The Crossroads at Panic Street and Heartbreak Avenue

photo of pathway surrounded by fir trees

I have come to many crossroads in my life, but none so daunting as the one I am facing now. To sleep or not to sleep. Every time I lay my head to rest, I find myself in a state of panic, for my nights are now overloaded with bad dreams, many of which feel so real that I literally have to pinch myself to realize they are all within my head. Even in a state of exhaustion, I find myself unable to find any peaceful rest. This is hardly new for me, but even when I try to vacate familiar surroundings, hoping that an idyllic setting will somehow reset my string of nightmarish cycles, I can’t even shut my eyes without fear of what that deep sleep will bring.

Part of me wishes to revisit the many fictions I have begun to write over the years, all of which are in some state of incompleteness, many of them barely begun to be explored. But, there is so much realness to cover, so many relevant topics I would like to touch on, not that any of it will interest all that many readers, and yet I still want to write about them nonetheless. Much of it has to do with the seeming lack of incentives towards common courtesy and “goodness” in a post-pandemic world. I find myself wondering just how I came to be so remarkably intelligent and clever in a world that is growing dimmer and more brazen each day.

All I want is to spend a good day with my beloved and here I am unable to find any sort of restfulness. My mind keeps racing a mile a minute, yet my body is so exhausted that there isn’t much energy left for me to express what I’m on about. I feel as if hidden within my archives are all of the things I’ve always needed to say, but not put in quite the way I meant them. Many vital things are hinted at, but only alluded to, especially within the denser passages of my fiction. There are certain patterns of thinking that had little to do with telling any sort of story and were simply my way of expressing difficult thoughts that I was having. It took me many years to become any sort of expert journal writer. Even now, I find myself endlessly drifting from topic to topic, droning on hoping that the very act of putting words together in some coherent form will give me enough comfort to retire for a night. Yet, that exercise is rarely good enough for that purpose.

I have seen so much on daily drives, and so much of it is the same. Buildings and other human built properties stand in various states of decay, many of which are still occupied by human beings, themselves in various states of decay. I see humanity in dire straits; there is little hope that I see available for the common populace, and I do indeed pity my less fortunate contemporaries. Were it not for my skill with the written word, I likely would’ve met a gross fate due to desperate measures I would have taken in order to make myself known.

I’ve known so many people who I thought were in general good and honest, but I now see as simply arrogant and self-serving. Perhaps I have been a bit arrogant at times, but only because I felt that I was in the right. As time passes, my observations prove to be rather keen and my predictions shockingly accurate. But self-serving, besides trying to simply survive and find purpose to bother breathing for another testing day, I am certainly not.

Each day truly is a sort of test for me, of my resolve, of my patience, and of my very will to exist among fellow humans. I do not wish ill on most, but there are many whose sins will soon claim them, many who will soon receive their just desserts. No divine judgment is necessary; the very dog-eat-dog nature of our crumbling society will enact its heartless fates on those it deems unworthy. No maledictions are necessary. I do often feel that I am presented with many multiple-choice questions. The potential answers provided are rarely satisfactory solutions, so I often write-in my own, filling in the blank with some morsel of sarcastic wit.

I have often lived under protest and under threat, overstimulated, overdosed, and overloaded. None of these things are ideal, of course, and yet I somehow persist; survival is likely an inaccurate term for my continued existence, rather it is much more a form of semi-functional persistence. I refuse to live in a big-box economy, and that is what we have, shipping lanes overcrowded, containers bulging at the seams, and not enough drivers to whip the horses into shape.

There is too much stuff, and stuff mostly without substance, shiny plastic exteriors belying substandard innards, high prices suggesting luxury yet simply disguised under clever branding. What is the point of amassing fortunes that are built primarily on unrealized gains, while borrowing against imaginary and arbitrary valuations of assets denoted in a currency which has no intrinsic value on its own, besides whatever the oligarchy who controls the monetary system says that it has?

As we ask the difficult questions, those that seemed too foolish to ask, yet seemed surprisingly relevant, we find the truth we uncover to be uglier than we could have at first expected. Yet we must ask, for curiosity’s own sake. The thirst to know what makes up everything and why whatever does what it does, this is the one thing that humanity still has, in some form, but is wildly misguided. What I have learned I try to share, but few listen, and now as I seek a greater audience I realize that it is not the volume that matters but the frequency.

Writing words, spreading love, Amelia Desertsong primarily writes creative nonfiction articles, as well as dabbling in baseball, Pokemon, Magic the Gathering, and whatever else tickles her fancy.
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