We are living strange times.
For anyone reading this in a few years’ time, at the moment, there’s a global health crisis taking place. This means many things, and has many sides to it, but essentially, it has forced the majority of the world population to stay indoors as long as they can avoid going out.
This is taking it’s toll. Fortunately for myself – and, not that I need to clarify anything but I am thankful, every day, for my particular situation – I am doing just fine, however not all in life is being able to pay the bills and buy food.
It’s often that you can find yourself feeling lonely despite being in good company, and feeling sad, despite having every basic need in your life met to a high standard. However there’s always room to indulge – if you’d rather me use that word rather than any other, since for many I am privileged and to an extent, I should not complain – in some good ol’ misery.
I am finding myself go down that path, as many times before. I remember the first times that I was forced to run down that corridor of filth. It was frightening. It has taken many shapes since, not all of them horrible, some of them luring, others simply disregardable. But exhausting nonetheless.
From the comfort of my privilege I can sit back and mentally – how else? – walk The Downhill Path slowly, as if I was taking a pleasurable Bank Holiday stroll at first, that gets progressively darker and darker, until there’s no path anymore more. The track disappears sudden and dramatically and opens into a black, dark pitched void with no End.
When you first get there, the feeling is unbearable. It’s a cold – freezing – place, but you can feel your chest and cheeks burn. Your bones and joints ache as if you were old. In fact, you are aging, at a speed, unavoidably.
Later, you start getting used to it. Not everyone does, of course, and this ties nicely with the concept of my privileged overview – as long as one can have a secondary perspective on one’s self – because some never get used to this. Why would you, if you could avoid it. After all, the whole thing is part of a big self defence mechanism. But I got used to it. It takes longer for you to notice that you got there because you are now used to the cold. Maybe you are addressing the walk with some external help, cathalist, inhibitor. You name it. This also makes it too late when you finally realise that you are back at the void.
But also, the walk back becomes easier. Most of the times, anyways. And still, with this notion of privilege, that self-awareness that is really not a double edged sword but a regular sword that you are holding the wrong way, you eventually find that it doesn’t always end in there. From your advantageous position you can scout around and look for the Floor Traps.
The Floor Traps are in most cases links to your memory. They all come in many shapes and colours, and are not immediately obvious. But when you get to where I feel I am in life, in time, in age, in history, you will start finding them, as your comfort allows for you to indulge in that lazyness, that knowledge that you have several safety nets under yourselve and that you could go for a pretty long time without due care. And I finally understood where these traps lead, although I have not been brave or foolish enough to go down them into the abyss, following the creaky ladders that surely lead to the true, very Bottom. I have always pulled back in time, gone out to get some sunlight, taken a day off, napped – score a bit of time out to reflect, react and head back up the path before it was too late.
But I know the Traps are there. I know where they lead. As I type these lines, I can feel the very concept of them weight down the back of my eyeballs, blacken my face and fog my sight, in complete silence and loneliness.
I just know.