Monday, September 10, 2012

The Escalator

Photo Credit: MorgueFile by RoseVita

For several days now, I have been on an escalator. I need to take the fast way up, can't afford to take the winding stairs that have a view. And, once on the escalator, because I can't afford to linger, I start climbing up, past the people who are standing, as fast as I can go. I look backwards at them, longingly, wishing I, too, could afford to be carried. But up I press, banging my luggage, twisting my purse. I am scattering to-do lists that are never done. I am activity with purpose. Chaos is wrangled and tied up in my bag, screaming and kicking me all the way.

By this time, days into my ascension, my knees are screaming with the effort. My quadriceps are shot. The muscles in my shoulders are tensed in a permanent and aching rage. I am standing here, in plain view of everyone and I am crying, because I am so tired, both of the physical effort and the slogging sense of futile ambition. I have been completely stripped of joy.

I can see the top now. Just over there. Can't you just make it out? A few more steps will get me there if I can make them. And just a few more. Always, a little further than I think. I wonder if I might die of exhaustion right here, ten yards from the finish, the finish that always moves. I might lay my body down across the flat expanse of hard metal stair and let myself be sucked into the monstrous jaws at the end, dying the gnarly death that is the fear and fantasy of every two year-old at airports.

Stillness. Who dreamt I might long for it so much?


  1. ...the finish that always moves.
    Ugh! always out of reach! Stillness does sound heavenly.

    1. It does, doesn't it? I wish I hadn't felt so wretched this last week, with all this miserable commotion. Something about the challenges of parenting during a new school year while managing a chronic illness...I just feel all jacked up. Somehow I know, though, that the escalator will stop—if only for a short while—and I will get a break soon.

  2. I wish I didn't understand this.

    I wish you were in a place where you radiated with the perfect balance of excitement, achievement, reflection, and calm. Does that place exist?

    1. If it does, I think it exists in very small doses, just to keep us tantalized. That said, I am ready for a dose soon and I think it will come my way.

  3. I work on an upper floor of a downtown building.

    Some maintenance guys had a window open last week and it looked so tempting. I had this whole scenario worked out in my head, where local governments could attach a giant tube (with a dumpster at the bottom) off the side of this building to accommodate people who have just had enough.

    It's not easy to take a step back and breathe.

  4. I long for stillness, and those tantalizing doses are enough to addict me. I feel your pain...well, not really, but I can at least identify with it.

  5. This is breathtaking in so many ways.

  6. I every time used to read piece of writing in news papers but
    now as I am a user of net therefore from now I am using net for posts, thanks to
    web. Więcej na ten temat tutaj, http://talkzone4.


When you comment, it keeps fairies alive.

Don't forget to choose "subscribe by email" to receive follow-up comments. I almost always reply to comments, and you wouldn't want to miss that. It's all part of saving the fairies.

My Zimbio
Creative Commons License
Faith in Ambiguity by Tara Adams is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License