Entry 17: Open your eyes to a glowing window, softened by the sheer curtains. Stretch to welcome the dawning of a new beginning. Across your bed is spread a new jigsaw puzzle. Tempting and tantalizing you to get it right before the day’s through. With an unspoken and unexplained haste, your fingers trace piece after piece, feeling for the similar parts, for the perfect match. Shoulders tense up and you hide back under your covers as your arms remain outstretched to the challenge beforehand. Eyes fly back and forth, looking for familiar colors, identical patterns, unmistakable partners. Little by little, it starts to come together. The edge is done, straightened out to the ideal shape. Now for the middle. Fuck.
I pause in my musings to rub my temple and sigh. The middle is always the hardest part. Those are the details. Those are the time-consuming pieces of cardboard. The ones that demand and test my patience beyond limits. Every day this happens and every day I reach the same conclusion. Fuck it. Throw myself back into a mountain of pillows and slowly sink beneath view. Trapped under cloth and comfort, I feel myself begin to suffocate. Get up, take on the challenge and breathe. Or lay beneath a suffocation of safety and spend my last moments regretting my cowardice.
That’s what I am, you know. A coward. With every approaching figure, inside I am quivering. I can’t explain why. Scared to speak but I want to speak. I want to make friends and expand my community of acquaintances. But that’s such a far leap, over broken glass and shattered bones. To walk up to someone at school rattles me to the very core. To knock on his door, I bite my lip and hope for the best. To smile at the man holding the pathway open for me is to cover my cowardice in a hopeful glance of acceptance. To share my feelings, my thoughts, is to ask me to walk on hot coals for two miles. I shower it all in an air of confidence and a wide smile, praying no one looks too far beyond it. And you, yes you, need to stop looking so intently. It scares the crap out of me.
So I shower myself in that air of confidence and struggling, climb out of my mountain of pillows. I take a quick, cold shower and return to the puzzle. With a clean face, coffee, and a brilliantly painted smile, I attack the middle details of the day. Slow progress to figure out what today means.