…We had a birthday party for a friend’s little girl. All of our family and friends were there. We were all there in our house, laughing, and smiling and enjoying the togetherness of the party. It had been a long time since everyone had been together like that. It was a great feeling to be surrounded by friends and family.
Suddenly, someone had turned off the lights. The room became very dark, and no one could see what was in front of our faces. A swoosh of air breezed by our necks, and several of the children screamed in terror. The lights turned on again, and to our horror, we saw that many of our guests lay on the floor, dead and bloodied. Panic coursed through my veins, and I knew that whatever force had just visited our party was coming back for more.
There were a few that remained standing. We all quickly made plans to prepare for another lashing from this unseen force. We armed ourselves to the teeth with whatever weapons were available. I had picked up two long swords and was prepared to yield one straight into the heart of this evil, unseen being. We had all lined ourselves in a “V” formation against a corner, and were prepared for whatever came our direction.
I stood in front of the formation with my two weapons ready. The lights turned off, and again, we felt the swoosh of air pass by us. Blinded by the darkness, I thrust my swords in front of me…
Suddenly, I woke up.
I tried to will myself back to sleep in hopes of continuing my dream and finally being able to deal with the demons that have haunted my dreams. I came so close. If only I had stayed asleep for one more second, I know that I would have slain the demons.
I am left feeling unsettled by not being to accomplish or finish what I have set out to do. So, until the demons in my dreams are finally eliminated, I live with the feeling of restlessness and anxiety that I have yet to undertake many difficult challenges ahead in my life.
She was in the corner of the subway car. There, in the cluster of bodies that were all clawing for space, she should have remained unnoticed. After all, she appeared to be dressed no differently than all the other worker bees that rode the train religiously after a long day’s work.
But she was different.
She was not pushing and shoving or elbowing her way around the subway car. Instead, she carried the resounding posture of defeat. She stood in the corner, near the door, unmoving and oblivious to the action around her. She did not seem to notice the flurry of bodies that rushed past her, moving in and out of the train. She did not seem to hear or be bothered by the loud thump-thump-thump emanating from the headphones of the person standing next to her. The foul, pungent smell of summer and sweat that assailed the subway and affected all and sundry did nothing to move her frozen stare.
Instead, she remain affixed to her little corner of her own little world, and I saw from where I was that tears were rolling down her face. Her pain stared back so violently that I felt a cut in my own heart. I tried to smile at her, maybe to make myself feel better, but she would have none of it. She was inside her own pain, and nothing and no one was coming in or out.
As I departed the train at my stop, I turned to look at her one last time. I felt obligated to somehow reach out to her, but she almost seemed comfortable in her state of despair. All I know is that I left the subway car feeling as though the world had suddenly fallen on my shoulders.
“And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff – I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d really like to be.” ~ Holden Caulfield, The Catcher in the Rye