I lived in a distorted reality, but a perfect future.
Slow burning lights, under the skin of the night, I sit down and breathe in the effervescent remnants of yesterday, and the day before, and the day before. My memories taste like plain bread, and it's probably enough to sustain me, but I've been craving the kick of flavor that only certain drugs can provide.
I'm a junkie.
Well, I used to be.
My choice of drug was strong, burning doses of dreams. I stored them up in my head like fireflies in a jar, and they lit me up. I sometimes injected them slowly and carefully, into my bloodstream, and I gave them the power to tell me how to feel, and tell me what to do. Other times, I swallowed them whole, quickly, clumsily, hastily, to wash off the taste of a bad day.
I was, without exception, a fine specimen of addiction. I showed the same, desperate, scientifically recorded symptoms. My reality was distorted and seemed like only a flimsy two-dimensional projection of what my three-dimensional dreams could be. My vision was blurry, I couldn't see myself clearly, I could only see a flurry of colors, shining bright in the distant future. I would wade through dust, thorns, and stitch splinters all over my skin, if it would take me where I wanted to go. My drugs, my dreams disillusioned me. I lived in a distorted reality, but a perfect future.
My relationship with dreams hadn't always been so destructive. I first got the taste of it when I was six, in mild doses. I found them hidden in unexpected places, like new fluffy shoes I saw at the store, or learning to ride a bike, or the jelly center in a donut, and other small things I wanted.
I chewed on these dreams like they were small chocolate almonds.
Bitter from the almonds, bitter because I didn't yet possess them, but mostly sweet, sweet chocolate, because I could, someday.
My heart isn't in it, it's in my mouth instead.
But slowly, the relationship started getting unhealthy. I started wanting things so vehemently that it swallowed up my whole identity. My wants, my dreams buried themselves inside my brain. A symbiosis, at the time, it felt like. I granted them permanent residence in my head, fed them with freshly brewed dreams everyday, nurtured them, and defended them against all doubts, fears, and hurdles. And they promised, well, they promised to come true.
I did everything they said, and if I felt like I needed it, I took more strong hits. They didn't always look like hard drugs. They came in prescription bottles called hope sometimes. Well, I was too innocent to know. I was soon inadvertently taken hostage by them. My reality was decimated. I celebrated high tea with my friends in my head. I made my bed there, I lived there. In my head. Just me, and unwashed teacups in the sink labelled someday.
I'm a dreamer, I always have been.
I've always known what I wanted. Not just that, I've always known what it should feel like. But now, it doesn't. Even after I did everything my dreams told me, I took the paths they said were good for me, but why does it not feel like it should? My heart isn't in it, it's in my mouth instead.
I'm not lost. or at least I shouldn't be. This was always part of the plan. This was what that six year old would eventually dream of. It should feel perfect, like tasting stars in your mouth. Then how come it feels like…
Nothing at all.
After some half-hearted soul searching…
I'm sober, now.
I don't know when I got sober, but it might have been around the time I chipped my tooth and fell face first onto rock bottom. It all happened so fast. But also, really slowly, and in the most indiscernible way. I kicked my dreams out of my head, and I just cleaned out the cobwebs last night. They have been unoccupied for a while.
Dreams brew in stronger concentrations in unfulfilled hearts.
I do realize this though. I can't seem to brew any dreams in my heart now. The only difference from then and now? I'm happy now. I'm fulfilled. I'm almost where I wanted to be, where my dreams could take me. But it's real. Not inside my head, this time. The picture is not quite the same. But it's real, and happy. Maybe dreams brew in stronger concentrations in unfulfilled hearts. And for once in my life, my heart isn't unfulfilled.
But what now?
I'm a dreamer, I always have been.
I've always known what I wanted.
Now I'm in a state of abeyance, temporary suspension, in between places. Somewhere in the middle of the path that should have been, but unexpectedly happy.
Happy, but I don't feel it. Happy, but in theory. Happy, but in withdrawal. Happy, but I miss it. Happy, but not ecstatic. I've been craving that hit again. I miss it terribly. I miss it so much I can't sleep.
I've been prescribed strong doses of patience. Everyday sharp, at 7pm. They let me sleep at night.
This too shall pass, it shall feel like it should.
For now, I shall chew on some patience. Darling, it's past 7pm. Medication.
Unfortunately for me, side effects include more dreaming.