On my way to work this morning I drove over a squirrel. A sickening bone crunching squish under my tires. Poor bastard. Didn’t even know what hit him.
Ordinarily I swerve, slam on the breaks, dodge and weave and try to avoid all lane crossing critters, and at times I’ve put myself in the dirt or the side of the road, but this morning I couldn’t find it in me to make the attempt.
It bolted across the tar, and I stayed on course. I didn’t speed up… come on now… that would be sadistic, cruel and heartless and my daughters would never forgive me.
Yet, I never decelerated. The squirrel was on it’s own, and it had a 50/50 chance of successfully navigating four moving car tires.
Typically, I go through a mourning period after an accidental kill. I slink low in the seat. I lock up my arms, grip the steering wheel tight and feel waves of self loathing and guilt. I hang my head to my chest at stop lights or when stuck behind school buses and I stew and brew and mull it over. It really hits me where I live.
But not today.
Today, it wasn’t until a few hours into my work shift, perhaps even close to half the day gone, did I even realize what I had done. It was as though a light bulb flickered on from out of the blue in the back of my mind and I couldn’t stop thinking about it afterwards.
I can’t believe I didn’t even try.
What the hell is wrong with you??
Then I think of birds and other animals feeding off it’s mangled corpse. The multitude of cars running over it’s body until it’s flattened and eventually merged with the pavement. I question how long it endured pain and suffering, or was it a quick and instantaneous death; always hoping for the latter.
I really beat myself up over it and today wasn’t any different. However, it took some time for me to find that guilt. I buried it somewhere deep inside. If not for a momentary catalyst that reawakened the memory of the kill, I’d probably still have no recollection of the incident.
The thing I can’t quite seem to fully iron out, is why I lost that will to care. But I believe now I know some of the source.
I’ve been walking around in a haze for the past couple of weeks and it wasn’t until today, did I realize how thick the fog really was.
Perhaps it’s the weather. Its almost April and the snowbanks are still five feet high, with another half a foot in the forecast and whatever grass might be showing through in places, is still brown. I love me a good Maine winter, but something about this one season, almost did me in.
My last installment speaks on “taking the time to smell the roses,” but all my surroundings are gray, brown, and fields of endless white. My universe is currently devoid of color. Spring, and the flowers that accompany it, have not yet sprung.
I find myself coming home from work after a day of staring at a computer screen, changing into my pajamas, catering to the few needed chores, then slide into my bathrobe, curl up on the couch, throw a blanket over me and zone out to reruns of Star Trek shows on Netflix. I could do a hundred other things, things I love engaging in, but couldn’t find the gumption to engage.
I don’t even know if I’m actually watching the shows or not. Sometimes, the next thing I hear is the end credits music or the beginning to another episode. Nancy would walk by me and ask, “Is there anything you want to do?”
“I’m doing exactly want I want to be doing.” And I believe I truly believed that.
I’d get online, scroll through the endless emails, check out the notifications, respond, and then turn it all back off. Tossing the phone beside me on the floor not caring where it lands. Going through the motions and the bare minimum to complete the social media criteria.
“Zoning out” has been the norm as of late.
Something happened to me two weeks ago, that led to a systematic withdrawal or shut down of some kind. The only thing I can recall that would put me into such a state of mind, is a never ending onslaught of negative energy. I’d go through social media, read articles, browse comments and go through the process of “being informed” and it was all so depressing, and oozed of negative vibes. Almost unbearable.
The hate and anger. Sadness. The discontent and division. The rapid fire, up in your face, garbage filled cesspool of depression.
I suppose it got me down. As a result, I disconnected from it all and ignored it as best I could. I stopped following certain sites, networks and people. Drifted off into la la land. Making ardent strides to avoid any and all negativity. It can’t get me down if I don’t know it’s there.
Two weeks later, (after reconnecting and reintegrating slowly back into it all) its not any different. Only the variables have changed slightly. The same hate, the same discontent. The same cesspools and garbage. The same depression. And it took four hours after creating roadkill, to come to the conclusion that it wasn’t the world that was the problem, it was all me. I was molting into something again that I spent many years trying to unravel and shed.
I was blaming external forces for my feelings. My rut was a direct result of outside interference finding a space to hide and fester inside me. I had to come to grips with the fact that the only thing I truly have control over is self change, and how I harness the negativity I’m exposed to.
Transforming cold hard truths into positives. Somehow, someway.
Reconnecting with the light inside the darkness.
I found myself lying down in bed this afternoon watching Breaking Bad (top five favorite shows) and realized I was allowing the world to drag me down. And if you allow it to drag you, it most certainly will. The world doesn’t care. I thought it might have been possible to ignore it all, but this world isn’t something that can be ignored. The only thing I can control is me, how I react, and how I feel.
The essence of who I am started slipping away and I had to find it again. I was drowning in my own negativity and all the lifeboats seemed so far away.
There seems to be a darkness on the horizon. A stifling oppressive feeling of doom and gloom and it permeates thoughts and emotions. In fact, I’d decided to take a break from everything I enjoy doing, because that overwhelming sensation was so thick. The comfort of the misery captivated me in it’s mystical spell.
After an innocent death, two weeks of wallowing and making excuses, I feel as though the veil has once again lifted. I’m feeling more motivated again, and at peace with this world.
Despite the fact it’s a cruel and unforgiving place to be.
What does this have to do with anything?
Nothing. But if you find the world beating you to a bloody pulp, it is possible to fight back. You just have to be willing to fight.
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