How often do we fall in love with things that don’t really exist? Substituting reality for illusions and fantastic shapes, patina gargoyles perched on the roof tops of dreams, casting their hideous bulging and blink-free gazes upon the minefield of riddled reality. We pray for our dreams to come true and when they do we search in vain for the receipt—perhaps this one we could return for full price or at least, exchange it for a better size.
From there we go walking, stumbling better said, through the scattered, parched underbrush of our inner beings, slapped in the face by saplings of emotional propensities, our weaknesses time and again poking us in the eyes. Those rose colored glasses don’t provide a lot of protection do they? Just something else, more faded facial detritus that needs cleaning and small-tool maintenance from time to time. Laser surgery may be the ticket in this case. Expensive, but worth it, they all say.
We move on. And on the surface we feel the creeping crepitus of various complexes as they move through the pleural spaces of our egos; inferiority, most often; superiority, at times, but rarely; and eventually, the indifference, all causing pain and an acute shortness of breath in those who love us. Yup, he’s gonna need a chest tube, they say, those who know better. Better add some hydrocortisone while you’re at it.
Next we stumble through the dark, haunted forests of our delusions, tilting at cedar-branched windmills, knowing full well the trail ends somewhere in a forsaken exitless gorge, a dry gulch where the memories of water etch the side of the canyon wall. We know the end, the parched and thirsty terminus of paths, but no matter, we still find it rather fascinating and titillating, some paradoxical desert mermaid promising underwater pleasures where there is no water. By the way, is there a chance I could borrow your water bottle?
Proprioceptively challenged, then, we find ourselves charging around heedlessly, chasing the stars that circle the world, losing track of time and space until we are so lost east and west become north and south and up and down change places. We finally stop, breathless and exhausted and then, the mixing of metaphors notwithstanding, we check our bank balance only to find that, once again, we’ve overdrawn the account. Perhaps consolidation would solve this one. The banker shakes his head sadly and we wonder if perhaps another credit card would be the ticket.
And then there’s the final act in which we lay there in the field, stripped of weaponry and wit, body riddled from that nasty ambush. We can see, through the fading light, and with crystalline clarity now, the stupidity of that last move. We can taste the iron rich blood as it trickles over the tongue and out the side of our mouth, like a lurid crimson stream leveling from the mouth of a cave. The stoic, sober medic stands over us and says “Just breathe. Just. Keep. Breathing.”
Sooner or later we emerge from all of this and blink a few times and realize we’ve been made a fool of. We’ve sacrificed our honor and any good rags we had for delusions and heartbreak. We cast our eyes downward and realize we’re only inches from dirt. Sticks and small rocks, branches and grass are wedged up our nostrils and our knees are bruised. And then it comes clear. Finally. There is only one way, and that way is up. And from the depths of our shattered and broken self, we make a choice and whisper: “Please help me.”