Le Brouillard Devant la Lumière

Walking away from the university campus and on the way to the metro station, as anxiety attempts to punch through my chest and I won’t allow it, I look out into the immense quad pointing out to the avenue. I watch the fog struggle to reach a street lamp’s light, only separated by a sort of dark black void – an apparent benign barrier keeping the chill away. 

The fog floats above the streets and over the lines of trees and among the buildings and street lights. It looks wonderful. But to my perception that gorgeous moment only lasts for fleeting seconds, as I rush to catch the train. 

A million things race through the routes of my consciousness: “Did I do well on these tests?”, “Am I worthy?”, “Is an established education what I need to make it?”, “Am I just another sore puppet?”, “What am I going to have for dinner?”, “Is my grief going to strike me soon?”, “Am I going to survive this mad pandemic?”, “Are my friends missing the moments we lived as much as I am?”, “Am I worthy of love?”, “Is my family faring well or just scraping through?”, “How the fuck am I going make it in this world, if I keep sabotaging myself and if my thoughts keep constricting my stomach to the point I can’t even bear sustenance to keep alive?”…

I feel grief, but I haven’t been able to process it well, yet. It’s a grief that I’ve felt ever since I moved to the city, but it’s also a grief that I’ve felt ever since I developed some kind of consciousness. It’s a grief that I can’t identify and it’s a grief that is also justified. 

People are missing from my life and I don’t know how to handle that. People I thought I would never miss again or ever, are crushing my neurons and my veins, with their overbearing need for my grief.

I grieve vampires. I grieve the actual dead. I grieve creatures of the night and I grieve hot-blooded animals of the day.

On normal days, I can’t catch a break to even consider these things.  And that’s both a blessing and a curse. Feelings always return to your heart and your thoughts, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

But there’s this beautiful fog forming around me, trying to embrace me. Is it going to carry me into the night? Or is it just going to freeze me up to my bones and leave me to gasp for air?

I carry myself to the entrance of the train station, mindful of any cars coming up on the street. My thoughts race again, as if to mimic the vehicles. Oh, the torturing irony!

I try to concentrate on nature’s own signs, and remember that exquisite phenomenon of light and fog, the energy and the elements manifesting themselves.  My thoughts are just thoughts. They’re not like that light and that fog, though they do appear as combative.

The grief I feel may vanish one day, but I am prepared for it to stay with me indefinitely. The people I miss or used to miss may have a place within me forever, as well. I am not sure. Time and memory are tricky.

But as the fog inches closer to the ground, I can see myself taking it all in. Steadily. Grounding myself with the help of all around. I take it all in. I breathe out and I keep moving.

The creatures of the night and the hot-blooded animals of the day will always be lurking or hanging over my head and my body, but I let them be. One day, they will be mist.

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