|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?