of my dream world, you're gone.
A ghost of a dream that was proud and unwavering moments before, flickered and vanished before my eyes.
With a sickening splat and a dull thud, my heart splashes all over the floor. An eternal groan echoed throughout the empty chamber of my chest, and I am left alone with nothing but whispers of the truth. My worst fears realized, my deepest insecurities confirmed, and like vultures on a battlefield, my raptors came home to roost, and my demons slithered around me. In a moment, all that was right was suddenly all so wrong and all that was bright was dark.
I was alone, me, myself, and I.