As I rode through the rain, I did a little bit of thinking. On familiar routes, my mind wanders off into unfamiliar places. Thoughts over thoughts crawl out of the woodwork and to think, all this while trying to stay alive, you know, with all the ridiculous drivers on the road.
Always ride like everyone’s out to get you, I’ve been told. Sound advice, really. It has kept me alive, thus far. It rings true in almost every situation or circumstance. It resonates so strongly with me, probably because I’ve always been sort of a lone ranger. I’ve always had to face the toughest challenges in my life on my own, largely because no one else saw them as challenges. I’ve always felt like I had to live each day like it’s me on one side and the world on another.
Irrational fears, some might say. Things like walking into a crowded food court, getting in line and getting myself a meal before sitting down and consuming that meal, for example, would be a huge challenge to me. Sure, in the world of introverts and shy ones and maybe even the not so shy ones, having a meal alone would be challenging. I can see that, but to me, it’s my Everest, and few or none would be able to see that. I mean really, see it as I do. Feel the anxiety piling up, the thoughts that scramble and fire away in all directions. Sounds like I’d be close to exploding, but it’s really more of an implosion, if any.
The world couldn’t kill me. I would sooner destroy myself on the inside. I am, in the overused, cliché sense of the phrase, my own worst enemy. As I braved the storm, at a hundred kilometers per hour, on my thirteen years old two wheeler, I thought about things. I like thinking. I like to think about things. I like to think about people and things. My thoughts fire away in every direction, every which way, but sometimes they hit walls; Walls that I have unknowingly built around me.
They hit the walls and come back twice as hard, knocking me off my feet. I fall, if only for a moment, but I fall. I am not ashamed of falling – we all do, sometimes.
As the cold droplets of mildly acidic raindrops crashed against my naked hands, I thought about how I had gloves, but chose not to wear them because I didn’t want to get them wet. Oh the things I do sometimes. If only I could contain my thoughts and keep my true self hidden away from the world, deeper than it always is, maybe I wouldn’t subject myself to such cruel, cruel thoughts that tear away on my insides relentlessly. If I was strong enough to face the world and not have to wear these gloves and get them wet. If I could somehow distant myself from the problems of the world and the problems of people and not get tangled up in their lives, just maybe.
The heavenly tears pour down heavier as I cruise the expressway. I thought about life as a child and how everything was so easily sorted. It was either this, or that. Black or white, red or blue. Clear as rain. As you grow older, everything eventually merges into shades of grey. You’re supposed to be wiser, better equipped for life but you’re standing there by the porch drinking cheap whiskey thinking to yourself ‘I really don’t know shit about life, do I’. You’ve lost track of what’s what, what’s important and what really matters.
It’s probably time to think about doing some thinking.