I crave numbness like a drug. It scratches at me, somewhere deep in my mind. It whispers to me, a seductive mantra that finds me at my weakest point.
I daydream about its effects, the blankness, the separation from constant thought and sadness, from overwhelming stress, from loneliness. I hear it calling late at night, a little devil on my shoulder that sunbathes under my duress, feeding off the fires I set in my own head.
It laughs at my destruction.
Honey, I have a deal you can’t refuse, it says, speaking from a mouth like spun sugar and eyes of silver fire. I nod and nod, not even attempting to fight it anymore.
You’re right, I think. I want this. I’m tired.
Maybe the problem is I think too much. Maybe I think it’s a one-step fix, these problems of mine. I forget that it takes years to sift through the rubble, through the wreckage. Especially when your preferred method of dealing with pain is to lay down a pretty lace blanket and pretend that your demons have been saved.
It’s like putting a band-aid over an autoimmune disease. It’s like compartmentalizing your emotions, separating yourself from them so much that when someone comes looking for that box you’ve hidden in the attic of your mind, your flight instinct kicks in and you disappear right before their eyes.
Hey, I have a trick for you. It’s pure magic baby, it truly is.
I look up under heavy lashes, weighed down by tears and bullshit and thought and unfettered emotion. I snap my fingers, and I’m gone gone gone.
I want numbing cream for my mind. I want a restraining order from my thoughts.
They are sweet jam and cold lemonade, they are slabs of rock and the sting of sharp metal. They are love and hate mixed into green tea with honey—my worst nightmares and favorite memories.
Escape, I hear in my thoughts. Run away with me, run far until you can climb the horizon. The voice leaves a viscous trail over my shoulder, up my neck to my ear. It is tingling and cold, and I shiver at the sensation.
I pack, readying myself. I lock up my sadness and pain, turn the key, done. I lock up my stress and feelings of anxiety, turn the key, done. I lock up the feelings of worthlessness, of hopelessness, of loneliness, lock the key, done.
I sift through the pile, and lying at the bottom is my happiness, my joy, my love, and my worth. I cradle them in my hands, and I question my choice. So sweet and innocent, they have done nothing wrong. But I must choose.
Always my choice, always my burden.
Turn the key, done. I feel golden sunshine and warm summer rain, and I close my eyes as music from nowhere washes over my consciousness.
Bliss, I think, a feeling of contentment resting on my eyelids before I feel nothing, nothing at all.