Thursday, May 23, 2013

One Night Long Ago


It has become rampant in the last few weeks of my senior year of college. UGHHH I just don't want to write anymore PAPERS! Really not feeling it anymore. I haven't felt like writing any of these papers in SUCH a long time. So for some reason I feel the need to write this random nonsensical gibberish instead. I guess at the least I am keeping my fingers busy and my mind agile at 1:00am. This actually isn't really a huge deal to me tho, I would say that I actually am most awake at night and it's also when I do my best writing. 

I have had the windows to my bedroom open all day as I have been trying to work, and I have been basking in the glorious fresh air. It's been so nice out the last few days. Now that it has become nighttime there is a cool breeze that has been blowing. As great as a summer day is, I love the smell of the nighttime summer air even more. It has always held some kind of a mysterious refreshing property for me... Perhaps there is some kind of an unnamed nocturnal particulate that I have been breathing all my life that causes euphoria. 

With my eyes closed tightly in the darkness of my room I continue to type without my monitor turned on, without being able to see the keys underneath my fingers (edit: I made a TON of typos from here on out haha). I inhale deep, long breaths, trying to allow as much of the air into my lungs as possible. I then slowly breathe out to the furthest extent possible, pushing all the air from my lungs until it hurts, and then going even further. Only at the point where I know I have nothing left in my lungs do I slowly inhale again. I only complete the exhale portion of this exercise four times, because it is at that point that I know I have removed all the old stale air remaining in my lungs. This air has been replaced with the sweet, cool, relaxing, freshness provided by the night.

Something that I heard while I was in the second grade, I really have no idea if it is true or not and I don't know why it has continued to stay with me this long, is that we only use about 50% of our lung capacity daily. We just use the same 50% of our lungs most of our lives because in all honesty it is difficult to make yourself breathe deeply, and unless you actually try and train yourself to actively do so, it requires a degree of willpower and concentration. It’s better for your body if you use more of your lungs while breathing because it allows greater amounts of oxygen to be absorbed by the brain and into the bloodstream. Anyway, the thing that I remember from second grade was that many people never completely empty their lungs. They live their entire lives with some remnants of the first breath that they ever took as an infant. I never thought about it until now, but perhaps this could be a metaphor about people’s unwillingness to let go… Or maybe it’s an actual fact and I’m just looking for meaning. Haha maybe whatever I heard in the third grade was actually something completely different and my memory throughout the years has completely mangled and distorted whatever it was that I originally heard so many years ago.

While continuing to keep the slow methodical pace of my breathing.... in and out, in and out, in and out... I can begin to start clearing my mind from all the clutter of the day. I imagine myself with a large broom in a library. Within this library, in place of books there are instead disorganized single sheets of paper, some with typed font, some with hurriedly scribbles notes, others with only pictures and no words. These pieces of paper aren’t on the library shelves as books would be, but are instead muttled altogether, littered in multitudes of piles and layered all over the floor which cannot be seen. There is no organization to this mess of papers. They just form heaps against the old wooden bookshelves that stand empty in the library. This is the current state of my mind. I imagine myself taking the broom in my hand and beginning to sweep away the papers. I sweep slowly at first; gently sliding the papers aside I can begin to see a little bit of the marble floor. As I work, I very gradually increase my pace. I begin to move quicker and quicker until I start to sweep so vigorously that papers begin flying in all directions. In one swoop I swiftly brush the pages up into the air from the tip of my broom to watch them hang, suspended at their highest point in the air for only a moment, before I see them cascade in a flourish back down to the ground. I sweep away a spot in the center of my library as I push the pieces of paper outward towards the edges of the room and into even greater piles. The pages bunch up and press together against the bottom of the bookshelves as they create mounds like snow from a snowplow. I become satisfied with the clear space in the middle of the room. I breathe deeply and sit, with my legs crossed, against the cool marble floor. I look around all around me and see the day’s experiences… thoughts, feelings, lessons, emotions, struggles all are piled up around me… With one last glimpse I close my eyes and begin to drift into a state of meditation.

I feel the cool night air against my face. It brushes against my skin and I breathe it in. I realize now that what I smell in the air is adventure. I wish I had born in an earlier time period so that I could have been an explorer. I would have loved to voyage the world in search of new places. It is a shame that by the time I was born there are no new places to explore on this earth. We have mapped, charted, and populated it all. It belongs to us as a species. Someday maybe earth will reclaim itself, wipe us from existence. We are small, fresh, simple things. Earth has been here for so long before us. It will be here after us.

Adventure makes me think of Native Americans. It is a night like tonight that I am an Indian running through the foliage of the dense woods. I see my path through the underbrush by way of the moonbeams shining down. I am hurriedly rushing, but am deftly silent. I contort my body as I slip along the ground, weaving between the trees. It feels as though the moccasins around my feet carrying me, forcing my legs to take long strides and jump over fallen trees. I don’t know why I am running right now. If I am running to or away from something, I just move. Maybe I am running just to run. My physique allows me to keep an unknown, animalistic pace and I come upon a stream running through the woods.

I look up at the moon, shining brightly, surrounded by so many stars. They are pinpricks in the sky, uncountable even though I have spent so many nights laying in the grass outside of my house just staring at them, marveling at them. I hear a car in the distance going down the street, but it is soon overrun again by the sound of crickets continuously chirping the entire night. I fall asleep in the playhouse in my backyard and I listen to their symphony.

I spend most of my summer nights sleeping in my backyard playhouse. Most of the time my dad sleeps out there with me, both of us huddled inside of our excessively loud sleeping bags. Why are sleeping bags so freaking loud! I need to tell my dad how much that meant to me. I didn’t think twice about it back then, I thought that all dads built their sons a treehouse and then hung out with them inside of it – playing cards and telling stories all night. My mom would pretend to fuss that she was never invited, but she knew that it was just for us two. I think my sister and her actually may have spent one night out there, but I can’t really remember. Knowing my sister it probably didn’t go over too well because she was always complaining about the spaces between the floorboards allowing for the possibility of a spider attack. Like a spider would jump on her while she was sleeping and then proceed to crawl inside of her mouth or nose… I mean why would a freaking spider WANT to go inside somebody’s mouth or nose… I guess they aren’t particularly super intelligent but come on… Haha maybe they wanted to build a web inside of her mouth.

Lips. They are so soft. You don’t think about how soft someone’s lips are until they are touching yours, and then its like damn these things are so soft!

My throat hurts a little, not a good sign. Also I am hungry. I can tell because of the painful ache of my stomach that slowly appears after I don’t feed it for an entire day. It is a growing pain, not a biting one or a harsh one, and it can be surprisingly stifled quite easily. I need to take care of that immediately after I am finished with this. Whenever this is finished. Can this be finished?

Adventure returns me to the stream. The wind rushes through the trees and rustles the bushes. The continual chirping of the crickets is eternal. The moonlit water gurgles along and I take a second to bask in the beauty of the moment before I continue on my way. I breathe deep. In one long stride I gracefully bound overtop of the stream and keep running again at full speed. My feet know the way and I gladly let them lead my sprint. I am eager for my destination.

In the moment I listen to my fingers as they clack along my keyboard. They are the tools of an expert typist, deftly moving from key to key in a manner that has been repeated thousands of times. They press firmly against each key and then release. They slide around in a manner that could even be described as artistic. The experience of pressing a key while not viewing what is actually being typed is quite profound. Whatever is being thought about in my mind gets translated into the physical actions of my fingers, which are then used to press a mechanical button on the keyboard, resulting in an electronic display on one’s monitor. But what if you can’t see the monitor? Are the words still being displayed? No matter. My hands are quick and nimble. They are expert tools.

I breathe. I collect my thoughts. Inside of my library I slowly open my eyes and look around me at the pages still scattered about. They still are hopelessly disorganized, but after this brief period of meditation the burden of them seems to be lessened. I have now been seeing this library filled with pages for years. I am slightly comforted by the fact that at least I always know how it is going to appear. I let out an audible sigh. Relief? Perhaps a little. I close my eyes again.

I think about yesterday, I think about last night. I went to a graveyard yesterday and I found it so peaceful. It has been close for so long yet I had never entered until I was invited to by a black cat to explore inside. There were no ghosts, only a weighty feeling of stagnance that pressed on me from all sides. It was continual and quite calming. I sat and watched the sun go down. There was peace and a glorious sunset filled with colors reaching across the entire sky. I sat upon a grassy patch at the top of the hill in the graveyard, only surrounded by monuments on two sides. I looked out at the horizon as it changed colors and I stayed there until it became completely dark and the crickets were chirping as loudly as they are now. I pulled my hood over my head, and I looked up at the stars. I cried. I don’t remember a time where I cried more. I thought about her. At first it was all about her. It was all about her. Then slowly I as if I was waking up from a dream I start to realize many more things to cry about. Leaving. Finished. Nights alone. Times with good friends I would never see again. Times that I could never relive. Times I would miss. Growing up. Sadness as I weap.

I was given a cd by my junior-high girlfriend, a coldplay cd. She loved coldplay, and since she introduced me to it, I did too. We both independently had the same favorite song on the cd – Yellow.

So that’s actually the end. Thinking back I decided that I had wasted enough of my time that night. I wish I had some sort of conclusion to all of this, but I didn't. I’m sorry. I hope you enjoyed the read. 

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