You work at a job you don't like with people you don't care about doing things that affect no one. You don't feel fulfilled, contrarily, you feel dead inside. You are a toothpaste tube, empty and coiled and waiting for the trash bin. You obsessively log onto your favorite social networks and you scroll and you scroll and you see other peoples' lives and you imagine that they are happy and content, but many of them are just like you. It seems as though most people are bored and envious of each others' falsified, projected online lives, myths sewn with status updates and posed photos, and they are melting just as you are melting just as everyone else is melting. You are on the bus again and it is early. In fifteen minutes you will be behind that same desk, dealing with the same problems that you dealt with yesterday. You want to cry because that repetition, that tedium, is anti-human and you feel you can do nothing about it like a bird stuck in a cage, in a steel box, in a fishbowl on the bottom of the ocean. You look at the other people on the bus and their eyes are wet, dead and red as they stare off into space or into glowing, hypnotizing devices that have fused with their skin in their palms and you imagine them turning to you with luminous, mechanically fluorescent white eyes and speaking in robotic beeps and electronic shrieks like dial-up motems are lodged in their throats. The next stop is yours and your heart drops because you are finished. You know the sound that your feet will make when they meet the bus stop cement. You know that your morning bagel with cream cheese will taste dull and predictable as if to mock you. You know that your coworkers will ask about your weekend and you can hear their voices and questions, already, as if they are an echo, week to week and morning to morning. And even though you slept enough, you know you will feel tired as you work. The bus doors open. You stare, from inside, at the street bustling with other hippopotami. And you don't move. You don't move at all. You let the doors close and then the bus continues and as you realize the weight of your rebellion your adrenal gland secretes heroin and the bus pulls itself beyond your ritualistic prison and into somewhere unknown and frightening but it is worth it because you can taste freedom on the back of your tongue. You are now traveling into an unknown that most people will fear and never confront as they choose instead to be lulled into a constant state of uncomfortable safety, of okays and next-times and good-enoughs. I wish for you the best and for all of your tomorrows to hold only the extraordinary. And if they do not, I wish you the courage to change them.
What separates the human from the beast is the human's ability to view its life objectively, to reject instincts, and to choose its course. The hippopotamus walks the same route to and from the watering hole and throughout its life carves a deep scar, a trench, into the earth. Are you the hippopotamus or are you something more? Are you a cause or a limb for someone else's? Are you the falling branch or are you gravity?
Photo by Posterboy