The end of another Indiana summer, the likes of which has rarely been experienced in the whole of our history, has now officially come and gone. The only reminder of its existence is just another “X” indelibly carved on to the calendar of an undeniably dystopian year. A solitary mark pulling us all closer to the frozen stagnations of the impending winter, lurking threateningly just on the horizon.
The day set aside every September to celebrate our country’s labour blew in grey and overcast this year, a rather fitting meteorological stamp given the current mood of the country and this backwards little flyover town. And it is unfortunately not the first day I woke up not seeing the sun.
I shook the sleep from my head in hard caffeinated doses, the mug uncomfortably warm and unsteady in my pale fingers. I ignored the lingering remnants left from the too many drinks downed the night before as I stumbled and swayed into a day already dancing on the downside of another grey Indiana afternoon.
Brain foggy and muddled. Mouth dry and mucky, making me regret that microwaved abomination ingested just to temporarily chase away the unbalanced uncertainty of another nightly disconnect. Body and bones aching, screaming out physical reminders of the too many burdens carried, for far too many years.
The fear was there to greet me, too. No, not that more predictable fear stemming from too many years of unmoderated addictions. But fear for the future. Fear for my friends, overwhelmed and bogged down in the saturating grind of their day to day. Fear for my country, dancing daily on that unpredictable edge of the stability, so elusive in the coagulating political stalemates stagnating.
The biggest, most paralyzing fear to greet me in the grey afternoon of another day spent labouring is time. Because the open doorway for lasting, meaningful compromise is fast closing. The unencumbered window to future opportunities constantly threatens to slam itself shut on the push of misinterpreted miscalculations lurking in every conversation not yet shared.
The ticking tock of our communal doomsday clock constantly clicks and chimes in hard-line genocidal realities. Every passing minute marking the final period on the story of another pandemic experience lamentingly extinguished before its time. Every hour elapsing a painfully rhythmic reminder of the ridiculously unpredictable nature of a fragile existence. Every day predictably expiring into a tortured talisman’s tally, counting down incessantly until that inevitable final ride under a ferryman’s watchful care.
Time is just so fucking fleeting and temporary.
Potential possibilities are so inherently unstable and nebulous.
The future remains as clouded and uncertain as the grey labour day skies creeping above this little City of Wayne.
The only reasonable response remaining is to simply pour another drink, roll in another blank page, and keep typing on until I hopefully stumble into brighter days ahead.
I just have to throw my soul out into the universe and trust that those days will be there to greet me when I jump.